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Clockwork Angels released 10 years ago


The Analog Cub
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1 hour ago, jnoble said:

Basically, since I couldn't understand most of what Geddy was singing without the lyrics in front of me I couldn't follow the storyline. And since I couldn't follow the storyline the whole concept of the album was lost on me. And at that point my interest in continuing to listen goes down the drain rather quickly especially when some of the songs drone on two or three minutes longer than they really needed too. Take the title track for example: it starts off really well and builds up nicely but when it gets to that middle part where it sounds like Ged is singing through a cheap speakerphone a room away and even the most dedicated fan can't make out WTF he's saying, I hit the skip forward button. 

Which reminds me, it's been 10 years now and I've read the lyric sheet multiple times and I'm STILL completely unclear as to what exactly a "Clockwork Angel" is in context of the story:blink:

 

 

my unpopular opinion is i'm not big on concept records in general.  if i wanted a story i'd pick up a book, lol.  just play me music man.  and since the music on CA is overlong not too engaging and badly produced.  it looses me on all counts.

 

Mick

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5 hours ago, bluefox4000 said:

 

my unpopular opinion is i'm not big on concept records in general.  if i wanted a story i'd pick up a book, lol.  just play me music man.  and since the music on CA is overlong not too engaging and badly produced.  it looses me on all counts.

 

Mick

I took the album out and gave it another try today while driving around. Nope, same results as always: I enjoy the introduction to most of the songs but once the words kick in my interest starts to fade around the two-minute mark and then my finger is soon jabbing the skip forward button on the CD player. And the process begins anew. 

Wish them Well is an incredibly mediocre weak-effort song especially for a band as talented as Rush. The guitar and drum parts are completely unimaginative, the lyric trite and forgettable. I find it hard to believe after they admitted they had a hard time with getting a good recording of the song that they didn't just decide to give up on it altogether and leave it on the editing room floor because the final result just sucks. 

If somebody remixed the harder songs on this album into shorter instrumentals... lyrics and storyline completely gone... because I do like a lot of the riffs and parts they came up with, I would enjoy that much better. 

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Loved it when it came out. Still love it now. Guess this marks 10 years of me being a Rush fan!!

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On 6/17/2022 at 8:26 PM, Rush Didact said:

I don't disagree with you.  I don't mind a lot of the album musically, it has some good parts and some excellent playing and energy, but I really, really, really don't like the overall concept.  Like you said, it felt like a re-tread of TFoL and 2112, but with added steampunk and circus, none of which is my kind of thing.  It was the first time the band felt like they went backwards to me, instead of progressing and doing something new.

 

The atrocious mix didn't help matters.  It's a real shame that Rush sounded so awful for the last 20 years of their career.  From the 70s to the 90s, they were one of the best-produced and best-engineered bands around, every album up to Test for Echo was practically a master class in rock production.  But from Vapor Trails on, they went totally off the rails.  Their last three albums (four if you include Feedback) are sonic trash, they're virtually abusive to the ears and hard to sit through start to finish.

 

I hope that someday a good engineer who's an actual Rush fan, someone like Steven Wilson, gets their hands on the multitracks for those albums and remixes them properly.  It would be a labour of love, it would never really turn a profit, but I would love to hear those albums get their just desserts.

I consider Counterparts as their last really good sounding record. Everything after starting with TFE was a dense fuzzy overdistorted brickwalled too many layers of guitar/bass/vocals sonic mess. 

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9 minutes ago, jnoble said:

I consider Counterparts as their last really good sounding record. Everything after starting with TFE was a dense fuzzy overdistorted brickwalled too many layers of guitar/bass/vocals sonic mess. 

 

Sean Magee's 2015 remaster of Test for Echo is worth hearing.  The original master has fairly heavy limiting applied to it, but Magee mastered it with its full dynamic range intact.  It sounds excellent.  Not quite as excellent as Counterparts, the bass is still a little too muddy for my liking, but it's not badly mixed by any stretch of the imagination.

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11 hours ago, Rush Didact said:

 

Sean Magee's 2015 remaster of Test for Echo is worth hearing.  The original master has fairly heavy limiting applied to it, but Magee mastered it with its full dynamic range intact.  It sounds excellent.  Not quite as excellent as Counterparts, the bass is still a little too muddy for my liking, but it's not badly mixed by any stretch of the imagination.

It wasn't just the mix, Alex's choice of guitar tones on that album was suspect 

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7 hours ago, jnoble said:

It wasn't just the mix, Alex's choice of guitar tones on that album was suspect 

 

To each their own.  The opening arpeggios in the title track always give me chills, I quite like that particular tone.  I can't say I've ever had a problem with his sound in that period, it beats the hell out of his ultra-thin single coil sound on Presto.

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1 hour ago, Rush Didact said:

 

To each their own.  The opening arpeggios in the title track always give me chills, I quite like that particular tone.  I can't say I've ever had a problem with his sound in that period, it beats the hell out of his ultra-thin single coil sound on Presto.

RTB was the worst "Alex album" even more so than Presto/HYF/PoW in terms of guitar tone & placement in the mix :scared:

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9 minutes ago, jnoble said:

RTB was the worst album.

fixed

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25 minutes ago, thizzellewashington said:

I don't think any band around as long as Rush has ever had an album as good as CA that late in their career. "The Anarchist" is a top 10 Rush song to me.

Judas Priest

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3 hours ago, thizzellewashington said:

I don't think any band around as long as Rush has ever had an album as good as CA that late in their career. "The Anarchist" is a top 10 Rush song to me.

