Sound: Retrospective Vol. 2 is a complitation released in 1997 by Rush. You can call it a Greatest Hits from Rush's Synthesizers Years in the 80's. Probably the most famous songs from Rush are in this album. Songs like: Limelight, Subdivisions or Tom Sawyer. The 80's were the period in which Rush almost always used the Synthesizer. My opinion is that these songs made Rush famous, but they are not the best. I feel that Alex Lifeson was pushed to the background and Geddy Lee was even more in the picture. I wish there were more solo's from Alex and more the guitar sound of him sure he has solo's and in Limelight he has a special role. but still you won't hear him as much as in the 70's. Though this is the Progressive Rush, and not the Rush we all heard in the 70's. These songs are the ones that made Rush special, Progressive. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are the most Progressive Rush has ever had a few examples: Subdivisions goes about being bullied but also reflects the fact that Rush isn't mainstream and that Rush is Progressive. The Big Money; Against the power of money, it shows us that Money is just a paper, coin or a number. And we all believe in it. Or this one: Distant Early Warning, this song refers to the Cold War, against the nuclear arms races, the false propaganda or military coalitions. Rush doesn't write about nothing, they write about life and how it is. Especially in this album you'll see how poetic and deep the lyrics of Neil Peart go, you'll have to think about what geddy lee sings before you'll understand. Geddy Lee has a very powerful voice, as always, but not like in the 70's in the 80's he sang more melodic, with more feeling. Though it can be annoying, Geddy's voice is special but not beautiful.
I'd give this a 9, because almost no other band can make lyrics like rush, and not any band i know made songs like these. It can be seen as special in a negative or positive way. // 9
Overall Impression: The most impressive songs are:
- The Big Money: Geddy's fast and groovy bass, the strong synthesizers, the powerfull chords from Alex and ofcourse the heavy drumming and perfect lyrics from Neil.
- Tom Sawyer: Rush's most famous song, Alex's chords will be stuck in your mind after hearing this song, and his solo rocks as always. Geddy's great voice tells you the story about Tom Sawyer and the lyrics behind it, his synthesizer plays along just fine as Alex strikes his guitar and the melodic tune is just amazing. Neil's drumming is as always strong, perfectly timed and his short drumming solo's in between are amazing. If you haven't heard this song you won't know what Rush is.
- Limelight: Another famous Rush song, Alex plays wonderful on this song, his guitar sound is perfect and his riff is number 10 on the best riffs from the 80's. Geddy sings awesome on this song and you won't have a problem listening to it. The synthesizers are a bit on the background during this song, but are fitting good. Geddy on the bass is just amazing as always. Neil's drumming as always strong, perfect fitting in the theme, well what to say, it's Neil Peart. The lyrics are nice to listen and think about. I'd say these are Rush's best songs from the 80's.
I think that this album is very good, because it's sort of a greatest hits. Though some songs aren't a pleasure to listen twice on a day. These songs are very much the same. I wouldn't advise to listen all of the songs on one day, I think you wouldn't listen it so much again after that.
If it was stolen i would definitely buy it again. I can't say it's comparable to other albums. I hardly know any Progressive Rockband like Rush. They are special. If you don't got this album (except if you've got all albums from the 80's from Rush)my advise is: if you are a fan from rush this album is a must-have.
For the people who don't like Progressive rock, don't buy it. This is as Progressive as Rush can get. If you want more Rock like Led Zeppelin style go and buy Retrospective Vol. 1. I have to say, a synthesizer isn't my favorite instrument but the way rush uses it is special, not like Yes or any other Progressive Rockband.
This was my review of Retrospective Vol. 2, I hope you've learnt something from my review. // 8