Grace Under Pressure
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Product Description

Japanese only paper sleeve SHM pressing. The SHM-CD [Super High Material CD] format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies' research into LCD display manufacturing SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players. Warner. 2009.

Customer Reviews:

  • Signals is the best Rush cd
    I'm sick of hearing "the band entered a decline with Signals." Are you kidding me? That cd is incredible- every song is fantastic!! It is by far their most consistently excellent cd they ever made. Grace Under Pressure is quite good too and I had it and I am going to re-buy it because there are things about it that I didn't catch before that appeal to me now.

    Otherwise Exit Stage Left is off the charts incredibe. Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves are great. To me they really kicked into top gear with Hemispheres. Prior to that they have some great stuff such as 2112, All The World's A Stage and early, early songs like In The End, but they really hit the mark and kept going, starting with Hemispheres.

    Then I feel they've kind of gone up and down and up since Power Windows. Every live cd and video they have ever created is outstanding. They are the only band I know that always improves their songs live! They don't just replicate the studio cd, they make it a lot better! Can't wait til June 13 for the Replay x 3 dvd set. I've been wanting an official Exit...Stage Left dvd forever, and I'm sure the others will maintain the incredible live Rush standards..

    I think they really came back with Vapor Trails. Sometimes great art is born out of tragedy. Neil Peart put some of his intense pain into the lyrics and they have really moved my heart. His book Ghost Rider is also outstanding and very brave and honest.

    Cheers to all Rush fans because our love and support for them has kept them around so long!!!

    ...more info
  • Some interesting imagery
    I like this album somewhat. Since it's my only Rush album, I can't say too much about how thought the vocals should be louder, but I think the Synth lines make it a bit cluttered sounding and as I said the vocals kind of sink into the background a bit.

    But the instrumental imagery is great, it's good when a band uses synthesisers in a thoughtful way. I like the fourth song because is has a bit fo a throwback to early-60's kinxd of music. They album has a dark, almost heavy atmosphere from beginning to end. It's a good listen. ...more info
  • Not their best, but really good...
    This is a really good album...I thought that I would dislike it, being a strong fan of 2112, Fly by Night, and A Farewell to Kings. I am glad to say that I was mistaken. It is not as good as the albums listed above, but it catches them in the middle of their synth period. This album is really catchy and has great singing. It shows how diverse Rush can be. Recomended to the moderate fan, but not a casual fan....more info
  • pretty good song collection on here, fairly good overall
    I really like a few of the songs on here, like "red sector A" and "between the wheels" and "afterimage," and the rest of the songs are all right also. I am surpised I actually like this cd, it is generally thought of as one of their weaker ones. But I think it holds up pretty well, it has a few classic Rush tunes on it. Some of the songs, like "distant early warning," are kind of keyboard corny because they have kind of and awkward sound and structure, but there is nothing terrible here. The best thing you can do is cull the good stuff out of each Rush album and make a mix, because no truly complete greatest hits set has yet been released. And there are several songs on here that are entirely worthy (in fact, necissary) of being included on a set such as that....more info
  • A great mix of sounds.
    This album is one of my favorite Rush albums. I love that every song has its own unique sound. The review by "Evil Lincoln" nails it. There isn't much else I can add, other than I absolutely love the binary code chorus in The Body Electric. What other band could do something like that and make it sound awesome?...more info
  • Not their finest Hour
    I am a huge Rush fan, and have been for years. I can't recommend this CD however unless you have ALL the others. This is in my opinion one of the worst CDs they ever produced. The musicianship is tame, and the subject matter is tired after being rehashed from their previous (much better) works. I would recommend 'Signals' (a masterpiece), '2112', 'Hemispheres', 'A farewell to Kings', 'Moving Pictures', 'Permanent Waves' (another masterpiece), or even their 'best of' before this one. The only time I could recommend this is if you need the complete collection, as this CD is important in that it is a transition for them as a band from their 2nd to 3rd "reincarnation" of their music. Overall though, not a good CD....more info
  • An Underrated and Powerfully Good Album
    1984's Grace Under Pressure was probably the band's most difficult and fretted over album to record. Struggling with production issues created by new producer Peter Henderson's indecisiveness and inability to take initiative in making production decisions, Rush found themselves having to make many more decisions, spending 4 1/2 months on the record. Though not a particularly good experience for the band, the record turned out to be really good.