Blackstar, David Bowie. That was brilliant, much better than CA, and he died the week it was released.

I'd also nominate Songs of Experience, U2. About half the songs are great. 

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3 hours ago, Entre_Perpetuo said:

fixed

Nah. RTB was one half great (RTB, Dreamline, Bravado, GOAC, WMT) and one half extremely mediocre (all the other songs) 

Rupert Hine's marshmallow soft gutless production did it no favors. 

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14 hours ago, Weatherman said:

Blackstar, David Bowie. That was brilliant, much better than CA, and he died the week it was released.

I'd also nominate Songs of Experience, U2. About half the songs are great. 

Yes - that Bowie record is top tier...an amazing farewell.

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I think there are a bunch of interesting ideas on CA - I remember hearing the title track for the first time and thinking "I've never heard them play this kind of groove before".  After 19 or so albums, there probably aren't a lot of bands who could surprise you like that.  BUT, I personally find their post 2000 sound too muddy and too big/loud/crowded.  The drums are fine, sonically, I guess - I prefer earlier albums but the sound on CA isn't terrible... but the bass and especially the guitar are just sludgey to me - it sounds like a Foo Fighters record in terms of the biggness of the guitars, which is a real turn off to me.  It's not as insane as the original mix of VT, but I don't find it pleasant.  I feel like a song like The Wreckers is a tune you should be able to put on at a medium volume and have it sound "nice" - clear and defined with the vocal up front.  But like a lot of the album, it's a thing where I keep wanting to turn it up to hear more definition, but then I want to turn it down because it's too noisy.

 

And I'm sorry to say it, but Geddy's voice is just not enjoyable to listen to on most of it.  I wish he'd just continued to embrace his lower register the way he was doing around Presto.  I blame the producer for pushing him so everything could sound like "old Rush".

 

 

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4 hours ago, Timbale said:

I think there are a bunch of interesting ideas on CA - I remember hearing the title track for the first time and thinking "I've never heard them play this kind of groove before".  After 19 or so albums, there probably aren't a lot of bands who could surprise you like that.  BUT, I personally find their post 2000 sound too muddy and too big/loud/crowded.  The drums are fine, sonically, I guess - I prefer earlier albums but the sound on CA isn't terrible... but the bass and especially the guitar are just sludgey to me - it sounds like a Foo Fighters record in terms of the biggness of the guitars, which is a real turn off to me.  It's not as insane as the original mix of VT, but I don't find it pleasant.  I feel like a song like The Wreckers is a tune you should be able to put on at a medium volume and have it sound "nice" - clear and defined with the vocal up front.  But like a lot of the album, it's a thing where I keep wanting to turn it up to hear more definition, but then I want to turn it down because it's too noisy.

 

And I'm sorry to say it, but Geddy's voice is just not enjoyable to listen to on most of it.  I wish he'd just continued to embrace his lower register the way he was doing around Presto.  I blame the producer for pushing him so everything could sound like "old Rush".

 

Nick Raskulinecz is the second worst thing that happened to Rush.  The worst is Rick Chycki.

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On 6/19/2022 at 10:11 AM, jnoble said:

Basically, since I couldn't understand most of what Geddy was singing without the lyrics in front of me I couldn't follow the storyline. And since I couldn't follow the storyline the whole concept of the album was lost on me. And at that point my interest in continuing to listen goes down the drain rather quickly especially when some of the songs drone on two or three minutes longer than they really needed too. Take the title track for example: it starts off really well and builds up nicely but when it gets to that middle part where it sounds like Ged is singing through a cheap speakerphone a room away and even the most dedicated fan can't make out WTF he's saying, I hit the skip forward button. 

Which reminds me, it's been 10 years now and I've read the lyric sheet multiple times and I'm STILL completely unclear as to what exactly a "Clockwork Angel" is in context of the story:blink:

 

It didn't help the story much when they re-arranged the songs differently than the story.  Halo Effect would have fit before Carnies. If I remember there was another track or two that should have been re-arranged too. 

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Still love this album, but I've been on a 2-week original Vapor Trails kick the last few weeks. Can't remove it from the CD player. Just too good. Starting to think I love Vapor Trails more than Clockwork Angels.

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On 6/21/2022 at 12:56 PM, Timbale said:

I think there are a bunch of interesting ideas on CA - I remember hearing the title track for the first time and thinking "I've never heard them play this kind of groove before".  After 19 or so albums, there probably aren't a lot of bands who could surprise you like that.  BUT, I personally find their post 2000 sound too muddy and too big/loud/crowded.  The drums are fine, sonically, I guess - I prefer earlier albums but the sound on CA isn't terrible... but the bass and especially the guitar are just sludgey to me - it sounds like a Foo Fighters record in terms of the biggness of the guitars, which is a real turn off to me.  It's not as insane as the original mix of VT, but I don't find it pleasant.  I feel like a song like The Wreckers is a tune you should be able to put on at a medium volume and have it sound "nice" - clear and defined with the vocal up front.  But like a lot of the album, it's a thing where I keep wanting to turn it up to hear more definition, but then I want to turn it down because it's too noisy.

 

And I'm sorry to say it, but Geddy's voice is just not enjoyable to listen to on most of it.  I wish he'd just continued to embrace his lower register the way he was doing around Presto.  I blame the producer for pushing him so everything could sound like "old Rush".

 

 

The idea was well intentioned but the final result left something to be desired. Of course it's just my opinion I know a lot of fans love it

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I just got a copy of the reissued vinyl.  It sounds absolutely great - way better than the CD.  Enjoying a great album even more!

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