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Natural Science: Mess or Magic?


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Poll: Natural Science (51 member(s) have cast votes)

Which thought is closest to yours regarding Natural Science?

  1. It's my favorite Rush song. Sheer perfection! (7 votes [13.73%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.73%

  2. I'm not sure if it's my favorite but it's up there. Excellence! (34 votes [66.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  3. The talent is obvious and it's a good song but there are other tunes I can rattle off that I enjoy more. (10 votes [19.61%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.61%

  4. It's an okay jam but honestly, it's probably somewhere in the middle of all Rush songs. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. It's below average. It's definitely not the worst thing around but I don't like it a whole lot. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  6. It's an overrated, overappreciated mess. I rarely/never listen to this anymore. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

What grade would you give Natural Science?

  1. A: Superior (39 votes [76.47%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 76.47%

  2. B: Above average (11 votes [21.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 21.57%

  3. C: Average (1 votes [1.96%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 1.96%

  4. D: Below average (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. F: FAIL! (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Which songs off Permanent Waves do you enjoy more than Natural Science?

  1. The Spirit of Radio (15 votes [19.23%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.23%

  2. Freewill (14 votes [17.95%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 17.95%

  3. Jacob's Ladder (12 votes [15.38%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

  4. Entre Nous (5 votes [6.41%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.41%

  5. Different Strings (4 votes [5.13%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 5.13%

  6. I enjoy none of them more than Natural Science! Natural Science rules Permanent Waves! (28 votes [35.90%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 35.90%

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#61 theredtamasrule

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 09:06 PM

View Postdiatribein, on 17 August 2017 - 11:53 PM, said:

Without getting into the meaning because that belongs on the locked board, I think many of the Bravest Face haters just can't stand the political message of the song, which I absolutely adore. It is such an important message, so eloquently given voice to. It beautifully communicates a necessary political ideal that I think irks a certain side of the political spectrum. Perhaps that is why when people here deride the song they try to use the lyrics to make their point, but the lyrics are the best part. They have so much meaning and communicate something so principled that even childish mocking of them by switching key words does nothing but show how important the message really is as evidenced by how many remain tone-deaf to it and angered by the sentiment.

Pfui...Bravest Face isn't particularly political but is so lyrically loquacious that poor Geddy had problems synthesizing sensible melodies. Overbearingly obstreperous I say! Again...pfui!

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#62 geezer

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 01:44 AM

I find just La Villa and (maybe) Xanadu better than Natural Science

#63 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 02:21 AM

View Postgeezer, on 19 August 2017 - 01:44 AM, said:

I find just La Villa and (maybe) Xanadu better than Natural Science
Those are my top 3 Rush tunes! In order, it's Science, Xanadu, and Strangiato

#64 Texas King

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 03:06 AM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 19 August 2017 - 02:21 AM, said:

View Postgeezer, on 19 August 2017 - 01:44 AM, said:

I find just La Villa and (maybe) Xanadu better than Natural Science
Those are my top 3 Rush tunes! In order, it's Science, Xanadu, and Strangiato

Where would you rank 2112? For me it's numero uno.

#65 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 03:25 AM

View PostTexas King, on 19 August 2017 - 03:06 AM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 19 August 2017 - 02:21 AM, said:

View Postgeezer, on 19 August 2017 - 01:44 AM, said:

I find just La Villa and (maybe) Xanadu better than Natural Science
Those are my top 3 Rush tunes! In order, it's Science, Xanadu, and Strangiato

Where would you rank 2112? For me it's numero uno.
#5

If you're interested, my complete rankings are on page 5 of this thread:

http://www.therushfo...-1/page__st__80

#66 Texas King

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 03:28 AM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 19 August 2017 - 03:25 AM, said:

View PostTexas King, on 19 August 2017 - 03:06 AM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 19 August 2017 - 02:21 AM, said:

View Postgeezer, on 19 August 2017 - 01:44 AM, said:

I find just La Villa and (maybe) Xanadu better than Natural Science
Those are my top 3 Rush tunes! In order, it's Science, Xanadu, and Strangiato

Where would you rank 2112? For me it's numero uno.
#5

If you're interested, my complete rankings are on page 5 of this thread:

http://www.therushfo...-1/page__st__80

I meant the epic song 2112, not an album. Album is fifth in my book also.

