Snakes & Arrows Review

artist: Rush date: 03/29/2012 category: compact discs
Rush: Snakes & Arrows
Release Date: May 1, 2007
Label: Atlantic
Genres: Hard Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Album Rock, Arena Rock
Number Of Tracks: 13
A return to their former glory days, Snakes and Arrows shows this seminal prog rock band reclaiming some of the sonic territory that they'd lost over the past few years.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 8.9 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.2 
 Users rating:
 8.5 
 Votes:
 315 
 Views:
 689 
reviews (11) 33 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.7
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: TheHeartbreaker, on may 22, 2007
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album carries the similar fashion of shorter, five to seven minute songs that became a familiar sound to the Rush name since the 1980 album Permanent Waves. Musically speaking, this album contains much the same Rush sound, while at the same sound drawing influences from Eastern music (for example, The Main Monkey Business, which shares a similar riff to Yes's The Revealing Science Of God - Dance Of The Dawn from Tales Of Topographical Oceans), as well as, to me, what sounds like the Blues (for example, on the introduction to The Way the Wind Blows, as well as the solo to Good News First). This album also contains three instrumentals; two of which consisting of the shortest Rush tracks ever recorded. There is also a single that has been released from this album, which is the first track, entitled Far Cry. With great music and an extremely catchy chorus, this may be my favorite Rush single ever. The album's production is superb, and thus allows for the overall experience to remain enjoyable throughout. // 10

Lyrics: This album contains some amazing lyrics, as have most Rush albums. As usual, all of the lyrics were written by drummer Neil Peart, and also as usual, they are intricate and interesting to listen to. While some songs are, lyrically, stronger than others, you'll always find yourself reading along with the lyrics on the inside cover, attempting to decipher any deeper meaning to Peart's work. While I do miss some of the ideas presented in Peart's science-fiction works (such as the story behind the Cygnus pieces), I also really enjoy both the creativity and message behind songs such as The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum), which uses the interesting pantoum device to convey a message about our world. // 9

Overall Impression: Compared to Rush's previous albums, Snakes and Arrows does a great job of living up to the band's infamous name. Musically and lyrically I am very impressed, and I know that this album will become one of my most played (I've always listened to it four times over a course of twelve hours). Even though I have this album now ripped to my iTunes program, if I lost this CD I would probably go out and buy another copy rather than simply burn this album (for the reasons that I want to support the band, as well as the fact that there are great illustrations that accompany each set of lyrics with the pamphlet that comes with the album). // 10

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overall: 9.7
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: Kevin67, on may 22, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This is Rush's first album since 2002 and it proves that after 33 years, they still have it, if not even more of it. The songs on this record are very dynamic and diverse. They have some soft songs and some heavier songs. There is also 3 instrumentals that go through a range of styles. The music on this album sounds nothing like anyone else. The skill these musicians posess is huge but they don't just shred the hell out of you like a lot of bands today. They write great songs with catchy melodies and innovative playing. // 10

Lyrics: Neil Peart's lyrics never seem to disappoint. They are not the typical sci-fi lyrics that are on most Rush albums, but they are still fantastic. They go great with the music because they capture the ambience created by the music. Some people may not like Rush because of Geddy Lee's unusual voice but I feel that it is just another part of what makes Rush Rush. // 9

