Interactive Review
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Rush Vapor Trails Atlantic/Anthem
Track Listing
· One Little Victory (1)
· Ceiling Unlimited (4)
· Ghost Rider (3)
· Peaceable Kingdom
· The Stars Look Down
· How It Is (6)
· Vapor Trail
· Secret Touch
· Earthshine (2)
· Sweet Miracle
· Nocturne (5)
· Freeze Part IV Of "Fear"
· Out Of The Cradle

(*) Best Tracks

Album Details
· Produced By: Rush &
· Paul Northfield
· Running Time: 67.16
· Release Date: Out Now
· Released: WORLD
· Genre: Hard Rock
· WebLink: Rush
· LabelLink: Atlantic

Recent Discography
· Signals
· Grace Under Pressure
· Power Windows
· Hold Your Fire
· Presto
· Roll The Bones
· Counterparts
· Test For Echo
· Vapor Trails

Discography / Compilations
· Retrospective (1974-1980)
· Retrospective (1981-1987)
· Chronicles

Review
For every Rush fan with one opinion, there is another 10 with 10 alternative views. I expect a varied response to this review.
I am interested to read the reader reviews for this album once I post this online. I reckon the reaction will be mixed, as it often is with a band with such a rich and lengthy history.
I love records like this, but I hate the review I have to write.
To be honest, I should have written this long ago, but due to other commitments hadn't allocated time for it.
Well, here we are….you know what? It's taken me a while to get my head around this album.
It's been 6 years since Test For Echo – an album I really enjoyed. In fact there isn't much I haven't really liked since my favourite album from the band – Hold Your Fire.
I am not a devotee of the band's 70's career. Aplogies for that!
I am happy to say that I also really like Vapor Trails.
There has been much debate over this record. Not only the songs and the style, but also the sonic impact from such a 'busy' and 'loud' record.
I have read comments suggesting that this isn't a well produced record.
Well, the choice of sound delivery may be questioned, but Rush and Paul Northfield are both well seasoned professionals, so I must presume the sound we are hearing is what Rush chose us to hear.
Personally I do think that the record is a little too loud in places and certainly could have been 'stripped back', or 'turned down' a little.
But with so much to listen to, the record offers something new each listen and I do like that aspect.
As for the songs themselves, I think Rush have done an admirable job of re-inventing themselves once again.
This is a long album with a lot to listen to. The verdict and the opinions will be wildly different.
It is a sonically intense journey with barely a change in pace to be heard and no ballads to speak of. There's a lot to take in and one definitely has to be ready to rock before playing it.
It's great to hear these guys still have so much energy to commit to record and I do love most of the album.
However, I will sit on the fence a little here. Yes, it's a great, but I also feel that it maybe could have been even better with a couple of changes.
The band have an intelligent approach that balances experimentation with classic sounds. That is more relavent than ever with this album.
My track by track would have been more detailed had I got this onlin ein time, but below are a few extra thoughts.
If the band can crank another album out relatively quickly, I am sure it will be even better again.

Tracks:
There are a couple of songs I don't aspire to, such as Peaceable Kingdom (a bit loud and overly bombastic, sonically) and The Stars Look Down (needed a better hook).
On the other hand there are also a few absolute classics.
The pounding hard rock of One Little Victory is an ideal album opener, with it's sonic bombardment of the ears.
Ghost Rider is a classic Rush track. A strong presence, complicated arrangement, all held together with a strong melodic edge. This track is a great modern rocker for FM radio in 2002.
How It Is is has a great change of pace and lots of interesting musical interludes, as does the title track Vapor Trail.
The tough and gritty Earthshine is a favourite – I love the dark tone of Lifeson's guitar sound. The song also has a great melodic hook.
Nocturne is also an interesting track that demands repeated listens.

Points Summary - The Bottom Line
Although it's a monster sound, the technical issues of the production and the debate that has followed causes a few points to be lost.
The songwriting is also fantastic, with minimal space allowed for a couple of tracks I didn't get into.
I love the artwork - I think it's eye catching, original and contemporary also.
Running time - maybe a few minutes, or 1 track too long. Still, it's great value for money after such a time away.

Buy it if you liked:
Rush - Anything!

Line Up
· Geddy Lee: Vocals, Bass
· Alex Lifeson: Guitar
· Neil Peart: Drums

92
Points

Songwriting
37

Performance
23

Production
18

Sequencing
5

Running Time
4

Artwork
5

Available
Points
Songwriting:
40
Performance:
25
Production:
20
Sequencing:
5
Running Time:
5
Artwork:
5

Purchase



07/08/05: Rich - lovedrug_ld50@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
Rush have never released a bad album and Vapor Trails is no exception.It's just the least melodic release they've put out since I can remember.There is sonic brilliance on this album but the songs seem too similar to each other.

