Rush - Signals
(2 reader votes, average 5.00 out of 5)

by Ben Perry


Band Name: Rush
Album Name: Signals
Release Date: September 9, 1982

Band on Record:
Geddy Lee: Bass, vocals, and keyboards.
Alex Lifeson: Electric guitars
Neil Peart: Drums and Percussion.

Also Featuring:
Ben Mink: Electric violins.

Track 1: “Subdivisions”
I love the way everything musical blends together into one perfect assault on my ears. That includes the vocals to add depth and personality to the guitar riffs and drum beats, accompanying the keyboards in adding the depth this track really takes shapes and quickly became one of my favorite Rush songs.
Song Rating: 10 out of 10

Track 2: “The Analog Kid”
This reminds me more of classic Rush with a lot of prog elements and thundering bass, but never forgetting about the guitars over there adding flavor and spice. Geddy Lee does a great job vocally on here, singing very smoothly and adding nice effects to the vocals now and again to spice things up.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10

Track 3: “Chemistry”
Beginning with a strong drum driven beat, that breaks down into a more bass riding song that has very sharp guitar breaks to counteract the lower registered bass and drum tones. The vocals are not as good on this song as the previous two, but still sound good when added to everything.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10

Track 4: “Digital Man”
This is the tamer of all the songs that have come thus far on the album, at times you would expect things to pick up, but that never truly happens. The music is pretty good, but the vocals never have caught my ears too well with the chorus being the best part for the vocals. The solo is decent, but maintains that plodding feel that pervades on the song with some help from the keyboards.
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Track 5: “The Weapon”
The chorus on the song is one of my favorite from the album, for some reason the words and the way Geddy Lee delivers them just sounds perfect adding layers of sensuality to hearing them. The guitar is again broken with sharp, distorted riffs as the bass and drums really carry the song along.
Song Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Track 6: “New World Man”
One of my favorite songs to hear live, and this album version is also quite good. Great vocals throughout the song, also a great prog atmosphere with the way the music constantly changes and adds new elements at crazy times. Everything meshes and sounds great, though.
Song Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Track 7: “Losing It”
The closest thing to a ballad on the album, and the ambience created by the guitars and keyboards playing against one another creates a terrific mood driver. Vocally, Lee does a fantastic job keeping the emotions right where they need to be, allowing everything to flow through that emotional conduit as the drums lay the groundwork that everything plays over.
Song Rating: 9 out of 10

Track 8: “Countdown”
My least favorite track on the album, although it has great music flowing throughout the song as bass and guitars rip against each other and the drums crash along for the ride, there’s something with the delivery that rubs me wrong. It most likely has to do with the voice-overs to go with the song name and take up a good portion of the song. It’s better than Europe’s “Final Countdown” at least :P
Song Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Overall Review:
This album moves Rush from the highly successful Moving Pictures album more into the 80’s style of music with the inclusion of keyboards and other technological sound devices providing a different atmosphere than a lot of the earlier Rush releases. I, personally, like the change as it fuses the new style with the old before the keyboards become too over-drenching in some of the later releases. Musically the band is genius as they typically are, and lyrically there are a lot of issues and ideas being played with.

Ironically, with the increase of technological use in the music there is also a undercurrent of disdain for new technology in the lyrics as there is a stigma that it makes the human race less productive and less meaningful. “Losing It” states how 30 years ago the world would be more vibrant and allow the author to have “words flow with passion and precision” and before the author the dancer does not want to dance anymore because of aching limbs, her chest being “stiff as wire, her lungs on fire” being juxtaposed to the song “New World Man” that has entered into the new world of technology and although everything seems to be a “rebel and a runner…a restless young romantic” but in this world into which he is born he known what is the correct path but is “young enough not to choose it” and has the ability to “win the world” yet “weak enough to lose it.” If things had remained as they were 30 years ago, as it was for the writer perhaps things would be longer lasting and more fruitful than the “New World Man” that is destined for great things he will never be able to do.

This new world is also one of great surveillance in the public realms. Rush riffs off their old geek-rock of sci-fi themes here with a 1984 atmosphere of conformity presented on “Subdivisions” where “Growing up seems so one-sided/Opinions all provided/The future pre-decided” and the observation picked up in “Digital Man” where besides mentioning the word subdivided mentions how this digitalized man is “under observation/We monitor his station” being completely in chain to his technology. I would not say Rush is anti technology of the advancement of humankind, however they are apparent of the dangers that arise with the advent of new equipment. Science Fiction also tries to show the dangers of advancement, and Rush being big sci-fi guys know the way technology is viewed and the harmful things that can come from it. Although it does provide a pleasurable listening experience, the ability to survey through digital means, especially with the advent of the computer cannot be overlooked. This keeps Rush’s music even more current after 25+ years, there is a warning and a meaning behind all the great bass, drum, and guitar riffs that make up the music of this band.

Rush are a time defying band that will be around long after the band stops releasing albums and their impact on society from the ground up is also something that will never be diminished. For those who do not care so much for the nitty-gritty there is always the great music that will always be there and how that influences other bands to keep up the tradition of great rock as well as be the watchdogs to the masses as music is a medium that is widely heard.
Overall Album Rating: 9 out of 10



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