Overall Impression: I would say this is at least in the top 3 Rush albums. It's just that awesome. I think the best songs would be Far Cry (the single), Malignant Narcissism, Good News First, and We Hold On. I love the complexity of the songs, especially the instrumentals. The drumming is just amazing. Neil Peart is the greatest drummer of all time. I would recommend buying 14 of these albums so if it got lost or stolen, you would never be without it. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: domthebomb90, on may 22, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rush has always been known as having three of the greatest musicians to their respected instrument. Neil Pert rocking on the drums. Alex Lifeson tearing up the guitar. Geddy Lee pounding bass guitar. This album is no different. While Alex Lifeson could have done a bit more with his parts, Geddy's bass is amazing in the entire album. Very complex and interesting. Neil Pert does a great job on drums, as well. Hitting just about every drum, cymbol, and crash he can find. Snakes and Arrows has a few upbeat songs, notably Far Cry, but the rest of the songs sound very depressing and sad. Not that that's a bad thing, because the songs can still rock. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics to this album are very interesting. Based mostly on Neil Peart's books, the lyrics can be very depressing... but I guess that could be expected after the horrible events occuring in Peart's life recently. With the loss of both his wife and daughter, the album goes through his different emotions. There are three instrumentals on the album, each telling their own story without the lyrics. Geddy sounds just as he did 30 years ago. His voice hasn't changed at all and he sounds comfortable with the tone and mood in each song, singing out confidently. // 10

Overall Impression: The album boasts just one single, Far Cry, but could definitely support more. Notably, tracks 2 and 3 "Armor And Sword" and "Working Them Angels". "Armor And Sword" features an acoustic guitar, while "Working Them Angels" features a heavy electric guitar. The song "The Main Monkey Business" is a rather lengthy instrumental, but has a heavy sound and sounds really cool. "Bravest Face" is my second favorite track (second to Far Cry) and it is followed with "Good News First", another well-written track. Overall, Rush hasn't lost its touch and has brought some of the best hard rock I've heard from a classic band in a very long time. The album doesn't dissapoint and I recommend it. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: TheLlamaMan, on august 19, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Snakes & Arrows is Rush's 18th full-length studio album, and most recent to date. After over 30 years of studio albums, live albums, compilations, videos, and tours, you're bound to expect something you've already heard 100 times, or a total lack of ideas. Thankfully in this case neither are true, in fact, Snakes & Arrows in my eyes is one of their greatest works yet. Out of the thirteen tracks on this album, not a single one is dissapointing. The band seems to have gotten even tighter with their sound then ever before; each instrument locking into place with the other to create a sound rivaled by very few in this age. When one instrument pulls back, another jumps in a bit more to fill the gap left behind, leaving the sound full and nearly flawless in every aspect. The songs are fairly long, usually around 5-7 minutes each, but if you are expecting a few epic masterpieces rather then several normal lengthed songs you may be disappointed. Although at times I find some songs seem to have the same general form, or the same sound and feeling to them, for the most part each song is captivating and will draw you into the music. The three musicians in the band - Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson - perform not only nearly perfect in their song writing but also in their instrumentation and musical skill. Geddy Lee's bass playing has gotten nothing but better; a dominant, important, and almost always interesting part of every song. Geddy is great at both supporting the rest of the band while also often showcasing his talents and becoming a strong focus of the music. On both electric and acoustic guitars Alex Lifeson proves to us that he is not yet done with music. From amazing electric guitar solos to awesome acoustic passages he delivers greater then you might expect. Finally, Neil Peart's drumming is also nothing less than spectacular. From intense drum fills to crazy beats, he'll leave you completely satisfied. Overall, this album is just fantastic. Full of great songs that are well constructed and contain spectacular instrumentation, there's hardly anything that's wrong with this album. Sure, some of the songs can be similar sounding, but it's not enough to really get in the way. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics, written by the band's drummer Neil Peart, are up to par with what you'd expect from Rush: full of emotion and deeper meaning. The message on the surface is rarely all that there is to the songs, looking deeper into the lyrics often lead you to discovering a new meaning behind what appear to simply be words. On actual vocals, Geddy Lee does great. On top of the high pitched singing and screeching that seem to go hand-in-hand with his name, it's obvious that his ability to sing has gotten even better. No longer limited to his signature style of singing, and is also able to sing more mellow and calm stuff without ruining the mood. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is great, and can't be described as anything less than a masterpiece. Full of interesting concepts, song structures, lyrics, instrumentation, and vocals, this album will leave you wanting more. It's hard to pick favourite tracks from this album, but the acoustic instrumental "Hope" has always been near the top of my list, along with "The Way the Wind Blows", "Faithless", and "Armor and Sword". If you are a fan of Rush, pick this up now. If you haven't heard any Rush and are interested in giving them a listen, this is a good a place as any to start listening. If you hate Rush, I suggest you go cry silently in the corner, because they as amazing as music gets. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: Freebird79, on may 26, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: van_halen_fan, on july 23, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Being that it is Rush, the music was so strong and powerful. Two songs that really stood out were Far Cry and Malignant Narcissism. But to me, some of the songs sounded the same. Even though I favor their old material better, I really enjoyed this CD and hope that Rush still continues to make music throughout the years. // 9

