Review of Hemispheres
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 27/01/2010 20:26:20
This album for me is Rush at their 'Prog Rock' best. The atmospheric music is sublime. Buy this CD before 2112 !!
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: Syrinx on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.
plus ca change,plus ce la mem chose
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 12/04/2008 14:26:37
this where rush could have shot themselves in the foot if the next album(permanent waves)had not been so good.this is nobodys favourite rush album and it is a bit too proggie at times.the 3 star rating is for side 2 as the 3 tracks are rush at their best.side 1 is just too pompous and long winded and its the only rush track i never listen to now.thank goodness sense prevailed and the sc/fi epics were binned or rush would have gone the way of yes or even worse asia.buy it for side 2 but not side 1.
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: frankpoole on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.
Sheer breathtaking majesty
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 24/02/2008 22:37:18
This fabulous, inspirational recording caught me quite by surprise, in the autumn of 1978 - I had been nervously awaiting its release when my drinking companion and I called in at the house of an acquaintance. His dad had just returned from the the Far East where Hemispheres had already been released, and it was already on his turntable when we called in. I listened intently for a few minutes. My jaw dropped, and I felt the sting of tears in my eyes, for I was witnessing a triumphant, spectacular return to form. It was simply fabulous.
I hardly know how to begin to describe this album. The 2112-style, side-length epic which kicks off proceedings is, I suppose, really what this album is all about. Like 2112, it's dramatic and atmospheric - but much more stylised, harmonically ambitious and distinctive. And where its predecessor, A Farewell To Kings, was awkward and ill-conceived, Hemispheres is statuesque, graceful, majestic, spellbinding - utterly convincing.
Peart provides a purposeful, powerful yet subtle (and very nearly jazzy in parts) backbeat while Lee and Lifeson weave a melodic tapestry of sonic splendour. Guitar and bass intertwine enticingly across a luscious, panoramic soundscape in a beautifully choreographed ballet of harmonic majesty. There's so much light and shade - Lifeson's guitar slashes like a maniac's razor one moment, soothes like a lover's touch the next - (witness the intense yet delicate, heartbreakingly poignant guitar refrain which makes its first appearance at 1:20 or so, and which in many ways is the signature of the title piece) - this is electrifying, breathtaking stuff, rock music's equivalent of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling.
The three shorter tunes which (used to) form side two are no less accomplished in their own right. Circumstances is a deceptively simple but eccentric and inventive piece and The Trees, of course, is a classic - with an engagingly plucked acoustic intro, a catchy, powerful, thrilling chorus and some delightfully quirky, staccato guitar work from Lifeson. Again, it's a surprisingly simple tune on careful listening, but like Circumstances, wonderfully distinctive and original.
La Villa Strangiato, deservedly a highlight of live performances for many years to come, is an intoxicating cocktail of diverse styles and influences. Their first entirely instrumental piece, it's a patchwork of several quite different short pieces which complement each other superbly and segue together into something even greater than the sum of its parts. Mesmeric stuff, this, and it's all performed with some absolutely captivating, dramatic guitar work; as light-hearted as its assured.
This was as far as they could possibly come within the progressive rock paradigm whose waters they had charted in the early phase of their career, and they must have known it. For their next album, they would reinvent themselves with a highly-charged, more straightforward sound - but, that's a story for another day.
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: DerbySlim on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.
Food for thought
Posted by Play.com Reviewer, 03/08/2007 17:40:42
Rush's 'Hemispheres' is a masterpiece. It contains the epic 'Cygnus X-1 Book Two', 'Circumstances', and the humorous 'The Trees' heralded by many as Rush's best song. Dream Theater fans should be captured by 'La Villa Strangiato', which is, in many ways, a precursor to Dream Theater's brand of progressive metal. 'Hemispheres' is a must-have if you like interesting artistic yet hard hitting rock music.
Note: This Review was made by Play.com customer: TheHumansAreDead on Rakuten’s Play.com on the date shown.