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Snakes & Arrows
     

Snakes & Arrows

4.3 10
by Rush
 

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When Rush issued Vapor Trails in 2002, they revealed that -- even after Neil Peart's personal tragedies in the 1990s had cast the group's future in doubt -- they were back with a vengeance. The sound was hard-hitting, direct, and extremely focused. Lyrically, Peart went right after the subject matter he was dealing with -- and it was in

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Snakes & Arrows 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After initial disappointment, I really tried to give this CD many more chances. Rush's musicianship is, as always, top-notch, and Mr Peart's lyrics have always been thinking person's poetry. With those things in mind, the music just doesn't flow. Great instrumentals (there are 3), and the opener "Far Cry" is old-school Rush at its finest. Besides those, it feels as though the music was forced to accomodate the unnecessarily-complex and unmelodious lyrics. Sorry folks, but I've been a Rush fan for over 25 years, and I've never had to force myself to try to like their music before. Truly the end of an era.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This may be their most ambitious album in years but not their most accessible. Encompassing much variety from traditional blues riffs to solo acoustic guitar, it may not be appealing to casual Rush fans looking for something like the band's radio friendly hits from the 80's. It is probably their darkest album since Grace Under Pressure (but without the catchy hooks). My two major musical complaints are that some of the songs really strain to fit the verbose lyrics (a little too ambitious) and that Geddy Lee has pretty much abandoned synths in favor of using vocalizations to fill out the songs (not ambitious enough). My only major sonic complaint is the standard one against all rock albums being produced these days: no dynamic range. As part of the never ending loudness wars, they have compressed the hell out of the mix leaving it dull and muddy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Before I summed up what kind of sound and message Snakes and Arrows had, I wanted to listen to it several times so it has a chance to sink in. Having done that it may still be a little early for a fully accurate review, however I think I have a pretty good idea at this point how these songs will hold up. When I picked it up the day it was released, I got in my car and immediately opened up the package and crammed it into the cd player starting with Spindrift and The Main Monkey Business first. The first thing I was looking for and noticed right away was the sound quality, which had inexplicably vanished on Vapor Trails was back. Not only was it back it was perfect with nice separation of sound and no muddy distortion, just clean crisp and sharp throughout. The Main Monkey Business amazed me the first time I heard it. As others have said it truly is a masterpiece, and quite possibly in my opinion the best instrumental they have ever put together. It’s powerful sounding and just explodes all over the place after a gradual build for the first couple of minutes or so. It spews forth dazzling blends of drums, bass, and guitar with splashes of electric fury. It’s crafted perfectly from the beginning to the end as it calmly fades out. Spindrift is a great dark melodic song with lyrics that seem to fit the music perfectly. The dark feel combined with melody makes for a terrific eerie sound. The type of song you hear going through your head long after you’re done listening to it. The message of the cd of a religious and political nature may be slightly controversial, but with the climate of rampant religious extremism growing at a disturbing pace, it’s quite timely. Peart’s lyrics probably reflect the thoughts of many people today. Even in this modern age, society is peppered with faith in the supernatural. With the superstitions of religion running wild, it’s refreshing to know that not everyone buys in to the nonsense. We’re not back in the Dark Ages after all! Some have said the lyrics project a negative feel, but I think the overall theme is more positive and reflects the reality of society in the present time. I see it as having a nice balance and accurate view with an underlying message of hope in dealing with a sometimes harsh and unfair world. I don’t think the necessary negatives in any way detract from the body of work. Getting back to the music, every song is unique and there are no clunkers. The opener Far Cry reminds me of the typical Rush song with it’s punchy bass lines and catchy lyrics. It was nice to hear an acoustic instrumental (Hope) by Lifeson, which was reminiscent of Zeppelin. You could almost picture Jimmy Page playing that piece. Malignant Narcissism is a quick, funky, kick ass song that’s fun to listen to. The Way the Wind Blows gives a mix of the blues throughout starting out bluesy, and rocking hard in other sections, a nice combination. Nothing to complain about on this cd, but I see some reviewers have. Probably the same people who voted for our current president and believe the Rapture is just around the corner! Could just be the wax accumulating in their ears. From a personal standpoint I like to hear the experimenting and exploring new sounds, which I think they’ve done quite well here. It’s a blend of old and new with the unmistakable Rush sound. It’s got everything I could ask for in a Rush album and exceeded my expectations. The only thing missing is perhaps another ten songs!! We’ll just have to wait for the next one in a few years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having been a longtime rush fan, this is the best they have done in years! The lyrics are timeless and topical and the musicianship outstanding! I always hope they put an instrumental on the record, and this has two to make up for not putting one on the last record. Favorite track, BRAVEST FACE
