"Snakes & Arrows" Released! What do you think?

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"Snakes & Arrows" Released! What do you think?

Postby Ghost Rider » Wed May 02, 2007 3:25 am

Alright! It's May 1st and all of us Rush fanatics can finally go crazy!!!! I picked up my copy this morning at 8:00am at Wal-Mart!

For those of you that have the CD and have had a chance to give your initial opinions, post them here! I'll drop mine soon enough :D

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Postby Liam » Wed May 02, 2007 9:37 am

Well...I've been loving this album all this past week due to the leak..but I like the cover art and booklet. Got it at Best Buy about an hour ago...so I'm finally getting the lyrics that I can read anytime instead of looking up 2112.net. :lol:

Still my top 3 songs are: The Main Monkey Business, Bravest Face, and Malignant Narcissism...Although I'm ALSO lovin' Workin' Them Angels more and more each time I hear it.
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Postby Liam » Wed May 02, 2007 9:41 am

Double post. Sorry.
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Postby scottmet99 » Wed May 02, 2007 11:11 am

I just bought the CD today, but so far I like it very much. I will need to give it more listens though. I like the album cover and how the lyrics are enclosed.
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Postby Ghost Rider » Wed May 02, 2007 12:06 pm

I've got to say that "Far Cry" is still my favorite on the album. Nothing against the rest of the material, but I've been so overexposed to it and it's such a great tune that I can't help but put it on top for now. I've only been able to spin it a couple times so far (other than burning it to my HD and putting it on the iPod) and have found the new material to be interestingly unique. Sometimes it sounds so mellow only to turn heavy before you know it. I don't really get a "vintage" vibe from it as much as I feel an enormous sense of ultra maturity from their music. I hear all sorts of past influence on the album, but overall it has its own identity and carries itself quite well.

Right off hand, "Spindrift", "The Main Monkey Business", "The Way the Wind Blows", "Faithless", "Good News First", and "Malignant Narcissism" come off as making the quickest impact (not in any particular order). The entire album exhibits new life from the guys; just like they've been waiting a long time to bust out. Nowhere near as many keyboards as I was expecting to hear (always a good thing!) Maybe I'm just deaf but I don't understand the fuss about Geddy's vocal overlays - they aren't as bad as people are making them out to being. In the past, they were accused of all their music sounding the same - that simply isn't the case anymore as each song is significantly different with its own identity and evokes a different reaction one after another. Oh, and if you can't tell after listening to S&A that Neil Peart is a hardcore, science-only atheist, then nothing will.

This one should go from gold to platinum pretty quickly. I look forward to posting more about the album because I'm sure my tastes will change from day to day just as they did on VT.
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Postby ProgRocker53 » Wed May 02, 2007 1:12 pm

GREAT album. "Bravest Face," all three instrumentals, "Far Cry," "Armor and Sword".... ah, heck, all of 'em are at least good, most of 'em are great, and some are just amazing.

Just when you think you've heard Rush do it all, they pull more out of their bag and impress even more. I love the acoustic presence on this album, Alex is definately the star of this one.... a couple nifty solos! I'm surprised that Neil "stayed in the pocket" so much on this album, but he's just as good as ever. I LOVE Geddy's voice... he manages to give each song an unique vibe while on some earlier albums his voice sounded similar on every song. His style has certainly matured and shaped quite a bit, and I love it.

I've played the whole album three times today and will probably crank it once more before bed. Brilliant material.
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Postby MartyMoffatt » Wed May 02, 2007 4:26 pm

Got it last night so I've only had a chance to play it all the way through once so far. My first impressions are very good. It seems to have more variety and texture than any of their albums since, probably Counterparts, and is more instantly accessible than any album since Hold Your Fire (all their more recent albums do take longer to grow on you).

There are some tunes here that are going to sound really great live.

I'll report in with a more considered and detailed review when I've had a chance to listen a few times.

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Postby MartyMoffatt » Wed May 02, 2007 8:15 pm

OK, having listened for a second time now, in my car on the way to work, I can add to my previous post and sum up my impressions of this album in one word – BRILLIANT.

This is in my opinion the best album Rush have released in 20 years. If you are already a Rush fan you should get this NOW. If not, you should still at least give it a listen.

I know Geddy Lee’s vocals are an acquired taste and not particularly liked even by some fans. However, in terms of total musicianship this band are second to none, and the album has been very well produced. You can hear every note of every instrument in the wall of sound that is unmistakably Rush.

