Sound — 10
In the real world, there are very few albums that can be deemed masterpieces. Not only that, there are very few bands can be entered in the same league with the Canadian trio, Rush. And, as imperceivable as it may seem, their 1978 offering Hemispheres is a testament to both statements. From start to finish, Hemispheres never ceases to rock the listener, especially from the opener, Cygnus, which is 18:05 of pure epic. The album's overall structure is very intricate in nature, and more technical than most we had previously seen from Rush. Hemispheres also reveals Alex Lifeson's true versatility in La Villa Stragiato, a Spanish-influenced instrumental which features a flamenco Lifeson section. It is truly an underrated piece when placed next to such pieces as YYZ (though I think La Villa Stragiato is far better). There is also another interesting song on Hemispheres called The Trees. It is softer than the others on the album, but with strange lyrical nature which, incidentally is about trees. Overall, the listener will not get a sound like in, let's say, Tom Sawyer, but, in essence, that is not a bad thing. This is progressive rock at it's absolute finest, and any true fan of music will love and appreciate that.
Lyrics — 9
Over the years, Rush has taken an overwhelming amount of criticism regarding the nature of their lyrics. There may be some truth in the fact that some Rush lyrics are cheesy and cliched, but that's what gives them their amazing value and interest. The writing style on Hemispheres carries the scientific/fantasy approach that Peart often pursued. Not as much as previous Rush offerings, but still prevalent. Peart also makes several homages to Greek mythological figures, as evident in the opener, Cygnus and on the album's art, which bears the image of 2 Greek gods. Furthermore, the overall concept of this album is to explore and interpret human psychology, as in, thinking using the left and right portions of the brain, hence the name "Hemispheres." Overall, definately my favorite Peart lyrical offerings.
Overall Impression — 9
Progressive Rock music, at the peak of it's divine capabilities. Not much else can be said. Probably my favorite Rush album for the obvious reasons mentioned above. I would even put it up there as one of the best Progressive albums ever recorded. I think that highly of it. The entire album is great, meaning none of the songs outshine another. They all have a magical ingredient which makes Hemispheres the tasty album that it is. It takes you on journeys that you would otherwise never experience unless you owned this album. It has only 4 songs, but it will leave you with ample memories.