Grace Under Pressure review by Rush

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  • Released: Apr 12, 1984
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.6 (14 votes)
Rush: Grace Under Pressure

Sound — 8
I was first introduced to Rush when my dad's friend gave me Snakes and Arrows to listen to. I really enjoyed the song Far Cry and started to get into Rock music. I then listened to a lot of the early Rush music such as the Fly By Night album and Hemispheres. ONe of my friends who also liked their music told me that all their 80s albums after Moving Pictures were rubbish and not worth listening to but after a while I decided to give them a shot. All in all Grace Under Pressure is a very different album to the others but very interesting. Instead of full on guitar and bass riffs like in early Rush music they seem to have aimed to use a lot of synth riffs with guitar bursts over the top. All three musicians once again produce outstanding skills such as the bass line in The Enemy Within and the drums and guitar in Red Sector A. There are more diverse styles to the songs in Grace Under Pressure as there is the usual Prog Rock element but also there are elements of Reggae in The Enemy Within and Between the Wheels.

Lyrics — 10
Overall I think Geddy Lee is in his vocal prime in the Grace Under Pressure album. The words have never been clearer and Neil Peart's lyrics fit perfectly with the songs. Distant Early Warning is a good example of the brilliance of the lyrics but Red Sector A's lyrics stand out the most. Influenced by the holocaust and Geddy Lee's grandparents who were in a concentration camp in WWII, it shows emotional and horrifying images using phrases such as "I clutch the wire fence until my fingers bleed" and "Shouting guards and smoking guns will cut down the unlucky ones".

Overall Impression — 8
Grace Under Pressure is a very good album and I would recommend any Rush fan giving it a shot that hasn't already. The dominating synth, chorused guitar bursts and outstanding drum beats and fills, topped off with some of the most interesting lyrics yet make this album a high achiever for Rush compared to the other 80s albums. The songs that stood out most to me were Red Sector A and The Enemy Within as they had the most interesting styles and greatest lyrics. A downside to the album is some of the songs just can't sustain your attention long enough so you want to listen to them over and over again. A couple of examples of this are The Body Electric and Red Lenses which to me just weren't exciting enough.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have been listening to this album basically since it's release and I still can't get enough of it. I think this is a brilliant album, the music is great and so are the lyrics. Red Secter A is such a great song and Geddy Lee really makes the lyrics come alive.
    The Geddy Flea
    I would disagree with the first review saying that "it semms to lay low as the underdog". That's not true beceause the five thousand times I've listened to this album I've come to the same conclusion, that Grace Under pressure was one of those albums that Rush steped out on their own and it became a classic Rush album and was one of those albums that you could automatically tell that Rush wrote and recorden this album. Also Lifeson isnot apriciated for his guitar solo in Kid Gloves which he himself said that it was one of those solos that required all of his musical talent. One last thing love the Wal bass and the "Hentor Sportscaster"