Web Exclusive! Review of the Day ?Rush: Snakes & Arrows

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Snakes & Arrows
Atlantic (135484-2)
Rating: ****

This first studio album from Rush in five years finds the Canadian trio progressing forward from where 2002?s Vapor Trails left off. In between, they?ve stayed busy releasing two multidisc live albums, a cover album, and two multi-DVD concert videos.

Though not prog rockers anymore, the group ? now in their mid-50s ? has always worked to change its music, not falling back on its prior sound, and Lee, Lifeson, and Peart again succeed on this count.

Peart?s lyrics are wonderful, as per usual, and the music by Lee and Lifeson will keep their fans, as well as more passive listeners, happy. This is a solid effort, and though not one of Rush?s best, a great album.

What Snakes & Arrows lacks is a song that immediately strikes the listener as a standout. Nonetheless, all the songs are good, and in particular, ?Armor and Sword,? ?Far Cry? (the first single), and ?Faithless? are the best of the 13 tracks.

Of the three ? count ?em ? instrumental pieces, ?Hope? stands above the rest, and it is written and performed solo by lead guitarist Alex Lifeson.
With this album, Rush continues to show that they are vital, dynamic, cohesive, and entertaining, even after more than 30 years.

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