    Much darker both lyrically and musically than most other Rush, the album also has a thicker, more wiry sound structured around Peart's crisp, clinical rhythms and bolstered by rich synthesizer patterns and backings and Lifeson's raspy guitar sound. With respect to sonic balence between guitars and synthesizers, this album gets it right in terms of providing synthesizer foundations and flourishes while letting the Lifeson roam more freely and solo. The album's highlight, in my opinion, is the last track, "Between the Wheels". This track has a great lilting feel with a very strong chorus. The instrumental section is phenomenal! Lifeson's solo is one of my favorite of his all time and it brings the music soaringly to new hights so that when the chorus rolls around again you really feel the power of Peart's driving upbeat china cymbal blasts.

    As with almost all of Rush's studio albums, there is not a single "bad" or "skipover" song on here. Not even close. The album is very consistent, and the album's more popular songs--"Distant Early Warning" and "Red Sector A" are on par with the rest of the album. The songs on Grace Under Pressure utilize a fair amount of melodic and rhythmic tension, and while that serves the music stylistically and makes it, in my opinion, good, it can be unwelcome to those not predisposed to open themselves up to the music. As someone mentioned, all but two of the songs here are in minor keys. The album is much more accessible than its overtly synth-laden sucessors "Power Windows" and "Hold Your Fire" and equally rewarding. It also contains some of Neil Peart's best lyrics. I am a fan of all eras of Rush and this one is usually my favorite album, though Power Windows, Signals, Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, and Hemispheres are all top contenders.

    If you are a rush fan and don't have it, buy this album! If you are a Rush fan who isn't very partial to synthesizers you may not like Grace very much. Keep in mind, though, that there is a fair amount of Alex Lifeson on here, and the music truly rocks. (I think the synthesizers add depth and texture to the music.) It doesn't hit you over the head with synthetic complexity like PW or HYF, and has a lot to offer elsewhere. If you are a newcomer, don't start with GUP. Get Moving Pictures (as almost everyone does) then branch out to both new and old. Rush's work, though always changing, is always of the highest quality and Grace Under Pressure is certainly no exception....more info
  • 3.5 stars- Rush that's kind of getting wimpy and on a definite decline
    Rush had been on a decline with the release of SIGNALS from the great success of MOVING PICTURES, then, with the release of GRACE UNDER PRESSURE, they had delined from the success of SIGNALS, and they really dropped off the map with the super wimpy POWER WINDOWS. Don't get me started on that disaster. Now let's get to the review. This album is kind of depressing, especially with the song "Red Sector A". That ones about the atrocities of the concentration camps in Germany during World War II, but a lot of other songs have a dark feel to them, though many might disagree with that, that's how I feel listening to this disc. This is toward the beginning of their synth period, and they seem to be getting softer than their previous albums. But that said, I do like the "The Enemy Within", "Distant Early Warning", "Between The Wheels", and "Red Sector A". If you're smart, you would stick to the studio albums from 1974 to 1984. That period ends with GRACE UNDER PRESSURE. After this one, they would start to make some pretty wimpy albums, and wouldn't make another good album till about the release of COUNTERPARTS. I'm out!!!!...more info
  • Awesome album
    Grace Under Pressure is awesome. It's almost like a concept album in that the subject matter on a lot of the songs have to do with the Cold War/Nuclear Age that was happening at that time, and the fear that was prevalent in the world. After many people said that their previous album, Signals, suffered from a lack of guitar by Alex Lifeson (something that is not the case, in my opinion), I think Rush made an effort to try to "correct" this "problem" and gave Lifeson the floor so to speak. The album has lots of synthesizers, but Lifeson's guitar is just as loud and upfront as the synthesizers. It's a good balance, whereas on Signals his guitar is more in the background, but definitely not absent. Whether this was done by the members of Rush to quiet critics of Signals, or if it was done to satisfy Lifeson (if he himself felt he was shortchanged on Signals), the bottom line is that this balance works really well on this album. Some of Lifeson's best guitar playing can be heard on this album, in such songs as Distant Early Warning, Afterimage, Red Sector A, The Enemy Within, and Kid Gloves, to name a few. The overall tone of most of the songs on this album is actually on the darker side. In my view, this was the second album of the new era of Rush that began in 1982 with Signals. This was the era of mellowing out somewhat and getting away from doing epic length songs. If you are new to Rush's music and want a truly great album with some cool songs, get this album. If you like the more mellow Rush that spans from 1982 to the present day and you don't yet have this album, buy it. It might turn out to be your favorite or one of your favorites....more info
  • Powerful
    OK, I admit it. I'm a closet GRACE UNDER PRESSURE fan. The first half is nearly flawless. "Distant Early Warning" opens the record on an ominous note but it's catchy as hell. It might be Rush's best pure pop song. From there it just doesn't let up. "Afterimage" serves as a wonderful eulogy to a lost friend. "Red Sector A" features what are possibly Neil Peart's best lyrics. They're absolutely chilling. And the music suits them perfectly. The first half ends on a up note with the romping "Enemy Within," yet another fine example of the influence that the Police had on Rush at this point.

