Sound — 9
I loved the new sound Rush has put together. It combines the heavy sound of Vapor Trails and the proggresive rock style of Hemishperes (and mabye a bit of 2112). I was a bit dissapointed however in the first couple of songs, because I did not hear many solos (terrific songs never the less) they have some pretty good solos in the later part of the album though (Faithless, Main Monkey Business, Malignant Nracissim) but nothing face-melting. Hope was a acoustic peice from Lifeson, which was a great piece of music, but that's not the type of stuff I like. And, as always, great bass grooves (especially in Malignant Narcissim) from Lee and awesome drumming from Peart.
Lyrics — 8
The lyric scheme is simple, fate, relegion abuse, hope etc. Some the best lyrics were in songs loke Armor and Sword, Bravest Face and We Hold On, but in other songs the theme was too appartant, repetitive and tiresome. Altough we don't hear Geddy's high pitched wails (like in 2112) anymore, he seems to sing in a calmer, smoother voice(with the exception of the annoying cracks in his voice) and does well for a guy who's 53.
Overall Impression — 9
A great album, one of the better Rush albums to come out in the last few years. The most impressive songs to hear were the two instrumentals, Main Monkey Buisiness, and Malignant Narcissim, (there's even a quote from Team America in Malignant Narcissim lol). The solo in Main Monkey buisiness was the best one on the album in my opinion. Also, Geddy uses his voice like an intrument on the track and it surprisingly sounded good. If it were stolen I'd get it again and curb stomp the kid who stole it from me.