13/02/05: SIR GEORGE MARTIN - psimirim@ubbi.com.br
Rating: 70
From the desk of Sir George Martin - England - London

Dear Mr Paul Notefield and Mr Geddy Lee

First- FORGET about apogees TRANSFORMERS to record the direct signal
Second - Buy a NEVE CONSOLE ( Old one preferentially )
Third - Rent 2 STUDERS 2 INCH TAPE RECORDING MACHINE ( Do u know what this thing do, huh ? )
Fourth - Forget the money spended in Reaktion studios, please.
5 - Plug the bass, the guitar and the drum set, directly in the OLD TUBES PRE-AMPS !
6 - PUT THE MAC G-8 OUT THE WINDOW !
7 - BE CAREFULL WITH RATIO/THERESHOLD OF THE UREI COMPRESSORS ( TUBE )
8 - GEORGE MARTIN SAID " NO MATTER THE 24BITS/400KHZ OF DIGITAL, THE ANALOG TAPE WILL BE BETTER FOR EVER AND EVER !!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
9 - Tell to Rush play direct to the STUDERS ANALOG MACHINES !
10 - TELL ALEX PLAY GUITAR AND NO PLAY MANDOLAS, FORGET MANDOLAS, FORGET MANDOLAS ORQUESTRATIONS ( Play mandola only in your home, please )
11 - NO OVERDUBS, NO OVERDUBS ( Marilyn Manson is crazy, forget the sound quality of Mr. Manson.
12 - Ok, overdeubs only in the GUITAR solos.
13 - Sinths? ( I dont know too ), maybe a litle here and there..
14 - LET THE RECORD COMPANY MAKE THE INDUSTRIAL SHIT APOGEE 96KBYTES CONVERSION FOR THE LAST STEP OF THE RECORDING SESSIONS. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ( sMILES AGAIN )
15 - i WILL BUY THE NEXT RUSH ALBUM.
16 - ( I need more beer, my booze over right now !!! )

22/07/04: Bruser - bruser@blub.com
Rating: 4
It's no Caress of Steel. Where's the Necromancer?

03/06/04: Matt - powerslave_666@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
this album rocks. it certainly has more balls than any record since grace under pressure. i cant believe some of you are complaining that the keyboards are missing! who cares. i dont even notice. all i know is: this album rocks. i do hear the clipping, and it is somewhat distracting, but the album feels so alive and vibrant, it almost fits. i love Rush, but they had been in a slight but steady decline for over 20 years, each album not quite living up to the previous one. this is the first rush album to seriously take a step FORWARD instead of back since the early 80s. i'm not saying its as grand as Moving Pictures, but it's certainly better than the last 4 or 5 albums.

27/03/03: John Elway - megjimp@ida.net
Rating: 90
This is my favorite record Rush record of the 90's/200's. These guys keep their trademark sound, yet the tunes are memorable and accesible even to an outside fan. These guys just get better with age.

13/11/02: petch - burn.center@verizon.net
Rating: 95
This band is just simply the best 3 piece in music history! Just captured a few concerts on this tour and like always, they were simply 3 kings! PUT THIS BAND IN THE HALL OF FAME! Rush is simply... the Best! Vapor Trails is another awesome album after a long layoff for reasons understandable. Long live the Kings! I hope to get another gem like Vapor Trails!

22/10/02: Nat Di Stefano - rushrushus@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
Vapor Trails is a good album. Earthshine is a great song. They
have not wrote a song like this since Tom Sawyer, but the album
grows on you just like any RUSH album. The fans will remember the tour more than the album. Some good advice, See the Vapor
Trail Tour and you will will enjoy a 3 hour concert with 28 songs. When is the last time you saw a concert with 28 songs??
You will get vaporized!! Take Care and God Bless !!

