Hemispheres Review

artist: Rush date: 09/09/2010 category: compact discs
Rush: Hemispheres
Release Date: Oct 28, 1978
Label: Mercury
Genres: Album Rock, Hard Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Arena Rock
Number Of Tracks: 4
Hemispheres explores the political, social economic, and sci-fi themes prevalent on their early work, continuing the saga of "Cygnus" from A Farewell To Kings.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 28 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Hemispheres Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on december 15, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 10

Lyrics: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Hemispheres Reviewed by: Funky Haddock, on january 11, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: I can't believe no one has reviewed this already! I believe this to be Rush's finest hour. Maybe it can't match '2112' for classic status or 'Moving Pictures' for sheer popularity, yet it remains a criminally overlooked album and is perhaps the last album Rush made as a through-and-through prog rock band. 'Hemispheres' is a fine opening medley and ranks among the best ultra-long Rush tracks. La Villa Strangiato is nothing short of a breathtaking closer and 'The Trees' is also a beautiful track. 'Circumstances' is most probably the weakest track as it lacks the excitement of other tracks although it is by no means a bad track. None of the songs on the album were ever going to be big hits, however, this album was never meant to be split into singles and works solely on the basis that it is a finely crafted album filled with top songs. Alex Lifeson delivers some particularly fine guitar work during 'La Villa...' and indeed during the whole album. Geddy Lee's thundering Rickenbacker 4001 bass and Peart's ultra-tight drumwork provide a solid and exciting rhythm section. Lee also uses a Moog synthesiser here. // 10

Lyrics: Once again, Neil Peart excels with the lyrics. OK, he has been criticised for being 'pretentious', but who cares? On all Rush albums, it is the music that stands out more, and Peart's drumwork is more highly praised than his lyrics. Nevertheless, his lyrics augment the music perfectly, turning Hemispheres into a particularly fantastic flight of fantasy. The lack of lyrics on 'La Villa Strangiato' is perhaps a reflection of ther fact that the track was based on one of Lifeson's dreams and he may have wanted to 'let the music do the talking'. Geddy Lee's vocals, as ever, can shatter glass at a hundred paces and complement the music perfectly. // 9

Overall Impression: Although 'Permanent Waves' would come along two years later and forever put 'Hemispheres' in the shade, it is still a magnificent album and has too many class moments to mention. As with any album of this type, there are classic moments and slow moments designed to build suspense. However, it is an enthralling listen and is perhaps the best document of the sound of Rush. // 10

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overall: 10
Hemispheres Reviewed by: Rockwontdie, on september 09, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: First of all. Rush is my favorite band of all time. The sound so different from a lot of other Bands and that is what got me hooked to them. Anyone that is a first time Rush fan needs to hear this Album, it is a masterpiece. The album is mainly based on Greek Mythology, heard in Cygnus X-1. Other topics include scenarios where its a mass of people fighting against another mass of people, most likely referral to government corruption. Besides that, the music is so captivating and it takes pretty much 1 listen to automatically love it. // 10

Lyrics: Like I mentioned before, the lyrics were based Greek Mythology, and governmental arguments. The music fits so well with the lyrics and sets the mood for the song, like a lot of songs should sound like. Rush does it in a way that is no way possible to match evenly. The singer is also unique from other bands and kind of resembled a Canadian Led Zeppelin at that time period, which I take as a plus to their music. This album is a must for anyone. // 10

Overall Impression: This work if art does not compare to the works of other musicians. Every song on the album is crisp. You will be able to listen to the album front to back. Geddy Lee's astounding bass, Alex Lifeson's jaw-dropping guitar playing and Neil Peart's pounding drum lines and odd time signature beats make this album the best. I think the best song on the album is La Villa Stangiato because one can learn a lot from the musical phrases and it is just so catchy and awe-inspiring. If this album were lost or stolen I would definitely buy it again. Go on and get it people, this album rocks. // 10

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