    The second half of the album is almost as good. "The Body Electric" may have a silly premise, but you can't deny that the performance (especially Lifeson's) is awe-inspiring. "Kid Gloves" is a great pop song, nothing more nothing less. Again, the guitar solo is out there. I'm sure that "Red Lenses" annoys the heck out of a lot of people, but it has a serviceable groove and is just weird enough to work. I especially like the slightly discordant guitars in the verses. The record closes with "Between the Wheels," which is one of my favorites. The opening is wonderfully discordant, while the chorus is so melodramatically catchy. There's another great guitar solo here as well.

    For me there just aren't any lulls here. I like every single song quite a bit and I don't think I can say that about any other Rush albums except for maybe MOVING PICTURES, PERMANENT WAVES, and SNAKES AND ARROWS. I never seem to get sick of it.
    ...more info
  • Rush - 'Grace Under Pressure' (Mercury)
    Review #149. Originally released in 1984, this was when Rush was still re-inventing themselves (I'm assuming). An era for the Canadian power trio when the young/er fans might have eaten this (then) new material up but older Rush fans, like myself were patiently waiting for them to return to their roots - like they finally did over ten years later on their 'Test For Echo' CD. Tunes here that sort of grab my interest were the over-played "Distant Early Warning", "Red Sector A", "Kid Gloves" (possibly the disc's best track) and "Red Lenses". Okay, but certainly nothing to write home about....more info
  • Highly underrated
    I've heard a lot of people say this is the worst Rush album ever made, so when I first listed to this album, I took it with a grain of salt. I have to wholeheartedly disagree with all those people. This album fits in perfectly with this period in Rush's history. The songs are tightly crafted, catchy, and unlike one negative reviewer claimed, there is a lot more actual bass guitar on this album than there is synth bass (I could only pick out synth bass in maybe one or two of the songs). If you like Rush, this is a good album, and if you really like Rush's synthesizer period (1981-1987) then you'll like this even more.

    My picks:
    Distant Early Warning
    Afterimage
    Red Sector A
    The Enemy Within
    The Body Electric...more info
  • underrated
    This album is very similar to "Signals". "Grace Under Pressure" has been highly critized by many because they see it as a departure. I disagree. It is a departure from their 70's progressive material, but "Grace" is still paving down the same foundation that "Moving Pictures" set for the band. I still do not understand why many reviewers feel that the synths really became to overwhelming on this release. I feel that "Signals" was more synth based that this one. Plus, Alex puts together some of his best guitar work since "Moving Pictures". Just listen to "Afterimage". Even though the synths can be heard on this song, Alex's guitar is still very dominate. Same goes with "Kid Gloves", "Red Sector A", and most of the other songs on this album. Also, who ever said sythesizers were bad. I feel that they add to the songs and can make them better and more complex, if they are used at the right time in the song. This album is one of the bands most consistent and contains some of there most underrated material. Both "The Enemy Within" and "The Body Electric" are often overlooked by the more popular songs "Distant Early Warning" and "Red Sector A". "Afterimage" deserves to be one of their greatest songs. "Between the Wheels" is one of the bands darkest numbers and I love Lifeson's guitar in this one. There is nothing more I can say about this album except that it rocks and you need to check it out for yourself....more info
  • Underappreciated atmospheric classic of the 80s
    It's hard to believe that a lot of Rush fans don't like this album. It may not have a rousing instrumental like "La Villa..." or "YYZ" or an instant classic like "Subdivisions" from the previous release "Signals (1982)". But what it does have are powerful, urgent songs from a past era urgent for change and stability.

    The bleak and futuristic (while also retro) feel of "Distant Early Warning" is reflected in the Cold War-related lyrics. While this is probably the most solid song on the album, every song is excellent in its own unique way, and as a whole the album has a very dense, bleak, gray atmosphere, not unlike the outstanding cover art. This same feeling is conveyed in such parts as the sad and beautiful echo-ey intro to "Kid Gloves" and the bleak synth intro to "Between the Wheels".

    In short, if you are looking for powerful, emotional, and dynamic 80s music, look no further. This album doesn't get old and actually gets better with each listen. If you're a Rush/prog fan and you don't let your biases towards the prog-rock of the 70s (which I also love) cloud your views, you should be in for a treat.

    Oh yeah, and the cover art for this album is so awesome. Just look at it and listen to 'Distant Early Warning' or 'Kid Gloves'. It'll make you feel good.

    Favorite Tracks: Between the Wheels, Kid Gloves, Distant Early Warning, The Body Electric, Red Sector A...more info
  • googleoid
    I am listening to Xanadu and I typed in to google "there was a time when i wished that all music was like this atmospheric and yet concrete" and what pops up... GUP. 4 stars!...more info
  • i can listen to this album over and over again...
    great synthesizers, great album. yet another one of those exceptionally great albums which clearchannel radio refuses to play any songs from for some reason....more info
  • 4.5 for the UNDERRATED Grace Under Pressure
    I guess I'm just not as cynical or critical about the GUP record. I love MOST of it and actually consider it one of the band's strongest and most consistently energetic and vibrant albums overall. (i.e. no real lulls) It's a great example of their keyboard work....not a poor one. And I like it better than a lot of the earlier stuff because I feel their heads aren't up their own asses with bloated 12 minute extravaganzas, some of which work and others don't. Afterall a guitar riff is great if there's cohesion...otherwise it's just a riff with no context...or one that just leads into another one. (Maybe this is why medleys of the early stuff works so well, because there's a lot of filler beyond the good stuff). I think a lot of the earlier music is just that...disconnected coolness. I find Grace to be contain much better songwriting despite the presence of keyboards. It's not as heavy, but the arrangements are tighter and more melodic generally. The structure here is as solid as on any Rush record.

    And please...NO ONE go on about lyrics about androids or the like on this record either. NOTHING on Grace is any sillier or cornier than some of the stuff that's been written about on previous records. In addition to some of the awesome things Peart has written, there's also been some really goofy nonsense too...and this record, just because it's more tech-oriented, is no more full of that kind of thing. (Most of which are metaphors anyhow and not to be taken literally).

    I could break down the individual songs but my sentiment is pretty much encompassed above.

    The only thing the album lacks is a career-defining single the likes of The Spirit Of Radio or Tom Sawyer, as well as the lack of this being a historically important album. But in many ways this serves the record too. While it might not contain one single song that serves as the clear high-water mark, like most Rush records where you can usually isolate out the best stuff pretty quickly and easily, instead the album (IMO anyhow) is filled with pretty equitable selections....and as a result is consistent both tonally and in the songwriting with almost no negative deviations from track to track.

    ...more info
  • You see black and white, and I see red
    Grace Under Pressure is sometimes my favorite Rush album, and sometimes it's second to Signals, but either way, it's a masterpiece.
    Coming smack dab in the middle of Rush's synth period as it does, one might expect guitarist Alex Lifeson to have only a background role in Grace Under Pressure. That's not the case at all, and in fact, I think this is his best Rush album. His solos in "Kid Gloves" and "The Body Electric" are just incredible, while his rhythm guitar roles in "Red Sector A" and "The Enemy Within" rock hard.

    That's not to say that synthesizers play a minor role in Grace Under Pressure. They're at the forefront of every song (except "Kid Gloves"), and unlike many later Rush efforts, they never get in the way of the song. Everything on the album blends together perfectly. "Distant Early Warning," for example, has everything that `70's Rush classics have- a great guitar riff, Geddy Lee's heavy bass and high-pitched vocals, and Neil Peart's maniacal drumming and cryptic yet concrete lyrics. However, it also looks to the future, with a more pessimistic mood and blasts of keyboards scattered about.

    The rest of the album doesn't disappoint either, with "red lenses" (the title is supposed to be written in all lower-case letters, for whatever reason) being the best of the bunch. The song is unique in the Rush canon, to say the least, having a stream-of-consciousness and dissonant feel to it. This is also one of Neil Peart's best Rush songs- there's a percussion section in the middle of the song that will blow you away. I have no idea at all what the lyrics mean ("We've got Mars on the horizon, says the National Midnight Star"), but that doesn't matter, because it's just so fun. You can tell they had a whole lot of fun while recording "red lenses," that's for sure. I wish Rush would play it live, because it's very high-energy and would make a killer show-opener.