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is one great cd. snakes and arrows a great rush creation. starts out with the track far cry. a powerful opener. and lots of other great tracks. including the track the way the wind blows witch starts with a bit of a blues style. also features a few instermentals including the instermental rocker the main monkey business. working them angels another track that rocks. all the other tracks verry great. the song that closes the disc we hold on is a verry great and touching song. talks about not giving up and having a positive additude./ for a band thats been around for 33 years rush still can make albums that rock. and snakes and arrows is a rocker
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this album yesterday. I am on probably the 8th listening. My first impression was that this was a boring album. I have read some bad reviews as well as good reviews. After a few listens, the album gets better. It's much better than Vapor Trails which was not my favorite. It does not sound like My Favorite Headache either. Snakes & Arrows has its own feel, unlike any other Rush album. Although none of the songs run together, it has a concept album feel. Musically, the album is superior to Vapor Trails. There are a few guitar solos and lots of acoustic guitar tracks mixed in. There are a few songs I don't like (around 3). But overall, I like 2/3rds of the album. To me the last song of the album, "We Hold On" is boring. The best songs are "Far Cry," "Armor and Sword," "Workin' them Angels," and "The Way the Wind Blows." They have nice heavy riffs. The instrumentals are good too. The vocals are clear and classic. There are no distorted vocals like in Vapor Trails. Anyway, expect this album to grow on you. Some songs I did not like at first, I like now. There are 13 songs so there is a lot to absorb the first few listenings. It can be overwhelming and exhausting. The reason is the lyrics don't really rhyme, and Geddy has to deliver a "mouthful" of lyrics. There are too many words/lyrics. Overall, Snakes & Arrows is a good solid album. You will probably like more songs than you dislike.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album has to be their best album since Moving Pictures. This is their most concise, focused, and rockin' album since then also. The lead single Far Cry opens the album wit a bang. Working Them Angels, The Larger Bowl, The Main Monkey Business, and Hope are also really good. They really get back to their roots no synthesizers present in this album. Hard rockin' guitar riffs backed by confrontational lyrics. This is classic Rush.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having been a Rush fan since 1978, I'm luke warm on this one. I'm sure it will grow on me, but it doesn't "wow" me like others have from first listen through. "Maybe my expectations were high". First of all, the style of single "Far Cry" is not reflective of the style of the rest of the CD. Lots of the songs have those dual vocal parts equally balanced and you can't really figure out which is the melody, so you can't really pick it out to determine if you like it. Musically -- or rather instrumentally -- it is very good. The guitar and bass lines are supurb. The drums are perfectly complimentary. But as mentioned above the melody lines and vocals are really lacking. It feels like they tried too hard to force the lyrics into those "non-melodies". And whereas Vapor Trails gave a sense of hope and renewal, Snakes and Arrows is full of cynical pessimism. Of course, when you skim through the CD as a whole, you can see the bigger picture and appreciate the way the songs are laid out. It becomes an emotional rollercoaster with peaks of faint hope and valleys of deep cynicism. In the end, "We Hold On" leaves you right there in the middle where you started. That was a bit of a disappointment. There are few "if any" of Peart's clever lyrical rhyme schemes, double word meanings or classic use of alliteration. Given the state of this music to lyrics imbalance, I am happy to report that there is not one, but three instrumentals on the CD -- each in a different style -- and all of which are very enjoyable. Each is short but worthwhile. One bright exception to all of this is "The Larger Bowl". First of all, it has a catchy melody balanced nicely with the guitar and bass parts. While still lyrically cynical and questioning, the lighter tone of the music make it much brighter. It has a nice, typical Lifeson solo in it as well. Second, it is described a "pantoum" which "thanks to wikipedia" we discover is: "... a rare form of poetry similar to a villanelle. It is composed of a series of quatrains the second and fourth lines of each stanza are repeated as the first and third lines of the next. This pattern continues for any number of stanzas, except for the final stanza, which differs in the repeating pattern.The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth of the penultimate the first line of the poem is the last line of the final stanza, and the third line of the first stanza is the second of the final. Ideally, the meaning of lines shifts when they are repeated although the words remain exactly the same: this can be done by shifting punctuation, punning, or simply recontextualizing." That being said, it is a Skillful and clever combination of lyrics that comes off sounding like a single person singing in "round". For that alone the song is worthy of respect and therefore Peart more than redeems himself and retains his crown as the Master of Lyricists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago