In a previous post, I remarked about how Rush vocalist Geddy Lee’s voice had not held up particularly well over the last twenty years or so. Since happening across the R30 DVD about this time (or a little later) last year I have been getting reacquainted with my favorite Canadian band (my second favorite being, of course, Bob & Doug MacKenzie). Having had a little more time to appraise Rush’s work of the last fifteen to twenty years, including their last three albums; Test for Echo, Vapor Trails, and their latest, Snakes & Arrows, I have to say that my opinion has changed.
Geddy Lee may, in fact, not be able to hit some of the notes that he did in 2112, or Rush’s most well-known album, Moving Pictures, but Rush’s music has not lost any of its inventiveness or impact. Sure, there are times when they don’t hit a home run, but a good base hit isn’t bad, either. When I first listened to Vapor Trails after reading Neal Peart’s book, Ghost Rider, I think I was expecting a sound that hadn’t moved on since I went on “hiatus” in the late 1980s. Not prepared for the much more heavy-metal sound, I found Vapor Trails noisy and hard to listen to. Now, after having spent the time listening to Test for Echo and Snakes & Arrows through several times, I find Vapor Trails more accessible and, given Neal Peart’s tragic personal experiences that inform much of the album, that much more poignant.
Just goes to show that first impressions aren’t everything.