    Elsewhere, cynicism and bleakness abound, with a Holocaust theme in "Red Sector A," an ode to a deceased friend in "Afterimage," and wartime lament in "Between The Wheels."

    "Red Sector A" is a noteworthy song because, shockingly, there is no bassline. Geddy Lee is only the singer and keyboardist on this song, and it features a great hook where the guitar and synthesizer trade riffs. Add Neil Peart's pounding electronic drumbeat, and you've got a Rush concert favorite. You won't even notice the missing bass guitar.

    Like I said, this can be my favorite Rush album, and the only bad thing I can say about it is that the front cover isn't all that good (well, that and the band's photo on the inside- I bet they hate to look at that now, twenty years later). Every single second of Grace Under Pressure is excellent, and there are just too many highlights to go over in this review. You'll just have to listen for yourself....more info
  • Rush keeps up the good work
    Rush had already began to incorporate heavy synth use with their previous album Signals, but they really turn up the electronics with this album. The album has a bit of a darker feel. From what I hear, the band was close to breaking up while making this album so that could have been why. But anyway this is pretty much a synth-rock album, so if you hate 80s music then stay away. The album kicks off with a bang with the hard rocker Distant Early Warning. Other noteworthy songs include the robotic The Body Electric and the more darker songs, such as Afterimage and Red Sector A. The Enemy Within sounds tense and nervous and if you read the lyrics you may feel that way as well. I love the synth playing after the choruses in this one. And then there is the awesome closer Between the Wheels. The synth sounds at the beginning can truly send a chill down your spine.

    Kid Gloves and Red Lenses are both filler in my opinion so I knocked off a star but don't get me wrong if you love 80s synth music you truly must have this album. Another winner from Rush....more info
  • Yep!
    Some people say that this is one of the most difficult albums that Rush has ever made. However, I liked it when I heard it for the first time. "Distant Early Warning" and "Red Sector A" are classic Rush songs. Also the part one of Fear which is "The Enemy Within" is absolutly amazing. The other parts of Fear that had been released before this album are Witch Hunt (part III) {in Moving Pictures} and The Weapon (part II) {in Signals}. The keyboards especially very powerful in these songs. The only song I don't like so much is "Red Lenses" which has it moments but I find it too poppy for me. Well, a great album from Rush.
    Stars: Red Sector A, The Enemy Within, Distant Early Warning...more info
  • Rush's greatest effort
    Many people consider Rush's MOVING PICTURES album to be the peak of their career, but I heartily disagree. GRACE UNDER PRESSURE is Rush's greatest album. The album is pessimistic for sure, but their musicianship has never been greater. DISTANT EARLY WARNING and BETWEEN THE WHEELS are the highlights of this album, with all the other songs being better than the average Rush affair. Since this album is stylistically a bit different than other classic Rush albums, it might take a bit of getting used to. It took me a good year and a half to appreciate this masterpiece, but once I did I was amazed. This album is recommended to anyone willing to put the time into realizing it....more info
  • A fantastic and underrated gem of an album
    The end of Rush's classic period is in this album, probably their darkest in terms of music and lyrics. A very downbeat album, this is, nontheless, a great record. It opens up with one of Rush's overlooked masterpieces, Distant Early Warning. It's followed by Afterimage, which unfortunately proved to be eerily prescient in 1997 and 1998 when Neil tragically lost both his wife and daughter in the space of a year. The first line can resonate with him, I'm sure ("suddenly you were gone, from all the lives you left your mark upon"). The rest of the album is great, as well, with Red Lenses, Kid Gloves, and the Body Electric being favorites, as well as two of my all-time favorite Rush songs, Between the Wheels (a really eery song that is fantastic and I was lucky enough to see them play live in 2004), and the superlative Red Sector A, which is about surviving concentration camps (Geddy's folks survived this ordeal during WWII). Moving and gripping music and lyrics from Rush, and the end of their classic period and the beginning of their more synthesized (and still great) 1980's sound....more info
  • Difficult to get into, but great album once you do.
    This album is often criticized heavily, particularly by fans of Rush's older material. This album continues what "Signals" started, the complete abandonment of the older Rush sound. But the band, continuing their evolution, appears to have even further delved into the keyboard sound, and experiment with guitars as texture, synths as forefront and even leads. The result is an an album that is dense and somewhat difficult to get into. Being the followup to the band's commercial peak probably doesn't help either. After listening to it in frequently over the past several years, I've come to appreciate it for its own uniqueness.