#67 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 04:06 AM

View PostTexas King, on 19 August 2017 - 03:28 AM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 19 August 2017 - 03:25 AM, said:

View PostTexas King, on 19 August 2017 - 03:06 AM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 19 August 2017 - 02:21 AM, said:

View Postgeezer, on 19 August 2017 - 01:44 AM, said:

I find just La Villa and (maybe) Xanadu better than Natural Science
Those are my top 3 Rush tunes! In order, it's Science, Xanadu, and Strangiato

Where would you rank 2112? For me it's numero uno.
#5

If you're interested, my complete rankings are on page 5 of this thread:

http://www.therushfo...-1/page__st__80

I meant the epic song 2112, not an album. Album is fifth in my book also.
Ah. Oops.
It's hard for me to rank past top 3 but 2112 the song would be at the very very least #10.
At best it's #4.
It's just too muscular for it to be ranked outside the top 10.

#68 geezer

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 11:12 AM

View PostTexas King, on 19 August 2017 - 03:06 AM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 19 August 2017 - 02:21 AM, said:

View Postgeezer, on 19 August 2017 - 01:44 AM, said:

I find just La Villa and (maybe) Xanadu better than Natural Science
Those are my top 3 Rush tunes! In order, it's Science, Xanadu, and Strangiato

Where would you rank 2112? For me it's numero uno.

Number four for me

#69 pjbear05

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Posted 19 August 2017 - 03:50 PM

View Postcustom55, on 16 August 2017 - 04:17 PM, said:

Love it... especially live.



Oh HELL YEAH!  The song by itself is great, but the DS version is outstanding!

Edited by pjbear05, 19 August 2017 - 03:52 PM.


#70 diatribein

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:48 AM

View PostAlien Girl, on 18 August 2017 - 11:26 AM, said:

I'm not emotionally vested in Bravest Face like you seem to be...

The lyrics are fine.  I think you're reading way too much into things when you say people don't like it because of its politics.  I couldn't care less about the politics of the song.  It's the way it sounds that I can't stand.  Ugly and discordant.

You are the one who seems to discount the way a song sounds in favor of lyrics.  And that's fine.  We all have our preferences.

I just think it's an ugly filler of a song. :finbar:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 18 August 2017 - 12:55 AM, said:

The sentiment never bothered me. The lyrics never bothered me. The vocals really bother me. The music bores me. The politics never factored into me not liking it whatsoever. So yeah, you might be right: the lyrics are the best part.

Lyrics aren't everything. Sometimes they help. Sometimes they hurt. Sometimes they do nothing (for me).

Subdivisions and Analog Kid were already great songs musically that are boosted by the lyrics.

Time Stand Still is a good song that's boosted by the lyrics.

Natural Science is my favorite Rush song MUSICALLY...and the lyrics I hadn't considered until YEARS later. Lyrically, it's above average. Even with that, its my favorite Rush song overall.

Alien Shore has good sentiments but lyrically I think it's unsuccessful. That doesn't matter though since I think it's good musically. It still gets my praise.

Virtuality I think is an okay song musically but the lyrics hurt the song.

On the other end, IMHO Losing It or Afterimage might be Peart's best lyrics but neither are anywhere close to being my favorite Rush song. Musically they're very good songs, but lyrically they're brilliant! Genius!

To recap: In Bravest Face's particular case, the lyrics or politics have no influence on me disliking it. It's the other stuff about it that I dislike.


View PostLucas, on 18 August 2017 - 11:12 AM, said:

C'mon diatribein, no one is angry here - except maybe you

As a fellow Rush fan, I like your passion ..

As for the song, implying that because they disagree with the sentiment is the only reason a person wouldn't care for Bravest Face is like saying a person has no interest in astronomy if they don't like Cygnus X1

A person can agree with the sentiment and meaning but just not connect with the delivery


Hey Guys & Gal, I really liked your mature and thoughtful replies, so I kind of wanted to dig a little deeper, because I'm still not getting it.

Bravest Face is one of my all time favourite RUSH songs. The lyrics are a big part of that, but even with just some nondescript lyrics, it would still rank very highly for me. Here are some of the things that get me most excited when I hear this song (excluding lyrics since we've gone over that):

1. The acoustic guitar riff on the verse: Every time I hear that riff it floors me. It is so intricate and delicate while being powerful. It makes move. It then gets layered with other guitar parts that really compliment its subtle awesomeness. It is such a different and interesting guitar part that I never get sick of it.

Do you all dislike the riff? Do you not think it is one of Alex's most interesting guitar parts? How or why does it not inspire you?


