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Rush - Counterparts

Started by Slim, August 22, 2022, 09:48:38 PM

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It's 1993, and the three members of Rush, each having reached that landmark birthday that starts with a '4', are recording their 15th studio album.

They have a successful recording career behind them, they sell out arenas when they tour, they have a dedicated fan base. They have surely achieved everything they could have dreamed of when they embarked on their musical careers and they have nothing left to prove.

If that sounds like an ideal set of circumstances to produce a dud album, well - Counterparts tends to support that theory.

There appear to have been two distinct forces at work in the composition of this album - guitarist Alex Lifeson's decision to abdicate his talent for creative, intricate and subtle guitar playing in order to reinvent himself as an unimaginative heavy rock riffer (I wonder if the term "mid life crisis" may help to explain this) and singer/bassist Geddy Lee's new-found love of the radio-friendly superficial pop song.

The result? Something with an aural resemblance to an illegitimate love-child of a Roxette b-sides compilation and a tape of Who outtakes, though not actually as faintly enjoyable as that description might suggest.

At its very best, this is shallow, throwaway, limp corporate rock. At its worst, it's dull, leaden, uninspired riffola - or in the case of the dreadful Nobody's Hero, surely a new lowpoint for the band - buttock-clenchingly embarrassing drivel.

One for completists only. To be fair, it was an improvement on their previous effort, Roll The Bones.

The band's next long player was a marked improvement and saw the Canadian trio making enjoyable music again, with a degree of energy and inspiration. But in the Autumn of 1993, having made two dismal albums in a row, Rush appeared to be a spent force.

The Picnic Wasp

I like Counterparts. It coincided with the happiest period of my life being in a relationship I still miss to this day. I love its  clarity, edge and feel. Nobody's Hero admittedly is an awkward arrangement of sentiment and little thought out musical structure. I'm not sure why it made it to the cut. A re-write and a bit of TLC might have helped it become a possible for their next offering. But I don't wish to go there. The dips in Rush wonderfulness have always seemed to echo those in my life. Didn't even like typing echo there!


Always hated Animate...couldn't really get to grips with this album at all...
From The Land of Honest Men

The Picnic Wasp

Strange how our love for this band is never uniform. If they ever come back (after the Rapture] Matt will have field day! I hope they open with Animate. I hope they still sell lager at Wembley Arena after the Rapture.😭