Of special note here is guitarist Alex Lifeson. Everybody knows that Geddy lee is one of the world’s most respected bassists and Neal Peart is one of the top two or three rock drummers ever. Alex has always been the forgotten member of the band, despite being a supremely talented guitarist. However, on this album, Alex comes to the fore and, especially on the acoustic guitar, his ability shines through.

For those that don’t like the vocals there are no less than three instrumentals, and one of them, ‘The Main Monkey Business’ is one of the finest rock instrumental pieces you will hear anywhere. This is going to be a phenomenal tune played live.

Overall, the album has more texture and variety than most recent Rush albums. I’ve been checking out some of the other the Rush forums, and while fans generally were a little disappointed with the last two or three Rush albums, this time they are waxing lyrical about what appears to be a genuinely great new CD. Roll on the UK leg of the tour in October.

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Postby scottmet99 » Wed May 02, 2007 11:56 pm

I am listening to "The Main Monkey Business" now and it's killer. I agree that the new album is more diverse than Rush albums in recent years.

I am the type that needs to listen to an album several times to form a better opinion, but so far so good. I also love "Armor and Sword".
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Postby Ghost Rider » Fri May 04, 2007 8:24 am

I've read a ton of reviews and they are pretty much dead on when they say that you've got to spin it at least three full times to start getting underneath all the layers of play on the album. I've put it on my iPod and played it in my car while on the road all day long. After four times around, I'm starting to get a better feeling for it an flat out like every song on the album.

:D As of today, I'm really favoring: Far Cry, Armor & Sword, Workin' Them Angels, Spindrift, The Main Monkey Business, The Way the Wind Blows, Faithless, Bravest Face, and Malignant Narcissism.

:? On the other hand, if I had to say there were weak spots...The Larger Bowl and Good News First. Everything else (Hope & We Hold On) is good.

If I had a wish, it would be for less acoustics which mellow out the album. It's not as hard of a rocker than I was anticipating and hoping for given the early previews and with Raskiewlinecz at the helm. However, it's a damn good album and well orchestrated.

:D :D :D I'd like to see "The Main Monkey Business" take home a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental next year!!!!!
"Pray, and pass the ammunition!"
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Postby styxdudebrandon » Fri May 04, 2007 11:45 am

One Word - AWEsome!
:)
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Postby MRMUSIC413 » Fri May 04, 2007 6:36 pm

Ghost Rider wrote:I'm really favoring: Far Cry, Armor & Sword, Workin' Them Angels, Spindrift, The Main Monkey Business, The Way the Wind Blows, Faithless, Bravest Face, and Malignant Narcissism.

On the other hand, if I had to say there were weak spots...The Larger Bowl and Good News First. Everything else is good.





You pretty much nailed it for me with the exception of "Bravest Face"...not a fan of it.

I really hope they play "Faithless" (far and away my favorite track), "TMMB", and "Spindrift" live.
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Postby MartyMoffatt » Fri May 04, 2007 8:17 pm

'Good News First' does seem to be the track everybody sees as the weakest on the album (all relative of course as its a very strong album). I've also not quite got into Spindrift yet. However, everything else is, for me, absolutely top notch.

The Main Monkey Business just sounds better and better with every listen. This has to get nominated as rock instrumental of the year.

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Postby MartyMoffatt » Fri May 04, 2007 8:24 pm

Ghost Rider wrote:If I had a wish, it would be for less acoustics which mellow out the album. It's not as hard of a rocker than I was anticipating and hoping for given the early previews and with Raskiewlinecz at the helm. However, it's a damn good album and well orchestrated.


I really like the accoustic parts on this album. For me that is what has been missing from their last two or three albums, as it gives more space for the vocals and more texture to the overall sound. What's more, the production on the album is soooo crystal clear you can turn up the volume and rock out to it without feeling like your eardrums are being assaulted.

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Postby Ghost Rider » Fri May 04, 2007 11:29 pm

MartyMoffatt wrote:I really like the accoustic parts on this album. For me that is what has been missing from their last two or three albums, as it gives more space for the vocals and more texture to the overall sound. What's more, the production on the album is soooo crystal clear you can turn up the volume and rock out to it without feeling like your eardrums are being assaulted.

Marty


I can't argue with good logic about why things are the way they are. You know, listening to some radio interviews with Alex and Geddy have given me an understanding of why the acoustics have actually benefited the production of the album. If they are necessary, then I'm absolutely all for it. I guess what I'm saying is that I really enjoy Alex when he's really mashing out. He's such a great MUSICIAN rather than just a great guitarist. Need I say anything about Ged and Neil?

