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Thoughts on Rush - Vapor Trails

Old 05-14-02, 09:36 AM
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Thoughts on Rush - Vapor Trails

I picked up the new album and my impression after listeneing to it 3 times is: I don't like it very much. I heard that many fans were considering it their best since Moving Pictures. Well, it's probably my least favorite since Moving Pictures.

I think many of the songs sound like songs on Geddy's solo album. I see no comparison between this and Moving Pictures, except maybe that it is a little harder. However, they sacrificed melody somewhere along the way. I think this album has quite a few similarities to Test For Echo.

I really do not like the way Geddy has sung on this album, as it is very similar to his solo album (which I did not like). The most frustrating thing about this album is that I actually like the choruses on many of the songs, but dislike most of the verse parts.

Alex has some interesting guitar parts, but most of them are cut too short. A lot of the "jam" parts reminded me of listening to Yes, with monotonous bass doodles that go on too long.

There are no keyboards on this one, and I think they would have helped. I'm not promoting a return to the keyboard-heavy sound of Roll The Bones or Hold Your Fire, but I think when they are used the right way to create atmospere and background, they are great. And Rush always had great keyboard parts.

The vocal layering is hit and miss. On some songs it works and on some it is overkill and sounds a little silly. Too many "woo-oohs" and "Ah-ahs" for me.


That said, my favorite songs are Vapor Trail, Earthshine, and I guess Ceiling Unlimited. The ones I hated are One Little Victory, Ghost Rider, and Peacable Kingdom. The rest fall somewhere in the average to below average category.
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Old 05-14-02, 09:43 AM
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One man's trash is another man's treasure - I absolutely love it.

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Old 05-14-02, 10:56 AM
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I haven't heard it enough yet to fully form my opinion of it, but one thing is for sure: it is better than T4E (but I don't see how a Rush album could be worse than T4E, IMHO).
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Old 05-14-02, 12:20 PM
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cdollaz,
I wouldn't call Roll the Bones keyboard heavy. Hold Your Fire was the last keyboard heavy Rush album. Presto, RTB, Counterparts, and TFE all lacked keyboards IIRC.
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Old 05-14-02, 03:50 PM
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Well, Cdollaz- I have to agree with you....partly.

I've only listened to it completely once. I'm a drummer, and have always worshipped Neil Peart (as many drum heads do), and after hearing the first cut, I was psyched. It was good to hear Neil do some more double bass work. My first impression on the rest of the album, especially vocals, was that the mix was bad- I was in my car, and at first blamed my cheap speakers. However- on my not-so-cheap system at home, it still sounded funny- almost like Geddy was lost in the background when he should be up front.

Throughout their carreer Rush has changed styles. I certainly wouldn't compare this one to the heavier sounds of their early releases and imho, it's not even close to Moving Pictures. I've found this one to be better than T4E, but very disappointing overall..... I can't this one being a CD that will be in my player very much. Hope the tour is good (as they always are in concert!)
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Old 05-14-02, 06:16 PM
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I'm about half way through it. So far, nothing has really reached out and grabbed me by the short hairs yet. The lyrics for Peaceable Kingdom looked great, but musically it left me sort of cold.

This is most definitely not their "best album since Moving Pictures", as I have seen it described. It sounds like a followup to Counterparts (which I really liked), and not too much like Test for Echo (which I also liked). Overall it's decent, and it's not the kind of thing that will turn off fans, like Presto (which I'm largely indifferent to).

It's not bad, though, and like anything complicated, it will take a little while to sink in. Most of what I've heard should work out fairly good live.

I also agree that it's not the best mixed album I've ever heard, especially for radio play. I first heard One Little Victory over the air, and it was hard to make out what was going on.

Hopefully they won't be five years making the next one
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Old 05-14-02, 08:00 PM
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I like the stripped down aproach of this new album. More of a harder edged approach akin to some of the styles today. But Rush sounds like no one else. Secret Touch is my favorite track so far. Neil lyrics are more personal, understandably so. This has grown on me faster than TFE or Counterparts which I could never get into. Can't wait for the tour to start!

ps Anyone here think Nocturne begins with Neil about to break into "And The Cradle Will Rock..." lol

Last edited by Hannibal; 05-14-02 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-14-02, 08:36 PM
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Picked it up on lunch and gave it a listen in the shower after work. Obviously not the best listening environment, but so far the second half of the album stands out more for me.
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Old 05-14-02, 08:42 PM
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Re: Thoughts on Rush - Vapor Trails

Originally posted by cdollaz
I heard that many fans were considering it their best since Moving Pictures.
Funny, I heard the exact same thing when TFE came out.
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Old 05-14-02, 08:59 PM
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Re: Re: Thoughts on Rush - Vapor Trails

Originally posted by Aghama

Funny, I heard the exact same thing when TFE came out.
Ya'll er tough on the rockin' Canadians.