2. The verse melody: This is such a perfect compliment to the awesome acoustic riff. One of the things I love is how Geddy does the little high jump in the melody that plays with the key. You know, on the parts where he sings "wonderful" & "all the murders". It reminds me of the similar thing Kurt Cobain did on the chorus of Heart Shape Box. Very original and something not found on any other RUSH song to my recollection. Just another reason why this song is special.

Do you guys not hear the thing I am talking about? Do you not feel like the vocal melody by Geddy on this song is pretty different from almost anything else the band has done? Or is that the reason you don't like it, because it doesn't sound like RUSH to you? I find this melody to be quite unique and really engaging.


3. The chorus melody: I like the catchy stuff. I know many here do not. There is a lot of dislike thrown to RUSH's more "radio friendly" songs of the 80s. That is my favourite RUSH period, so I am bias to a nice catchy melody that makes me feel like singing along. This one is right up there with my favourites from the 80s. It has a really good sing-along quality, but it also has some desperation which I really like. A mix of catchy and desperation is not commonly found. In that sense it reminds me of Red Sector A, which is a very different song, but is also punctuated by a catchy chorus laced with  a sentiment of desperation. I love it! I find it to be very intense, which is my favourite quality in music.

I am guess that people just don't find the chorus to be all that catchy or if they do it is not something that they care about. Do you not see how it has some similarities to Red Sector A in the way that catchiness is balanced with desperation? Is that not something that is interesting to you?


4. The guitar solo: I don't usually put a lot of weight on guitar solos when it comes to quality of songs, but this is one of my favourites by Alex. It's a little bit of a weird one, because in many ways it is a traditional blues solo, but the blues kinda works as a counterpoint to the background music. That to me is interesting and challenging. It is somehow mellow and quick at the same time. I like this a lot.

Do you guys just think it is too short? Do you not  feel like it is kind of an unexpected solo choice for the background music that makes it something special?


5. The layered guitars all over the verses, pre-chorus & chorus: There are so many guitars on this song and they are all playing something different and interesting! I love that at the beginning of the verses you just get the single acoustic guitar riff and then there is the little Neil hi-hat taps that feel like they are pulling you back to signal the start of the vocals and all the layered guitars. They are everywhere and often playing very different parts that work both in concert and as counterpoint. It's just so great. There is so much to listen to in here and it really is intense the way the guitars work both together and against themselves in the song. It actually compliments the sentiment of the lyrics and brings the whole song together! It is absolutely brilliant and one of the songs I never get tired of hearing.

Do you hear all the layers of guitars? Do you not find the way they work off each other to be interesting? I know that lead riff in the verses can sound lazy to some, but it is meant to be be a counterpoint to the  very fast playing on the acoustic riff. I personally really like that. Perhaps you just hear the lead and forget that it is working with all the other guitars?


6. The crescendo at the end with the acoustic outro: It keeps building and building until it is loud and intense and grabs you by your shirt and shakes you. And it is just at that point when you feel as strongly as you can, it takes you back down to the beautiful acoustic riff and Geddy's awesome melody. It almost brings me to tears because it is such a cool way to end a song!


Okay... so this is why I don't get all the hate. I could understand ambivalence towards the song, but the hate leaves me baffled. It is such a perfect song for me. It means so much to me, not only from a lyrical perspective, but also in all the ways I described above. I keep thinking how could a RUSH fan hate this song?!?!? That's what leads me to think it could be politics. Either that, or if you're one of the fans that thinks Hemispheres is the be all end all, because I honestly feel that album has very little to do with the RUSH I know and love.

For those reading this, if you want to reply please try to do so only with mature and considerate replies. If you only really have something insulting or derogatory about the song, album, or how I feel about it then it's probably best that you don't waste your time and move on to another topic or reply about how you feel about Natural Science since that is really what this thread is about. I'm sorry I've sidetracked it with my Bravest Face talk, but I was asked a question and I found some of the replies to my earlier post interesting and well thought out.

Edited by diatribein, 21 August 2017 - 12:58 PM.


#71 Xanadu

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:33 PM

I actually like Bravest Face a lot, except for that weird yodeling thing Geddy does in the verses.

#72 Fordgalaxy

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 11:52 PM

Not sure how any decent Rush fan could consider it a "mess".

#73 theredtamasrule

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 01:22 AM

View PostFordgalaxy, on 21 August 2017 - 11:52 PM, said:

Not sure how any decent Rush fan could consider it a "mess".

I doesn't automatically follow that just because Rush made it it's great.

I submit to you the album Presto.

I rest my case.




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