Lyrics: Since I liten to their older music, I'm used to the songs being written with a sci-fy, fantasy approach. The lyrics included on this CD blew my mind. It was based on Neal Peart's reflections on faith, and I feel that since he was writing personally, the songs are extra special. Geddy Lee has still got the vocals, even though they may not be as high as they used to. His singing was extraordinary on this album. // 10

Overall Impression: Again I listen to Rush's older music more, and I'm used to the classic, bluesy rock feel. This album has a newer rock kind of feeling behind it, which I don't mind. It's amazing how Rush changes with the decade of music and still manages to rock out. My favorite songs on this album are Far Cry, Malignant Narcissism, The Way the Wind Blows, and Bravest Face. As a bassist, I really enjoyed the bass lines established by Geddy Lee, as with any Rush song. The only think I didn't like was that some, not all of the songs sounded a little similar. If I would lose this CD I would definitely head out to the store the very next day to buy it again. // 9

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overall: 10
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: Promothus, on december 12, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: As being an all-out Rush fan, I always expect a Rush album to bring something new to the table, something different, something fresh. Vapor Trails, their previous recorded album (excluding the full cover Feedback) was a good sound, but it was a little bit too noisy, too distorted. But, Snakes and Arrows proves that Rush can create good sounds, they can go back to their roots. Three instrumentals? No way! And one by none other then Alex Lifeson, or, Lerxst. Malignant Narcissism is considered a mini-yyz to some, I haven't seen anyone not agree with that. While Alex was dealing with legal issues, Geddy and Neil were doing takes to make sure they have their songs down and such, and an old friend recorded Geddy playing some sick bass riffs after each take. And he goes up to Geddy and says "Dude, that's a song!" Neil had already put his drum set away, but he had a 4 piece set for rocking out, so, they created what they could, then, when Alex came back, he made the guitar riffs. At the Rush 2007-Snakes and Arrow's tour, that was where you could experience and fully appreciate the sound they used in Snakes and Arrows. When the 2008 tour dates come in, I recommend going to any near you! // 10

Lyrics: Neil Peart. His lyrics, his words, his passion of writing, unbelieveable. And it's amazing how someone can say he's the second worst lyricist. It makes many people laugh. Getting off track. Snakes and Arrows had some pretty heavy lyrics to go with their songs. And this refers back to their sound. If you listen to some of their old music, such as Test For Echo, Counterparts, Presto, Grace Under Pressure, Moving Pictures, you notice that the lyrics sync in beautifully with the music. Snakes and Arrows is no exception, take a look at Spindrift, makes me think of a 'Double Agent' when they wanted to get some noise going for their last song on counterparts. Bad comparison? You be the judge. But what about Far Cry? Or even Workin' Them Angels? Think of it this way, once you listen to the album a couple of times and you remember the lyrics, you notice that the lyrics with the particular music work beautifully. You can't help yourself from singing along with the song, right? // 10