I'm 100% with you about audio clarity. Well produced, mixed, and very clear! My speakers don't dwarf this time around :lol:
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Postby JrnyScarab » Fri May 04, 2007 11:46 pm

Ghost Rider wrote:
MartyMoffatt wrote:I really like the accoustic parts on this album. For me that is what has been missing from their last two or three albums, as it gives more space for the vocals and more texture to the overall sound. What's more, the production on the album is soooo crystal clear you can turn up the volume and rock out to it without feeling like your eardrums are being assaulted.

Marty


I can't argue with good logic about why things are the way they are. You know, listening to some radio interviews with Alex and Geddy have given me an understanding of why the acoustics have actually benefited the production of the album. If they are necessary, then I'm absolutely all for it. I guess what I'm saying is that I really enjoy Alex when he's really mashing out. He's such a great MUSICIAN rather than just a great guitarist. Need I say anything about Ged and Neil?

I'm 100% with you about audio clarity. Well produced, mixed, and very clear! My speakers don't dwarf this time around :lol:


Yup. Much better sound than VT. Still a LOUD mastered CD, but done right without the harshness of VT. Love the sound of the power chords mixed with the acoustic. Nice smooth crashing sound. One of their very best CD's I think.

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Postby JrnyScarab » Fri May 04, 2007 11:49 pm

MartyMoffatt wrote:'Good News First' does seem to be the track everybody sees as the weakest on the album

Marty


Man, It seems like no one likes this song but I LOVE it. The part that does it for me is the break in the middle when the bass really stands out with the strumming acoustic guitar. (Right when he starts singing "Some may say they never fear a thing, but I do). That whole sections gives me the chills. The bass sounds like he doubled up his bass guitar with some synth bass as well. Nice lines through this part.

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Postby stabbim » Sat May 05, 2007 2:52 am

JrnyScarab wrote:
MartyMoffatt wrote:'Good News First' does seem to be the track everybody sees as the weakest on the album

Marty


Man, It seems like no one likes this song but I LOVE it. The part that does it for me is the break in the middle when the bass really stands out with the strumming acoustic guitar. (Right when he starts singing "Some may say they never fear a thing, but I do). That whole sections gives me the chills. The bass sounds like he doubled up his bass guitar with some synth bass as well. Nice lines through this part.

Ed


"Good News First" is one of my least favorites on the record, but I agree that the bridge is beautiful, musically and lyrically.
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Postby roknroseville » Wed May 09, 2007 3:49 pm

I wish i could agree with most of the reviews but......
I've listened to the cd 3 times & I kinda find it boring.
Like many of you i have all there cds , dvds solo cds & plenty of boots...
But Just like there last few cds there's no fire....
Far cry sounds like it could of been on any of the past 4 cds they released.
I'm glad to see Alex stepping out a bit...
But the thing that bores me the most are the vocal melodies... I've heard them all before.

Question..
When was the last time RUSH released a song that made everyone think Holy crap that is killer?
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Postby stabbim » Wed May 09, 2007 4:20 pm

roknroseville wrote:Just like there last few cds there's no fire....


You didn't think Vapor Trails had any fire? I mean, it might have been hard to get to under all that horrible digital distortion, but that there was a damned passionate album if I've ever heard one. Then again, my favorite Rush album is Presto and I think Hemispheres is unbelievably overrated, so what do I know?

rocknroseville wrote:Question..
When was the last time RUSH released a song that made everyone think Holy crap that is killer?


Everyone? Heh. Not ever. :lol:

Sorry you don't dig S&A. I know a few folks who feel the same way. Rush changes a bit with every new release, and I'm glad that this time the kind of music that they wanted to put out happened to be the kind of music I wanted to hear.
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Postby roknroseville » Thu May 10, 2007 12:26 pm

Hey,

I'm a huge fan of RUSH..
The last cd they put out that i really dug was Counterparts

My 3 favorites are
1.MOVING PICTURES
2.FLY BY NIGHT
3.GRACE UNDER PRESSURE / PERMANENT WAVES
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Postby MRMUSIC413 » Thu May 10, 2007 4:36 pm

roknroseville wrote:Hey,

I'm a huge fan of RUSH..
The last cd they put out that i really dug was Counterparts

My 3 favorites are
1.MOVING PICTURES
2.FLY BY NIGHT
3.GRACE UNDER PRESSURE / PERMANENT WAVES



I agree about COUNTERPARTS... and before that my last favorite was MOVING
PICTURES.... (I got into the band in '76 with 2112...and saw them for the first time in '80..
and I favor the material from '76-'82.)

