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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

It's a Far Cry from What They Expected

Wooooo Hoooooo!

There's new Rush! Yyyeeeaaaahhh!

The new Rush single, called "Far Cry", is on the waves and on the Net. The new Rush album, Snakes and Arrows, is coming early May.

Sorry I haven't written anything new in a little while--I had some traveling to do and some arrangements to make.

So. I am part of a Rush group--this is like Mensa except it's about Rush (and sometimes about Rush offshoots, like rock music, politics, artworks, music gear, life stories...). This new Rush album is lyrically and conceptually inspired by something like "faith vs. rationality" and "religion vs. life". That's why it's so appropriate to house a talk about it here at Astral Trajectories. Not that I would not write about it anyway--it's Rush!

Now. Rush fans are the most loyal fans that any rock band could ever hope to have. On the flip side of that same coinage, Rush fans are the most critical people of the band they love. Even more critical than rock music critic journalists, who are jerks. So. At the Group, we've got dissenters who don't like the new song and are already down at the mouth and crestfallen. This was what I wrote to them...

You know, all of these criticisms sound just like the same ol', same ol'. Every time Rush release a new single, there's about a 65/35 split amongst the Rushians. 65% think it's incredible and they are excited, while the other 35% are all over it with criticism worse than a Rolling Stone review.

Then, months later, after they see Rush in concert, many among the 35% are converted and fall in love with what they previously disparaged. Sometimes this also comes about through continued listening and getting used to yet another "totally inconsistent" Rush album.

Then there is the 'single factor'. When was the last time Rush released the most original song on their latest album as the first single? MP (and I don't want to hear how "dull" "Tom Sawyer" is; it's one of their greatest songs so put a sock in it. If you don't like that song, then you are suffering from Overplayitis). Even as far back as PW, "Spirit of Radio" is not the best song on that album. You might say, "it's still a great song, though"; but that piano at the end fucks up that song. Nick Raskulinecz has promised, the band has promised, that Neil is all over the place on this album, that there are plenty of Lerxt solos, that Geddy has wailing Ban-Shae moments on this album. There are 12 other songs, people, including a mental instrumental on the forthcoming album. "Far Cry" is the first single. Singles are meant to garner airplay which then garners interest in the album and tour. Rush still try to make their leading single a quality song, but it doesn't necessarily sound like the rest of the album technically. Remember when you first heard "New World Man"? I bet half of you here lost your minds with grief (sorry, I bet 35% of you here lost your minds with grief). Now, most of you who became depressed and downtrodden because you heard "New World Man" a few times on the radio own copies of Signals and you love it (at least the album if still not that song). I remember when I first heard "Dreamline". I thought it was a simplistic song including lyrically compared to what I expected and I felt let down. While that song is still not my favorite on RTB, I now realize that it is a good song with some fine lyrics. (RTB is not a "dubious" album, either....er, except for Face Up. That song is awful, a complete throw away. Oh, and except for the lyrics I am not at all a fan of the mid-section of the title song.)

Aw, does it disappoint you that Rush release singles to make money? Do you want Rush to stay around for as long as possible? Then you need to let them make some money.

Raskulinecz is a savvy producer; do you really think he was going to let the boys get away with not doing a song or two that could be digested by today's alternative (to music) audience?

By the way, I have not heard the song yet, I will later today. Then I'll make up my mind who has been telling the truth and who is full of "they didn't write the song I would have written" horseshit.

Rush fans should know by now that the band saves the real treats for the full album. Rush fans should know by now that you have to listen to a new Rush album for at least a week and perhaps many weeks before you can even begin to make up your mind about how you feel about it.

2 comments:

Gwen M. Myers said...

Is that 35%, possibly, the same folks that would complain if you hung them with a new rope??

I have been a Rush fan since the mid-to-late 70's and personally, I look forward to every new release; so I can discover how they have matured as people and musicians.

To be 'real' fans of anyone, or any band, we have the responsibility to allow them the right to grow and change. In any creative's growth and changes lie the seeds of greatness.

Most fans of any band, but especially Rush, consider the band to be 'theirs'. If we allow our family and friends to grow and change. Is it really that hard to allow the members of Rush to do the same, musically and personally?

Brant David McLaughlin said...

Amen.