19/10/02: Matt - mbp117@yahoo.com
Rating: 75
Well, it’s louder. Not Counterparts loud – the sound here isn’t nearly as crisp or defined as on that album – but nu-metal loud. And more distorted and compressed than I’d ever expect to hear from a band as anal about their sound as Rush, which is too bad, because a better production job could really have made a difference with some of these songs. Critics have jumped aboard this one for some reason, proclaiming it a big “return” for Rush, but as a listener who has kept up with the band since their heyday in the early ‘80s, I can honestly say that I don’t know what the big deal is. The guitars have been all over the place on each of their last two albums (the most frequently-cited reason in the reviews for the renewed enthusiasm), and those never even registered with the critics. As for the songs, I find this album to be, stylistically, a near carbon copy of the last one. It’s full of guitars piled on top of each other, keyboards are all but nonexistent and the songs are mid-tempo riff barages. And, like the last album, this one is surprisingly consistent: there’s nothing bad, a few songs are mediocre, and the rest is pretty good. But nothing distinguishes itself as being a great Rush song and, given the length of the album (58 minutes) you wish that they had cut out the more mediocre material. Despite the many similarities to Test for Echo, it is nice to hear Rush sound as aggressive as they do on Vapor Trails. As “heavy” as Test for Echo could be at times, it also had the air of being rather two-dimensional. There’s little of that on Vapor Trails, though, as Alex Lifeson’s guitar hasn’t sounded this dominant in a very long time. In fact, I tend to think of Vapor Trails as being a slightly better version of Test for Echo. As for everybody else, I can’t imagine any fan disliking the album and I could even see how somebody disaffected by Rush’s ‘80’s techno period could really be into it. But it’s still not Moving Pictures or anythying, and despite having enough power in the riffs to blow it out of the water, I don’t think it’s even Grace Under Pressure in terms of song quality.

17/10/02: Fab - fabricciardi@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
Rush kix ass

30/09/02: J. Redwine - williamhgates2000@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Rush is a rock band. I can't believe there are those who downgrade the album for "missing synthesizers." Guitar, bass, and drums--that's what rock is all about, baby!

Ever since the disastrous "Presto," (well, not disastrous per se but definitely subpar by the band's standards) Rush's albums have gotten progressively heavier and better (Rush is, after all, a progressive rock band). The time off did them good. Geddy sounds better than he has in years, and they're still as tight as ever.

This is Rush's best record since "Signals," in this fan's humble opinion.

23/09/02: Jose Luis - joseluislopez@todito.com
Rating: 58
Well I must say that Im a happy fan due to the fact that Rush is Back and touring, and I will make a dream come true to see them play live in October, here in Mexico City. But Im a little disappointed with Vapour Trails and to be honest I really dont like this album.

I respect & admire the musicanship shown here, their hability to reinvent themselves everytime (which I think that no one else has matched),and there is no denying that the guys are pure geniuses. But This simple mortal, long time fan, simply didnt get what they tried to do this time.

I Loved the Heavy guitar featured on Test for Echo, but I think this time they choose to show a more raw modern guitar approach,that sadly made song quality pay the price in the process. Like many of you have stated, its not that Vapour Trails is bad, but come on guys fairly is not their best album. If I were only rating their habilty to change and performance I would rate it 95, but since Im rating pleasure to my ears & 6 years of waiting this goes 60.

20/09/02: Erik Klaver - emklaver@mac.com
Rating: 97
This is simple. After 6 years, the boys put together a disc that is ahead of any music being played on the airwaves. It's sound is strong and straightforward, its arrangements are stellar, and the musicianship is beyond compare. Everytime I listen to this disc, I am reminded why i am such a fan.

I will say that, at points, the disc sounds somewhat 'raw', but that's how this disc SHOULD sound. Each song has a texture that makes it feel like it belongs. Not every Rush album is a '97'. In fact, some seem to pale in comparison. But this disc is more than one little victory. It is a signal that the boys are back. And judged by their concert (Mansfield, MA, 7/12/02) they're happy to be here.

11/09/02: Larry - ldesposito@jam.rr.com
Rating: 95
I agree mostly w/Andrew's Review here. I feel as if the Cd's production is not as good as it should be. But then again not alot of albums are getting great production these days. Call it the digital age. Everything seems to be recorded at one level and then put together to make this big wall of sound. Still, Rush is Rockin like only they know how and, thank god for that. These guys are one of the few bands that still remember how.

11/09/02: Mike Matney - matneym@charter.net
Rating: 95
Its hard for me to be objective when talking about Rush for they are the first band that really "hooked" me and made me a passionate fan. Every release is a work that stands on its own and this is no different. It is amazing that this CD was even made due to the personal tragedies that Peart has had to deal with.

One Little Victory is an excellent start to album and definitely shows the band is back. But the whole CD is like that. The synths are gone, as are the guitar solos for the most part but musically and lyrically the whole CD rocks! The band hasn't cut loose like this in a long, long time. This is a CD to be played loud. My only complaint is that the production is a little "muddier" than I prefer, but the strength of the songs and music make up for it. And after just seeing the band live they definitely are still relevant as a musical force in the world. Looking forward to the next album!