Overall Impression: If you were asked to name musicians today that are creative, who would you name? Pretty hard, huh? Rush is always original on their music, they don't try to be as flashy as many musicians try to be. There's no point, they stay true to themselves and don't let anything change the way they do music. Snakes and Arrows proves once again that, even for being around for 33 years, they can still make music, with great songs that always catch your ears. Nothing but creativity. When I listened to the album, I was blown away by the sound. You could tell it was Rush, but then go "WOW" because of what they composed. I was sucked in to the song Workin' Them Angels and Spindrift. Quite possibly my two favorite songs on the album, and possibly my most favorites of all time. Really, what is there to hate about this album? Of course, you have those "Great Rush Fans" who put down the album because it doesn't sound like Rush. You can not honestly tell me you are a "Great Rush Fan" if you put down a powerful and moving Rock album coming from true musicians, the same musicians together for 33 years. Some say they overdid it, I disagree. Some say it's too noisy, I disagree. Look back at Vapor Trails. Far Cry (as a single) blew Vapor Trails out of the water. The lyrics, the sound, made Vapor Trails look like dust on the floor. Some say they want the old Rush back. I disagree on this as well, because, this sound, their playing, shows to millions that they still feel young. If you lose this disc, don't burn it off of iTunes or from your Windows Media Library. Buy it again. Show that you truely love Rush for what they have done to the millions out their today. They have influenced many musicians to start playing, and in fact change some people's lives through their music. // 10

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overall: 8.3
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: ivanyadam, on april 29, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Overall another great album by a great Canadian band. More or less an expansion on their original style, with an occasional mix of a present day heavy distortional type of rock genre, as displayed in 'Far Cry' and 'Workin them Angels'. Maybe not so much a heavier type of rock, but a little more common to the latest rock style as compared to their unique sounds in past albums. Another few instrumental songs which were a success in my opinion (More jam sessions gone right for them apparently). Nice acoustic in 'Hope' and some fine bass runs in 'The Main Monkey Buisness'. Both quite easy to play but very tasty nonetheless. A bit dissapointed in their lack of utilization of arguably the greatest drummer alive. Seems like Peart didn't get any break out rolls in any of the instrumentals, and the other singles just don't have the stand out solos in any instrument like they used to. Perhaps a sign of aging, but sad either way. // 9

Lyrics: Not much of a lyrics kinda guy but mostly the same type of style of songwriting as their old albums. Geddy's unique high pitched voice continues to be stellar. Somewhat difficult to recognize what their message intent is in some of their songs. But I say again, I'm not a lyrics kinda guy. // 7

Overall Impression: All in all they've still managed to put out a solid album from start to finish with some great tunes that would be a good listen for any Rush fan. Don't expect any mind blowing bass runs, guitar solos, or drum rolls, but in terms of song writing they've once again proven to be one of the best rock bands to go through the ranks. // 9

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overall: 7.7
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: mqsand2112, on september 16, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rush's sound in this album was quite different then the older hits in my opinion. It's still had the same Rush feel but the syles that that they used in this seemed not nearly as rw as what it had been before. Instead this album had a certian flow to it that linked each song. And this album brought backsome of the acoustic powers that had gotten lost amongst Rush's amazing metal power. All in all it wasn't a bad sound, just new and different. // 8

Lyrics: Well, most of the lyrics seemed to focus on rebirth and a larger perspective on life and the way people live so maybe this can give us a hint as to what the band was thinking and doing during the grace period before the album came out. The lyrics were smooth and always complimented/never contradicted the music. There wasn't as much screaming from Lee but he is a bit older now. Maybe we can give him a break, even though he still did an amazing job, as usual. Lyrics were all right, got me thinking a bit. // 8

Overall Impression: The overall impression was not what I had hoped for when I purchased the album but I was surprised enough to enjoy it. Even though it kind of brought up the other side of Rush, if you really listen you kind of tell that they haven't lost anything. I think this was just there way of saying "Hey were not gone yet!". Making there last mark in the History of Rock. // 7