Here's the problem with RUSH...

There's soooo much time between studio albums and touring that any album that comes out is so EAGERLY awaited that that same line comes out every time. I like RUSH and I don't think any of there albums are bad. Some are better than others but to me none are bad.

But RUSH's worst stuff is STILL better than most bands out now.
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Old 05-15-02, 02:20 AM
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Originally posted by kramdenfan


I've only listened to it completely once. I'm a drummer, and have always worshipped Neil Peart (as many drum heads do), and after hearing the first cut, I was psyched. It was good to hear Neil do some more double bass work. My first impression on the rest of the album, especially vocals, was that the mix was bad- I was in my car, and at first blamed my cheap speakers. However- on my not-so-cheap system at home, it still sounded funny- almost like Geddy was lost in the background when he should be up front.

Heard it twice and I think that the problem is in the MIX. This is one SERIOUSLY overcooked disc...it is mixed WAYYY too high...it pegged every level meter my system has for the entire 67 minutes! I hear noticable distortion on every track almost to the point where the disc is almost unlistenable. I hope that this was not by design... Anyone else have these problems??

But the compositions, writing and performance are tremendous, as always.

Last edited by Foole; 05-15-02 at 02:28 AM.
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Old 05-15-02, 09:39 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Thoughts on Rush - Vapor Trails

Originally posted by Giantrobo

I like RUSH and I don't think any of there albums are bad. Some are better than others but to me none are bad.
None are totally crap, true. But TFE was trying really hard to be.

I listened to Vapor Trails a couple of times when it was leaked, and once yesterday, and I like it, but it's only the best album since Counterparts. But then, I think Counterparts was their best album since Permanent Waves.
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Old 05-15-02, 02:06 PM
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I prefer the 80's an d90's RUSH to the 70's...

but this thing leaves me cold. I loved COUNTERPARTS, and was dissapointed at T4E...but who the hell recorded this?

Is there any melody what so ever???

Someone mentioned the mixing, and I would agree. This hard edged/heavy distortion was not what I was hoping for.

Sounds like Alex's solo album from a few years ago.

oh well, least the tour is comming.
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Old 05-15-02, 02:16 PM
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Hope you guys don't mind me getting off the subject just a bit, but I saw a listing for a soon to be released DVD called "Neil Peart: Work in Progress". Can anyone tell me exactly what that is? Any details or info would be appreciated.
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Old 05-15-02, 03:14 PM
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Picked it up yesterday and listened to it for a while(stupid traffic jam!). I have to agree, the mix is terrible. The vocals are not upfront but somewhat hidden. They don't stand out enough. The mix also sounds very dirty. Lots of distortion. Totally unlike the clean sounds of Counterparts and TFE. The important question is, do I like it? So far it's a mixed bag. I like One Little Victory(sounds like it could have been on counterparts to me) I like Vapor Trail, Secret Touch, Nocturne and Fear. The others range from passable to awful(Ceiling Unlimited is bad in my book). So it seems like there are a few proverbial "diamonds in the rough". Not a great album but I still need to listen to it a few more times. The one suprise is that while listening to Freeze, the drumming sounds EXACTLY like the Enemy Within at one point. I thought that was cool. Overall, I like it but it's definitely not "their best since Moving Pictures". I'd say it's not as good as Counterparts but may be better than TFE(I'll reserve my judgement until a little later). To sum it up though, on my way home I was stopped at a light and I remembered I had the remastered Signals with me. I happily swapped out Vapor Trails and put in Signals and sang along to Countdown for the remainder of my ride
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Old 05-15-02, 04:52 PM
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Here's a coupla other threads describing the mix and how it seems too hot:

http://www.geddylee.net/cgi-bin/ulti...c&f=1&t=003582

http://pub176.ezboard.com/ftherushch...icID=166.topic

http://www.rushmessageboard.com/cgi-...t=ST;f=1;t=628

Last edited by Foole; 05-15-02 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 05-15-02, 07:55 PM
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After listening to the whole thing, I feel better about it that I did at the halfway point. Nocturne and Fear Part IV are great. I'm glad there's no instrumental too.