    Honestly, most of it is not bad, it usually just doesn't succeed as well as you'd like, and on most of them, you get the impression had they ripped out some of the synth lines and let Lifeson cut loose (or just added a galloping section), the songs would do much better. "Afterimage" is so coated in synthesizers that the drive it attempts to put together never happens, "The Enemy Within" is decent enough on the reggae styled verses (Lee and Peart lock like nothing else), but has this obnoxious synth lead after each chorus that breaks the song apart. "Red Lenses" is one of the most interesting songs the band ever did-- lacking any concrete structure in a typical rock format during its choruses, where keyboard sweeps and repetitive guitars float over frantic percussion, but ultimately I don't think it succeeds as a whole.

    But there are a number of great moments as well, "Distant Early Warning", the album opener, is a great song, driving rhythms, funky bass line, great piece. "Red Sector A" is extraordinarily intense-- and even above the sort of clinical sound it brings, the horror it portrays comes up clearly-- Lee's vocal, supported by harsh keyboards and subdued guitar, sounds positively haunted and desparate. "The Body Electric" has a great rhythm and the "1-0-0-1-0-0-1 S-O-S" chant in the chorus actually works a whole lot better than you'd expect, and "Kid Gloves", the thematic heir of "Subdivisions", is the most guitar driven piece on the album and features a bizarre, fractured solo by Lifeson. And while "Between the Wheels" opens with a really insistent and somewhat annoying organ line, the chorus is another of those really great Geddy Lee vocals, overall the song succeeds far more than it fails.

    Bottom line, its a lot better of an album that first (or twentieth) listen would lead you to believe. Not a good place to start, but definitely a rewarding record....more info
  • More Mainstream Than Earlier Rush; A Very Good Album
    One of my all-time favorite Rush songs is on this album: Distant Early Warning.

    The music on this album is more accessible than much of Rush's 70's fare. That may be why some of the fans of their progressive era don't like this one much. Some of their earlier stuff was intentionally "out there," and that's exactly what some people liked about it. Grace Under Pressure is significantly closer to mainstream music than 2112 and the like. To some that means that it isn't "special" in the way 2112 was, while for others that makes this album easier to swallow.

    Yes, there are synths here. Yes, they have their moment in the limelight, but guitar takes center stage more often. As I said, Distant Early Warning is one of my favorite Rush songs. Why? The energy of the guitar...

    Although several songs on this album are excellent, and all are good, some aren't particularly memorable. Within 5 minutes of hearing The Body Electric, for example, I couldn't tell you what kind of song it is.

    Overall, 4 stars....more info
  • Vastly underrated masterpiece
    This is IMHO one of Rush's absolute masterpieces, easily on a par with Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals and Presto. I think the increased reliance on synthesizers is a bit off-putting to some fans, but it's not overpowering yet (Hold Your Fire is where the synths began to dominate Rush's sound to unfortunate effect, and the band wisely scaled them back on Presto). It's a logical extension of some of the sounds that appeared on Signals and works equally well here as it did in that context.

    One of my friends calls this Rush's "cyberpunk" album, and his desciption makes sense. These songs seem somewhat unified thematically, displaying a world descending into chaos and high-tech dystopia. The core of this album (to the extent it has one core) is "The Body Electric," where the lyrics describe an android at death's door exhibiting some very human characteristics. Other songs describe the horrors of the holocaust and the threat of looming global disasters (war, be it nuclear or otherwise). "Kid Gloves" is a plea for understanding in typical Rush form, an expression of hope for increased sensitivity in a world where brutality is becoming more and more common. Overall the album has a very "cold war" feel to it, which has just as much relevance in an era where the threat has shifted to global terrorism and ecological disaster. The album is just as relevant today as it was during the 1980s, and (IMHO) exists in a space outside its immediate era (ie, it is truly timeless).

    In terms of the musicianship, the band exhibits its strengths in full force. Alex Lifeson is all over this disc, not letting the synths push him out of the way. His playing has morphed from the more straight-ahead rock of the 70s era into something more ambient and textural. Geddy's bass is fast and furious, providing the underpinning for these complex songs. His synths add some modernistic coloration. Neil Peart's drumming is lean, subtle and startlingly precise. The shorter, more slimmed-down song structures work well for the band, forcing them to condense their complex ideas into a more readily accessible language.

    Overall one of Rush's most complex and interesting efforts, and a true masterpiece in all possible ways....more info