Title: “Clockwork Angels”
“Clockwork Angels,” the 19th studio effort from Toronto’s Rush, marks a move to full-fledged concept-album territory. A novelization was recently issued, charting the record’s concept, which is about getting lost in dreams.
Like any good concept record, it’s neat to contemplate, but it’s all for naught if the music isn’t worth hearing. Fortunately, that’s not an issue on “Angels.”
Rush is thick and proggy throughout, sticking to the established formula with “Caravan” and “BU2B,” two singles that appeared for the band’s Time Machine tour more than two years before “Angels” hit shelves.
Time has deepened bassist and singer Geddy Lee’s voice, who was akin to an air-raid siren in his youth. His range remains capable and is now more enjoyable. His fretwork is noticeable, too, thanks to the amped-up, everything-in-front way the record is mixed.
Still, nearly 20 records in, Rush is as muscular and motivated as ever. “Headlong Flight” is an uptempo basher and “The Anarchist” shows off Neil Peart’s incomparable skills.
Most bands don’t make it this long and fewer yet have offerings this strong after 30 years as a group. Even if “Angels” needs a novelization to untangle its concept, it’s an interesting ride without it.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.