One little victory indeed!

11/09/02: jose j. maya - maya2112@coqui.net
Rating: 100
is very rush, the best of galaxie ,,,,,,,,,,puerto rico

08/09/02: ddregs - ddregs@email.it
Rating: 80
it's very difficult to judge this record, just because as always I believe Rush are thre years ahead of our times. I always liked every Rush record three years after the release, because of their experimentations in terms of sound and compositions.
Examples? Take the keyboards in the early 80s with Moving Pictures/Signals. The 80s were then dominated by the keyboards. Take songs like Dog Years in T4E, now we have eMpTyV dominated by that kind of sound/songs.
I believe Rush have a strong release in this record. Songs like Freeze are reminiscent of late King Crimson work, yet they're able to add a touch of this new Rush sound, big , fat and bold, but partially ruined by a very bad production, a very bad mix, causing clippings here and there.
Earthshine and Nocturne are probably what the band needed to write and play. Great songs, aggressive since the first note.
Vapor Trails, the titletrack, could have been the best U2 track in the last 10 years if sung by Bono. Awesome song.
My favorite track still remains Secret Touch.
What I didn't like: the sound and mix, some songs like One Little Victory , very bombastic at the beginning and getting repetitive at the end, the lack of guitar solos.
The musicianship here is, as always, great. But I would have liked more intraprendence by Mr. Peart and Mr. Lifeson, in terms of creativity and odd times. Maybe next record...

08/09/02: koogles - endangeredcds@hotmail.com
Rating: 56
The worst Rush album yet. Muddy production, playing that lacks tightness, unconvincing choruses. I can't believe I waited 6 years for this crap.

04/09/02: Mike - mr140657
Rating: 95
Wow! Sorry to disagree with any Rush fans out there, but "too modern", "missing the keyboards" & "nothing solid since Presto" is too much to take. I've been a fan since 2112 and I've always been delighted that the band could grow and change.

Presto is easily their worst release(followed closely by T4E)and the chance to hear my favourite band be both modern and relevant is something I cherish. This is a barnstormer of an album that just rocks.

Welcome back boys!

30/08/02: Charlie - famman@rcn.com
Rating: 92
The new disc by Rush is a welcome return to music that matters. Thank god that bands such as Rush are still allowed to record in this day and age. So much of todays music is throw away junk destined for the cut out bin at the local Wal-Mart. The sonic blast of the first track shows that a "classic" Rock band can still rock out with the best of them, and kick most of their butts. The best song for me is Ghost Rider (Also one of my favorite comic books growing up) it could be a track on any of their discs and not be out of place. My only complaint is that some of the tracks like most Rush discs go on to long, sometimes less is more. THe writing is tight as is the norm on most Rush discs, and the players as always are still the best Line up any band has ever seen. Take away one of them and the band would not be the same. Let's hope that an excellent soundboard recording from this show will show up soon, and if there is one out there someone please contact me so we can work out a trade.

29/08/02: cesar - urim59@starmedia.com
Rating: 100
i really loved that a classic band like rush went beyond the walls and made a vanguardist record, with experimenting on producing and let the band grow (even great bands need to grow to get bigger). i really love this album and i hear it 1 time by day minimum...try to recieve what they tried to give and dont expect that 3 guys that have been playing for over 30 years compose and record the same stuff...they get older, they get wiser. love this record!!!

27/08/02: freddy de keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
I've always been a fervent Rush fan, because they are so talented and they have a unique style. But to be fair, this is a bit of a disappointment. I'ts not a bad record, but it's also far from good. It's too modern, to straight forwards and I miss the nice melodies and the subtle changes in the music. And what is the biggest minor point is the missing of keyboards or synthesisers ! That's something Rush can't afford, if they want to stay a unique act. Not bad, but far from essential and by no means a classic Rush record. Hope the next one (if there ever comes another) is more in their 'old' style !!

27/08/02: Adrian B'man - a.bridgeman@btopenworld.com
Rating: 90
Wow, that review was spot on. I regard myself as one of their biggest fans and i was generally uplifted by the songs on this album. Sure there's a couple of songs that aren't up to Rush's standard, such as Out of the Cradle and Peaceable Kingdom, however overall this is a great return to form. I've already made one of my mates that thinks they're OK to go and buy it and he rates it as his best album of the year so far!!.

