The Canadian super-power trio, Rush, are back with a new album in the works (Clockwork Angels) and a new single available. A single that is seven minutes long. You heard me right. Seven. And it’s a single. For real.
It’s called Headlong Flight. And you know what? It deserves to be a single…this song, despite its epic length, is catchy and features the band in their best form, really hearkening back to their glory days. Alex Lifeson’s soloing on Headlong Flight is some of the most frantic and crazed material we’ve heard from him in a long time. Geddy’s bass parts are equally impressive, and he really goes for the high notes on vocals in the latter half of the track. At his age, and for the time he’s been pounding out these vocals, he should have no voice, but over the course of the last couple of albums his voice has actually appeared to get stronger, and this song provides more evidence of that. Is it even worth mentioning that Neil Peart’s drumming is amazing? Is there a moment in time when it hasn’t been?
Apparently, the track grew out of jam sessions and was originally intended to be an instrumental song (the boys in Rush have returned to including a couple on recent albums), but Neil Peart had written some lyrics that they thought fit very well, and so they decided to write a full vocal melody. Because of that, there is a lot going on in this track (with guitar, bass, and vocals sometimes all providing counterpoint at once), but it all fits surprisingly well. To my ear, this song could have slid easily into the tune lineups for albums like Hemispheres or Permanent Waves.
Now, for all of you Rush haters out there, this isn’t going to make you suddenly love the band. I know some of you don’t like Geddy’s high tenor voice. There’s no need to make mention of it (but I will mention to you that you’re missing out on one of the greatest live acts of all time in any genre of music). As for all of the rest of us, we can already start to get really enthused about the album’s upcoming release in June. If Headlong Flight is evidence of the quality of material on it, then it should be another great release. Rush has been on a roll on the last couple of albums, and this bodes well for them continuing that pattern for Clockwork Angels.
Or, you can stream the new single on Rolling Stone’s site: http://www1.rollingstone.com/hearitnow/player/rush.html
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