Here's another open Rush commentary by moi. Some guy who loves Rush and lives in France had some harsh criticisms to pay as tribute to "les hommes trois". He mentioned drinking beer in his post...
We have been assured that Alex Lifeson does two things on this album: make extensive use of acoustic guitar,and play a substantial amount of solos. There IS a solo in "Far Cry", as even Neil describes and 'splains in his "A Prize Every Time" essay, but aswe all know by now (even Kyle, if he's been reading) it's another "minimalist" solo and not the stuff of guitar solo dreams that Alex rips out with on "Turn the Page" or "Red Barchetta" or "Marathon" or even, to loop back to Frenchie's mention of a possible acoustic solo, the mandola solo on "Half the World".
I have not listened to "Malignant Narcissism" yet, but it's apparently lacking in a Lifeson guitar solo. This one does not worry me, as I read Neil's essay and I did not expect that piece (by the way, just so we all get on the same page before turning it, a "piece", in music, consists of music that be a song except there are no words...I have been shocked at Neil's cavalier use of "song", as it is impossible for an instrumental to be a "song", but perhaps that's his personal nod to pop music culture) to contain an Alex solo.The album will be released in just a couple of weeks(Stateside), and after I give a thorough listen if there are few guitar solos then I will have my first harsh criticism of said album. I did not appreciate King Lerxt's lack of guitar solos on VT and I will be outraged at such a lack if it extends to a second consecutive album (of original studio material).
There is absolute zero doubt in my mind that one of the cream of the crop guitarists of rock still has an unlimited amount of brilliant guitar solos in his fingers. If this album turns out to deceive us and lacks guitar solos in the end, then I will indeed be pissed off about that fact. However, thus far the album sounds brilliant. Again, I do my best to listen scientifically to a Rush album at first, rather than gratuitously. I always give them the benefit of the doubt about what they are attempting and go from there in my reflections.
That does not mean that I always end up agreeing with what they do. Indeed, I agree with Neil's assessment in 'Roadshow' that Rush have recorded "hits and misses".I find they have far, far more hits than misses, but they aren't perfect.Remember, only the mediocre are always at their best.Rush leave nothing on the cutting room floor. They give us EVERYTHING they got on every album. Who can ask for anything more?
And by the way, it's SHREDDING solos! Damn drunk Frenchman!