Clockwork Angelsby Rush
Clockwork Angels has been a long time coming. Rush foreshadowed it in 2010 by releasing "BU2B," and "Caravan" to radio. The next single, "Headlong Flight," didn't appear until 2012. Co-produced with Nick Raskulinecz (who also worked on 2007's Snakes & Arrows), Clockwork Angels is a return to the concept album by the band that perfected it on 2112 in 1976. It centers on a loose narrative about a young man following his dreams. He struggles with inner and outer forces of order and chaos; he encounters an expansive world where colors, images, territories, and characters are embodied by pirates, strange carnivals, rabble-rousing anarchists, and lost cities. His enemy is the Watchmaker, a ruthless authoritarian presence who attempts to rule the universe and all aspects of everyday life with fascistic precision. Neil Peart's lyrics embrace notions of alchemy and steampunk sci-fi in his thematics. (The album is due to be novelized by Peart and sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson.) Musically, Rush step up the prog from Snakes & Arrows without losing the blistering riffs or hooks. Alex Lifeson's acoustic guitars have an established place here, but his electric axes roar over them throughout. Geddy Lee's bass is mixed further up-front than it has been in some time -- which makes his mind-blowing chops resound: there are amazing pizzicatos interspersed in driving hard rock fills and edgy, off-kilter funk riffs. His voice is more nuanced and more emotionally expressive. Peart's drumming is the catalyst: his technical mastery makes his playing sound purely instinctive. CA is full of dynamic surprises, wild rhythmic variations, and expansive textures. This set sprawls, embracing everything from metal and prog to electric jazz to flamenco touches -- and more. Varied musical shades jostle up against one another, keeping the listener not only engaged, but delightfully surprised. "BU2B" and "Caravan" are slightly different than their single incarnations -- more was added and for the better. There are nods to the band's past in the blistering intro to "Seven Cities of Gold" and the snarling rampage in "The Anarchist." Lifeson breathes fire on both. The title track is nearly a concept album by itself. It contains a grand Townshend-esque overture, punishing twists and turns, bluesy acoustic interludes, and a grand finish. "Halo Effect" is destined to be among the band's classic power ballads with a dramatic middle and end. The album's seven-minute tour de force, "Headlong Flight," careens across musical genres with ceaseless intensity. "Wish Them Well" is an anthemic hard-edged pop song, while closer "The Garden" is an intricate seven-minute ballad with numerous odd angles and labyrinthine sonic corridors. Ultimately, Clockwork Angels demonstrates why, after 36 years, Rush's fan base continues to grow. Its musical athleticism and calisthenic discipline are equaled only by its relentless creative drive and its will to express it in a distinct musical language.
- Release Date:
- Roadrunner Records
Performance CreditsRush Primary Artist
Geddy Lee Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,bass pedals
Alex Lifeson Guitar,Keyboards
Neil Peart Cymbals,Drums,Tambourine
Jason Sniderman Piano
Technical CreditsRush Arranger,Producer
David Campbell String Arrangements,String Conductor
Richard Chycki Engineer
Andy Curran Executive Producer
Geddy Lee Composer
Alex Lifeson Composer
Neil Peart Composer
Hugh Syme Art Direction,Illustrations
Andrew MacNaughtan Band Photo
Nick Raskulinecz Arranger,Producer
Paul Fig Engineer
Ray Danniels Management
Jason Dufour Engineer
Stephen Koszler Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I am enthusiatic about attending my first Rush tour for Clockwork Angels. I love progressive, complex music with thematic highs and lows and Rush certainly fulfills this with various compositions on this album. My favorite song is "Wish Them Well" because I have had to make personal decisions about walking away from certain people due to their negativity and toxic attempts to emotionally drain me. The song came at a perfect time in my life and inspires me to go forward and not look back at those hooks still reaching out to reel me back in. Halo Effect is wonderful - in fact all of the songs are just great.
A standout of an album! The best track on the album is The Garden in the tradition of their past poignant songs like Mission, Presto, Ghost of a Chance, Losing It, and Available Light. Many Rush fans fail to realize that these guys are as good or better at this style of music, than the great, hard driving prog rock they are known for. Other superb pieces include Caravan, The Halo Effect, The Anarchist, and the title track! Superb album from one of the best!
hats off to rush, ive always admired them for their musicianship. which on this cd is in your face. but this cd is one that is a pleasure to sing to.
This is an album that even "non" RUSH fans may want to give a listen. For RUSH fans across the world, it's a dream come true. There has been some talk that people didn't like the producer, saying it sounded too loud or distorted. I just purchased the album and it sounds clean and articulate. After getting a taste on the TIME MACHINE tour, its nice to hear the completed work. The gents really put a lot of themselves into these songs. I highly recommend embracing the last track, "The Garden," I've been listening for a long time and I like all of the experimental routes that they have taken. But "The Garden" is the most beautiful song I have EVER heard from these geniuses. The other tracks all have great melodies, and this certifies that it is a masterpiece. Give it a try, you just might be wowed.