You should really give this new cd repeated listens. It has the crunch/feel of COUNTERPARTS. (I
especially notice that feel from tracks like "Spindrift", "T.M.M.B", "Faithless", & "The Way the Wind Blows".
I'm a drummer for over 30 years (and yes, Neil is God... LOL) but this, like COUNTERPARTS, is
very much an Alex record.

It's a major grower, trust me... took me and my wife a few listens too...
"All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
Its really just a question
Of your honesty..."
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Postby ddregs » Fri May 11, 2007 4:39 pm

I listened to this record 10 times before voicing my personal opinion, so there we go.
First listen: found the record pretty bland and uninteresting. I immediately went to the 3 instrumentals, and found Malignant Narcissism to be a "poor brother" of YYZ. Same structure, nice riff ending in bass improv + drum improv a-la YYZ. But it was way too short and nothing like the genius of YYZ. The Main Monkey Business is a different piece, very cohesive, with some Celtic influences, could have found place in a sort of Clannad-record. Nice piece, nothing like Rush have done before. Hope is a nice guitar piece, nothing impressive but more about the melody.
As for today: the record grew a lot on me. While I don't think this is a masterpiece, I prefer this over Vapor Trails. I know lot of people don't like Test for Echo, I'm in the minority since I really like it , and I find Snakes & Arrows is a more organic and mature record but without the impact their previous records have. It's more laid back, mellower, with echoes of their 60s influences (The Way the Wind Blow is a mix between the Driven riff from T4E and their Feedback-Crosby Stills & Nash influences). Lifeson is the star of the record for his guitar textures and colours, very nice use of the acoustic guitar here and there.
Anyway I miss tracks like Test for Echo (the titletrack), or Show don't Tell, even One Little Victory. Far Cry as a single is below their standards. Nice single but no impact. I mean, there are no rockers or pieces that stand out as they always included in their records. Power Windows had lots, Hold Your Fire too, Presto , Roll the Bones had, Test for Echo and Vapor Trails too, this one is really very slow compared to the previous.
My final opinion is : I expected something different, this one really is different from what they've done before but includes tidbits from the past (Spindrift echoes of Vapor Trails mixed with Power Windows, Bravest Face echoes something from Presto and so on), it's a good record, but really not my favorite Rush record. This morning I listened again to Power Windows and man what a difference. very interesting drum lines, bass lines, perfect lyrics. I really believe the best Rush is what I got in my memories.
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Postby Blindfaith » Mon May 14, 2007 5:05 am

Its a good album but its not has a good has 2112 or moving pictures (rushes best album 2112 hands down) but like rush is always better live then on the records ill finally be seeing them for my first time july 4th for this tour. the biggest negative about the album in the cover art it sucks so much i dont care about the board game the back art is really good the inside art is really good but the cover it sucks. all well its good and worth a good listen to and its a good part for the collection.
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Postby Blindfaith » Tue May 15, 2007 9:30 am

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Postby Socratic Methodist » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:10 am

In a nutshell....WEAK.

I like 3 tracks:

Far Cry
Armor and Sword
Larger Bowl


and Neil does still RAWK!
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Postby MRMUSIC413 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 6:03 pm

The album is still a major grower... a lot of great things to take in.
And after hearing 9 tracks live this past weekend, I'm even more into
a few tracks that were just "okay" prior to the gig. Both "Armor & Sword"
and "Workin' Them Angels" packed a wallop live... hell, all of the new material
did for that matter.
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Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
Its really just a question
Of your honesty..."
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Postby maverick218 » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:26 am

Great CD! Like it a lot better than Vapor Trails. Since Journey is hosed up, Rush may be my new favorite band.
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Postby OzzMosiz » Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:20 am

I just can't get into it, but I did dig the songs live.

Power Windows, Presto and Moving Pictures are my favourite albums.

I also never really got into Vapor Trails either.
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Postby Gaffguitars » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:09 am

I know I'm really late with this but I need RUSH albums to marinate in my psyche for a long time before I can make an honest assessment. When it comes to RUSH I have so much anticipation for new material that my judgment can be cloudy at first. Either I'll hate it then a year later find myself loving it and can't get enough of it (Vapor Trails, Test For Echo, Hold Your Fire) or I'll love it and a year later not be too into it (Counterparts). This one kind of falls in the middle. Great sound to the album I must say. There isn't any songs I don't like. I think my favorite would be Armor and Sword with Far Cry right behind it. Malignant Narcissm is awesome too. Even though I feel it's a strong effort and I do really like it, I find myself listening to Moving Pictures and 2112 again wondering if I'll ever love a RUSH album as much as these two again. Or any of the pre-Signals albums, minus the first one.
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