Vapor Trails

Vapor Trails

3.9 94
by Rush
     
 

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The half decade since Rush's last studio offering hasn't been a pleasant time for the Canadian trio -- what with drummer/lyricist Neil Peart having to cope with the deaths of both his wife and daughter. While an element of darkness crops up on Vapor Trails, it doesn't weigh down the band's artistry. In fact, it seems to have investedSee more details below

Overview

The half decade since Rush's last studio offering hasn't been a pleasant time for the Canadian trio -- what with drummer/lyricist Neil Peart having to cope with the deaths of both his wife and daughter. While an element of darkness crops up on Vapor Trails, it doesn't weigh down the band's artistry. In fact, it seems to have invested Rush's music with a rediscovered visceral edge, a reconnection with humanity. In sharp contrast to the succinct, keyboard-driven material the band has proffered on it past several releases, Vapor Trails evinces a desire to give listeners a few sharp pokes to the nerve center. Alex Lifeson's guitar surges to the fore on the bulk of the disc's 13 songs, sometimes simply slamming (as on the surprisingly raw opener, "One Little Victory") and sometimes intricately slashing (as on "Nocturne," which conjures up images of Rush's headiest days). Peart's lyrics, while certainly indicative of the troubles he's endured, don't lapse into simple autobiography: "The Stars Look Down" and "How It Is" both resonate with complex yet ultimately universal comments on love, loss, and regeneration. While Vapor Trails may give pause to those who have come to expect more gentle musings from Rush, folks who fondly recall the band's reign as power trio kingpins will find following these trails an irresistible journey worth repeating.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Greg Prato
Most longtime Rush fans realize that a new album from the Canadian trio in the early 21st century is quite an accomplishment. After drummer Neil Peart's much-publicized tragic turn of events in his private life not long after Rush's 1996 release Test for Echo (the death of both his teenaged daughter and wife less than a year apart), the group's future was understandably cast into doubt. Slowly but surely, however, the band regained their footing and issued their 17th studio album in 2002, Vapor Trails. You would think that a veteran band entering their fourth decade together would perhaps mellow out a bit, but this doesn't prove to be case, as evidenced by the leadoff track "One Little Victory," while the majority of the album follows the same direct and hard-hitting sound as their past couple of releases (fans of the group's more synth-based and sterile mid-'80s style will have to look elsewhere). Peart, who remains the group's main lyricist, opts to conquer such challenging subject matter as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on "Peaceable Kingdom," while bits of the lyric to "Ghost Rider" ("Pack up all those phantoms/Shoulder that invisible load") lead the listener to believe that perhaps the drummer is sharing his personal healing process with the fans. Other standouts include the melodic "Sweet Miracle," the explosive "Out of the Cradle," the mid-paced title track, and "Earthshine," the latter of which showcases how fine Lee's voice has matured (especially when compared to his high-piercing shriek on Rush's early albums). All in all, Vapor Trails does an amiable job of signaling the welcome return of Rush.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/14/2002
Label:
Atlantic
UPC:
0075678353123
catalogNumber:
83531
Rank:
24277

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