Signals Review

artist: Rush date: 07/06/2010 category: compact discs
Rush: Signals
Released: Sep, 1982
Genre: Progressive Rock, Hard Rock
Label: Anthem, Mercury
Number Of Tracks: 8
Stylistically, the album was a continuation of Rush's foray into the technology-oriented 1980s through increased use of electronic instrumentation.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (2) 21 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Signals Reviewed by: Deathbass89, on september 15, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rush has a knack of developing a different sound for each album they produce. Signals is no exception. The writing started in 1981 during sound checks on the Moving Pictures tour and was released in 1982. The reliance on the keyboard on this album is very noticeable and is apparent in the Such songs such as the widely known Subdivisions, The Weapon, and Countdown. They have kept their progressive quality intact while writing normal length songs. In fact, The Weapon (Part 2 of "Fear"} is the last epic Rush wrote in their career so far. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart are all great musicians and need no introduction. // 10

Lyrics: Neil Peart as always does an excellent job at writing lyrics. Not only does Rush's music set them apart from a normal band, their lyrics also does the job. The lyrics are very varied in this album. Such as social issues (Subdivisions), science fiction (Digital Man), retrospect (Losing It), and real world events (Countdown) are explored. It is amazing how Neil Peart's lyrics fit well with Geddy Lee's singing style and voice. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall, Signals is a masterpiece that I believe is under looked because of it's critically acclaimed predecessor, Moving Pictures. It's an underrated work of art that deserved more attention. In fact, I am surprised that this album wasn't even an option when I first started this review. I had to choose "Other" and type "Signals" out in the text box below. It's hard to compare any Rush album to each other since each have a unique sound but I can sat that it is my personal favorite. There are some songs on here that would probably be recognized by people that are not that familiar with Rush such as Subdivisions and New World Man. This doesn't mean that the rest of the songs aren't just as good. The Analog Kid is an upbeat song with a nice soft keyboard chorus. Chemistry has a nice flow and some interesting lyrics. Digital Man is probably one of Geddy Lee's best writing on the bass. The Weapon (Part 2 of "Fear") is a longer song which seems like an experimentation on the keyboards. Losing It is a slower emotional song with a guest appearance by Ben Mink on the Electric Violin. Countdown, in my opinion, is among the most underrated Rush songs of all time. The atmosphere that this song creates is so amazing, you can literally visualize in your mind the Space Shuttle launching from the ground, even at first listen. Not to mention Geddy Lee's wonderful keyboard playing in that song. There is only one flaw I see with this album. I feel that the production quality was a step back from Moving Pictures. It just sounds a little too soft. All in all, if you are a Rush fan you most likely already have this album but if you are a person who just likes Rush, there is no reason to pass this precious gem up. If this album was stolen from me or I lost it, first thing I'll do is go out and buy it again. If you like music in general, get this album. You will not regret it. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Signals Reviewed by: DownInAHole., on july 06, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 1982 was a difficult time for Rush. The multi-platinum Moving Pictures was released the year before and brought the band all sorts of commercial praise. The band finally had gotten the recognition they deserved but only pefore dropping the bomb on producers/management that they wanted to explore new musical callings and stray away from their progressive past. This fueled extreme tensions between the band and their personnel and resulted in the departure of long time manager and executive Terry Brown. These events foreshadowed what was to be possibly one of the greatest transition albums of all time, Signals. Signals is definitely a curve ball when you're perusing the Rush discography, for it marked a far more prevalent use of electronic instrumentation. This album sees the use of sequencers, keyboards, synthesizers, and a smattering of other guitar effects that pushed Rush directly into the 80s. Less emphasis was placed on bass guitar and drums in this album and was more focussed on synthy, uplifting melodies and the flexibilty of Alex Lifeson's guitar playing. The album also features more of his solos, which was a treat to the listening ears. I think it's somewhat ironic that the band was trying to push away from their progressive past and give their fans a different piece of themselves, and, by doing so, created one of the best progressive rock albums of all time. To sum it up quickly and accurately, the Signals's musicianship is stellar, the electronics are used tastefully, and the lyrics are rich in meaning without rooting themselves deep in complexity. The experimentation is prevalent and the song's lengths are cut in half from most of Rush's previous work. A solid, basic, rocking Rush listen. Definitely a delight to the ears. // 9

Lyrics: Signals is actually the last Rush album in which Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson contributed lyrics, and, seeing as "Chemistry" is the weakest song on the album (lyrically), it was a good thing they did. As stated above, Peart's lyrics are not even close to the deep conceptual nature of his previous offerings. He writes about random things on this record. "Losing It" is Peart's ode to Ernest Hemingway, in which he chronicles his latter years. "Countdown" is about the Columbia space shuttle (which has since crashed). Rush had the experience of watching its shuttle take off and it really moved Peart. As you can see, it's definitely not the deepest of Peart lyrics, but this album was more or less about Rush re-discovering themselves, to they're admissible. // 8

Overall Impression: An amazing transition record. Rush successfully took all of the doubt and criticism that they faced and in the process created something beautiful during a period of confusion. On the grand spectrum, this album charted high and reached platinum, continuing on the astounding Rush legacy. If you're ever out, pick up this album. It will show you a different side of music. // 8

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