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.