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overall: 9.3
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: ClassicDrmr1898, on december 16, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Rush has always been known for having complex music and for trying something new with their songs. This CD is definitely no exception. Their music toys around with different styles from the soft and serene, to the fast and energetic, and every song sounds unique and is great. The traditional Rush instrumentals are back too, with 3 of them on this CD, and all three of them are completely different. Simply put, if you're a Rush fan, or a progressive rock fan at all, you'll like this. However, many people who don't like Rush for the reasons of maybe not hardcore enough or the lead singer's voice is too weird, this CD won't change your mind. It doesn't exactly cater to the fans, cause Rush doesn't need to do that, but it's not gonna change anybody over. // 9

Lyrics: This CD keeps constantly proving how great of a lyricist Neil Peart is. His lyrics are always trying to convey a message, and these messages fit very nicely with the music that surrounds each song. My favorite lyrics come from the songs "Faithless", a song about not having faith but still believing in hope and love, "A Larger Bowl", a song about how unequal society really is no matter how much people try to convince you otherwise, and the first single off the album, "Far Cry", a song about how the world we were promised isn't exactly what we hoped. Every song makes you think about it's lyrics, and about what these guys truly believe, and they do it in a way that they don't call anyone out or discredit anyone else. It's the way that anyone should put forth their arguments. Again, Geddy Lee, the lead singer, isn't gonna change anyone's opinion about his singing, but he does what he needs to for each song and makes it truly about the lyrics. Incredible is all I have to say. // 10

Overall Impression: While this isn't exactly the best album Rush has put forth, it is an incredible album in it's own right. Especially considering how long these guys were gone for since their last album. Rush has this tendency to do an album, go on tour, then wait a couple years before making a new one. But hey, it's better than nothing. This CD is great for Rush fans because it's the form that Rush is so used to and just loves so much, but it's not gonna change anyone's mind if they don't like them already. Overall, I'd say this is a terrific album and a must own for any Rush or progressive rock fan. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Snakes & Arrows Reviewed by: MetalheadXYZ, on march 29, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I'm a hardcore Rush fan. I'm 17, about to turn 18 on April 7 and I've been a Rush fan, well, since I was 8. I always went over to my Aunt Dawn and listened to Rush albums, which got me into Rush. And it states that Rush is my favorite band of all time. Always has been, always will be. On this album, I've heard the album so much I don't know if there's a story to this album. But this album, Rush has kept their sound, it's heavy on the acoustic guitars. There are lots of acoustic guitar passages on this album. But it has some rocking moments. And has 3 instrumentals: "The Main Monkey Business", "Hope" and "Malignant Narcissism", which all 3 were played live during the Snakes & Arrows Tour. The song, "Faithless" was played on the Time Machine Tour, in which they played this song, and "Presto" for the first time and it was also the first time they played their "Moving Pictures" for the first time in its entirety. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are just incredible. It has some very good songs on this album. The lyrics are amazing. I love the lyrics to "Armor And Sword", "Workin Them Angels", "The Larger Bowl", "The Way The Wind Blows", "Faithless", "Bravest Face", and "Good News First". This is the chorus to "Faithless", which is my favorite song, and my favorite line on the entire album: "I don't have faith in faith, I don't believe in beliefs You can call me Faithless, you can call me Faithless But I still cling to hope and I believe in love and that's faith enough for me and that's faith enough for me." // 10

Overall Impression: Rush - "Snakes & Arrows", compares to other albums. I'd say "Snakes & Arrows" would have some songs that'd probably be on "2112", "A Farewell To Kings", "Hemispheres", and "Moving Pictures". This album, was really fun. I enjoyed it. 60 minutes of musicianship. They had very high musicianship on this album. My favorites off this album were: "Far Cry", "Armor & Sword", "Workin Them Angels", "The Larger Bowl", "The Main Monkey Business", "The Way The Wind Blows", "Faithless", "Bravest Face", "Good News First", and "Malignant Narcissism". Likes: I love a lot about this album. Dislikes: there is absolutely none. // 10

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