Permanent Waves review by Rush

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  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.4 (16 votes)
Rush: Permanent Waves

Sound — 10
I cannot believe this was not reviewed already. One of the finest albums in my collection, it marks the transition from 70s Rush to 80s. The guys have never sounded better. Geddy had begun to grow in proficiency on the keyboards, and are used to fill in the gaps between the chords, basically. Neil's lyrics are as, well..."Neil as ever. Alex is in top form and a force to be reckoned with. The sound is well produced and engineered.

Lyrics — 10
Neil's lyrics are as good as ever. Geddy's vocal skills had begun to improve, which led to a decrease in his screaming. Alex shows a change from the power chords of their earlier years, to the more complex songwriting involving unusual chords and signature riffing that he's known for, not to mention some of his most amazing solos can be found here. 01. The Spirit of Radio: every fan knows this one, no need to say more than Classic. 02. Freewill: another well known classic. Amazing solo from Alex. Great lyrics. 03. Jacob's Ladder: a rather strange one, I found. Strange synth work, a good effort, decent song, nothing special compared to the rest of the album. 04. Entre Nous: a more upbeat number. Another solid effort, but lagging behind the rest of the album. 05. Different Strings: a very mellow one. This also marks the first time a non member played on a Rush song, Hugh Syme plays a very melodic piano motif under the chorus. A very nice song, if a little sad. 06. Natural Science: a masterpiece. One the band's finest songs ever. About 9 minutes in length, contains different sections, and houses some of Alex's greatest solos ever. The final section has a magnificent chord progression, and one of Neil's finest lyrical efforts, a nice sci-fi theme.

Overall Impression — 10
My favourite Rush album, and arguably my all-time favourite. The Spirit of Radio and Freewill are known as the singles, but the album's highlight is the epic Natural Science. The band's magnum opus in my opinion, a nice amalgam of 2112 and Moving Pictures. Geddy's bass is still impressive (if not as much on earlier albums), Alex just seemed to get better, and this may be his finest guitar album, Neil rocks, as always. This is one of those few albums that have no flaws, everything is well balanced. If all my albums were stolen, this would be one of the first to be replaced. If you've heard of Rush, and would like to try to get into them, this album is a definite yes. All pre-existing fans should already have it.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Are you kiddin"? All tens no but, as far as pushing chops into the mainstream this is an album that stands above everything else that came out at the time. Freewill is about as good a song as you could hope for....excellent musicianship, great lyrics (depending on your point of view), awesome production, and perfect timing though the record buying public weren't really into it. The amount of soul and hard work that went into this album is staggering if you compare it to whatever else was out at the time. Granted there are a couple of songs that weren't quite up to snuff with the rest of the album but it's a defining moment for the band, and the times if you care to read between the lines. The production is very dry yet the band sounds totally loose which is something unusual for the time. No snare/thunder no synth throb, no long reverb on the vocals. Sounds a lot like Moving Pictures as far as production goes but the songwriting had definitely evolved to a whole new level. Listen and learn you "new" bands.
    Big Tommy P
    Woops. I meant to give a 9 for sound. Sorry guys, my bad, thanks for pointing that out. So yeah, I'm the reviewer, meant to be 9.
    gtrboy1 wrote: Listen and learn you "new" bands.
    i agree that rush is amazing but to bash all new music? come on man, theres sum pretty sick shit out there... at least metal. a lot of good rock died in the 90s... classic rock is def the best, especially the heavier/progressive material but theres a lot of good albums to come about recently, not as good as albums like 2112, permanent waves, any led zep album, black sabbath, yes, floyd, etc... but good
    Great review. Just to let you know, Different Strings was not the first Rush song to feature an outside artist. Tears from 2112 was. (Hugh Syme on keyboard).
    undeaded wrote:No album deserves all 10s.
    There are no 100% perfect albums. But there are ones, depending on the persons taste, that could be very damn close to perfect. Those are the ones that deserve all tens. There are very few that I believe are perfect tens but some are:Californication - RHCP2112 - RUSHOK Computer - RadioheadVan Halen - Van HalenMasters of Reality - Black SabbathLed Zeppelin III - Led Zeppelin