Sound — 9
The CD (or record, back then) starts off with the title track, A Farewell To Kings. There's an awesome classical intro for about a minute and a half, and then rush gets jammin'. The next song starts with a single synth note fade in, and a free time session. Xanadu, an 11 minute epic has everything from calm laid back playing to a crazy guitar solo to Geddy and Alex playing doublenecks. The song after that, Closer to the Heart, is one of Rush's best songs, even though it's less than 3 mins. Then there's Cinderella Man, which has a drastic change of sound during the solo. There's Madrigal, which has Geddy playing some weird sounding keys. it has a good feel to it, but I have to say it got quite boring. The last song is the 10 minute Cygnus X-1 part one, and the opening instrumental is sweet. It leaves you waiting for the next part, and it was smart for them to place it there.
Lyrics — 9
Once again, Neil outdoes himself with the lyrics. The two extended songs were mainly about future and past fantasy lyrics, and many die-hard Rush fans love that. A farewell to kings (I'm taking my best guess) is about overthrowing government, or not letting any one tell you what to do, somewhat like cinderella man. Closer to the heart, I'm not even going to touch that awesomeness, and madrigal, well, I'm note quite sure about that one. Oh yeah, Geddy's voice is really high on this one. If you want it higher, you should check their next album though.
Overall Impression — 9
I think the best song off of the album was Cygnus X-1 The Voyage Part One. It gives a great feeling. I'd definatley buy a new one if somebody stole it, and beat the crap out of whoever did steal it. My overall impression by this was that rush was trying to put out a great album to match the likes of 2112, not quite as good, but still a great album.