.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/aab0dba289b0d0795a769e477a7f0682af58faff.jpg Signals

Rush

Signals

Polygram
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 2 0
October 28, 1982

On their twelfth album, Rush makes a strong argument for the view that advanced technology is not necessarily the same thing as progress. Unfortunately, they do so largely by screwing up. Although Signals is chockablock with state-of-the-studio gadgetry, ranging from the requisite banks of synthesizers to the latest in digital recording and mixing, none of these electronic add-ons enhances the group's music. If anything, Rush emerges from this jungle of wires and gizmos sounding duller than ever.

The band's chief error seems to have been emphasizing synthesizers at the expense of Alex Lifeson's guitar. Because Rush's concept of synthesized sound is so narrow — consisting mainly of the vague whooshing sounds that are the aural equivalent of dry-ice fog — the band tends to sound like it is trapped in wads of lint. With no edge to work against, Geddy Lee's congested vocals float through the songs like swamp gas. Ultimately, it's up to drummer Neil Peart's hyperkinetic thrashing to hold the performances together.

Ironically, Rush falls into this technological morass on an album that is otherwise their most poppish yet. By and large, the songs on Signals are tuneful and unencumbered by the sort of gratuitous flash that made previous albums seem like clearinghouses for worn-out art-rock licks. Even so, it's mostly a wasted effort, and nearly all of Rush's Signals come across as static.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com