Will have to give it a few more listens, but it's perfectly acceptable as a Rush album. Like someone said above, even bad Rush is better than most of the stuff out there today, and while not great, it certainly isn't bad Rush.
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Old 05-15-02, 07:57 PM
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Originally posted by anglagard
Hope you guys don't mind me getting off the subject just a bit, but I saw a listing for a soon to be released DVD called "Neil Peart: Work in Progress". Can anyone tell me exactly what that is? Any details or info would be appreciated.

It's a DRUMMER'S instructional video and I've been meaning to pick this up. BUt I'm hoping it will show up on DVD.

It's sounds like a rare oppurtunity to see how Neil works.


Neil Peart: "A Work in Progress"

by DCI

This is a two-video box set containing almost FOUR hours of insight, instruction, philosophy and performance from one of rock's most celebrated drummers. After taking a year and a half sabbatical from performing to "re-invent" himself, via intensive study with master teacher/drum guru Fred Gruber, Neil Peart felt the time was right to produce a video. As a result, Neil's entire approach to drums and drumming -- from grip to set-up -- had been rebuilt, and a video was the perfect means for him to impart his new attitude about percussion. Included in "A Work in Progress" are discussions about Neil's complete change in set-up, warm-up routine, accompanying a vocalist, use of traditional grip, concepts of fluidity and circular motion and a very personal look at the history of Neil Peart, complete with early film clips and photos. ©1996.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 05-15-02 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 05-15-02, 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by Giantrobo



It's a DRUMMER'S instructional video and I've been meaning to pick this up. BUt I'm hoping it will show up on DVD.

Check out www.rushbackstage.com its there
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Old 05-15-02, 08:54 PM
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Foole,
You're right about the mix being too hot. If you're listening to this in the car/home I suggest to turn the bass down 40%.to what you're used. By no means is this a solution but it's much more tolerable and songs become more accessible shall we say. All the little nuances come through. I enjoy the album more now (I've had it early for about a week now). The clipping is there and it will affect people differently, kinda like edge enhancement on dvds. I don't think its completely unlistenable like some people are screaming it to be.

Last edited by Hannibal; 05-15-02 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 05-16-02, 12:31 AM
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Originally posted by KnightLerxst


Check out www.rushbackstage.com its there

thanks!
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Old 05-20-02, 02:01 AM
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There are some interesting discussions going on at www.therushchronicles.com about the high levels of the album. Apparently the levels are so high that tracks are clipping like crazy.

Someone actually ran the individual wave files through cool edit pro and used a clip restoration feature to try to cool the levels down. I did this myself and it does make a difference.

Check this out...



This is what Peaceable Kingdom looks like in Cool Edit. The wav is completely peaking for almost the entire track, and all the tracks on the album are like this.

So either there is a bad printing, it is a bad mix, or Rush did this intentionally for a really raw distorted type of sound. The last option just sounds really wierd to me since there are other ways to achieve distortion, but then again this is Rush we are talking about.

Oh and for no particular reason here is the Rush wallpaper I made the other day.





This post is brought to you by the letter "3"
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Old 05-20-02, 11:08 AM
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Originally posted by KnightLerxst
There are some interesting discussions going on at www.therushchronicles.com about the high levels of the album. Apparently the levels are so high that tracks are clipping like crazy.


So either there is a bad printing, it is a bad mix, or Rush did this intentionally for a really raw distorted type of sound. The last option just sounds really wierd to me since there are other ways to achieve distortion, but then again this is Rush we are talking about.

Oh and for no particular reason here is the Rush wallpaper I made the other day.



This post is brought to you by the letter "3"
After 27 years or so with making albums I would think that they would know what they were doing. I believe that they would have known about this issue before Atlantic distributed it. My guess is they wanted it like that for some particular reason.

Oh and by the way the Rush wallpaper is cool! Any links for 1024 *768?
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Old 05-20-02, 08:20 PM
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1. I think the mix of the album was good. In fact, I thought Geddy's bass parts particularly good. But I know I tend to like bass more than the "average rock fan". I think people just look for reasons to critique RUSH because it's safe to say RUSH FANS are smater than the average pop music fan and we need to keep our brains going with OVER ANALYSIS.....

2. I thought the album was GREAT. I think the songs took Geddy's voice into different areas and as usual, the playing was fantastic.


I can't wait to see this show LIVE.
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Old 05-20-02, 11:44 PM
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Originally posted by Giantrobo
1. I think the mix of the album was good. In fact, I thought Geddy's bass parts particularly good. But I know I tend to like bass more than the "average rock fan". I think people just look for reasons to critique RUSH because it's safe to say RUSH FANS are smater than the average pop music fan and we need to keep our brains going with OVER ANALYSIS.....



I love this album and the mix doesn't bother me too much. There are just some points where it is too damn muddy.
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