It's a pity that they're only playing 4 songs off this album on their current tour (five if you include Ghost Rider which is on rotation with Ceiling Unlimited).

Great to have them back......they were missed.

27/08/02: Chris Silvia - accord2112@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I mostly agree with what you had to say. Being a huge Rush fan since 1981, I almost can't be objective. I feel the production of the cd is not up to Rush standards. You did however bring up a good point, maybe they wanted it too have that feel. I don't want people to say buy better equipment because I do have an above average stereo and I just can't crank this cd. That is my only disappointment. I was terrified of how good/bad this cd would be after all that has happened since Test For Echo. I was very pleased at what they delivered to us. Neil is as good as ever playing the drums and his lyrics are unmatched by any rock band out there. Alex is allowed to play on this cd and the guitar is very prominent. Very underrated! Geddy's singing is very surprising on Vapor Trails. This is the most melodic I have ever heard him sing. It took me 3-4 spins before I got used to it but now love the way he sings.

One Little Victory - What a great way to start the cd. Very strong song! The song has a great feel to it and gets you excited and wanting more. Geddy's shows a different sound to his voice which takes a little getting used to but after a while it grows on you.
Ceiling Unlimited - I really like this song but feel the sound is terrible. There is point in the song where the it begins to shift but just doesn't sound right because of the distortion. Very muddy sound - love the song but almost always skip it due to the sound.
Ghost Rider - What a song! Nice groove to it and Geddy delivers with his voice. Must listen to!
Peaceable Kingdom - Geddy showcases his bass a little bit in this song. Good song.
The Stars Look Down - Again - Geddy does this funky thing with his voice that takes a couple of spins to get into. Like the song although not one of my favorites on the cd.
How It Is - Average song - not a lot to say about this one.
Vapor Trails - Very sonic sound here. Classic case of Rush using words that you have no clue what they mean.
Secret Touch - Catchy lyrics and groove to this song. You will find yourself singing this one long after it is finished.
Earthshine - Alex unleashed! Another song I feel could sound a little better but still one of my favorites here.
Sweet Miracle - Geddy sings this one well - another catchy song to sing
Nocture - This is my favorite song - love the guitar and feel of this song. Not very clean sounding but that might be the sound they were looking for.
Freeze - Strong bass line to start song followed up by some good riffs by Alex.
Out of the Cradle - Great way to end the cd. Good song to sing to.
Endlessly Rocking!

27/08/02: Rob Mallory - ytserob2112@msn.com
Rating: 98
Over the past few decades, few bands have remained in the limelight that can truly be called classic rock. And of the few that remain, even less can boast about many years without a personnel change. After five long years, the best of these bands is back. Although they never actually left, Canadian rockers Rush did take a long break following personal tragedy.

After such a long break, Rush could have released an album of complete drivel, and fans would likely have still devoured it. Lucky for the fans that Rush took their time in creating what could arguably be called their most aggresive, and at the same time, most melodic release to date.

"Vapor Trails", on Anthem & Atlantic records, takes the band back
to the hard rock day's of their youth. Many fans may be appaled by
the lack of guitar solo's, or the complete abscence of keyboards, but
for the most part, the songs are the strongest, both musically and
lyrically, the band have ever written.

The disc starts with Neil Peart worked up into a fury unlike
anything he has done since the brief 'Didacts And Narpets' (from
1975's Caress of Steel). "One Little Victory", the first single from the
disc, was the perfect statement, and a great opening track.

The band then changes direction slightly, with "Ceiling Unlimeted",
the emotional "Ghost Rider", and the Sept. 11th tribute "Peacable
Kingdom".

The second single off the disc, "Secret Touch", is a ballad, Rush style. Starting off sweet and simple (the way out is the way in), and then going for the jugular, a la 'Before And After (from 1974's Rush).

Fans were also very surprised to see a "Part IV of Fear" show up over 20 years after 'Part III of Fear" was released. A confusing matter, beings that, even though 'Part III of Fear' was released in 1981, 'Part I of Fear' was the most current of the series. "Freeze", easily the heaviest track on the disc, should please even the most die hard 'Working Man' (from 1974's Rush) fan.

Destined to become a favorite album among many with Rush fans, "Vapor Trails" is a rock fans dream come true. With a dazzling and unique cover, painted by Hugh Syme, "Vapor Trails" is an instant classic. And that's how it is.

27/08/02: Eric - ayn1@msn.com
Rating: 80
Vapor Trails is just an average Rush release. While not bad it's certainly not their best. In this Rush fan's opinion, the band has not released a solid studio release since Presto.


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