Rush - Counterparts
The early 1990's were fairly good to Rush, who were still running strong heading towards the 20th anniversary of their debut album. After a series of albums featuring a more new-wavey, synthesizer-heavy sound, albums such as Presto and Roll The Bones signified a departure from that era and a bit of a return to the more hard rock sounds of their past. At the very least, the band were finding a groove between their youthful passion and the wisdom of decades in the business. Up next for the band was Counterparts, and with it something that had been missing from the Rush experience for quite some time; an edge.
Evident early, with the crashing drum intro to "Animate", Counterparts has much more of a thick, dynamic punch to it. Production quality, which had been lacking in certain ways for a couple of albums prior, seemed to leap forward and catch up to the moderately more aggressive nature the band were set to take on. "Stick it Out" was a fairly successful single and a usual suspect in their future setlists. "Cut To The Chase" is another in a line of automobile-themed tracks that Neil Peart has had a bit of a fetish for over the years. "Nobody's Hero" is a marvel of passionate songwriting and touching subject matter. Some may find it a bit overdramatic, thanks in no small part to the orchestration provided by well-known composer Michael Kamen, but I tend to lean towards it being the best Counterparts has to offer. The last four tracks are also quite enjpoyable, starting with the dark and powerful "Double Agent", the Grammy-nominated instrumental "Leave That Thing Alone" (which isn't as good as that might make it sound but it is another excercise in how to make a 3-piece rock band sound like a 5-piece), the romantic metaphors laced in the fiery and passionate "Cold Fire", and the emotionally uplifting closer "Everyday Glory", featuring some of Geddy's best vocal work on the record.
If I had to guess, I would say Counterparts is where the band finally rekindled the flames of their old spirit, one where passion, aggression, creativy and lyrical ingenuity instigated some great works for one of rock's greatest bands. Criminally underrated all these years later, it seems that much of what the band had done between their 1st and 2nd heyday left them in a bit of a twilight zone of nostalgic notoriety and lowered expectations. However let down you may have continually been during their 90's output, Counterparts has it where it matters, more than the last 4 or 5 records at least. It's often an album I point to for new fans, beyond the truly superior work of their early years.
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on 2012-02-29 SolitaryMan Said:
Geddy wrote none of the lyrics. I don't know what gave you that impression. Anyway, 95% of your distaste from this album seems to come from the lyrics. Why? I don't know and, as persistent you just were in trying to explain, I really don't care. I simply don't take from it what you do, and that's fine. I'll agree that Dreamline is probably their best track of the 90's, and that there were a few other songs on RtB that really stood out, but as a whole album, Counterparts always appealed to me a bit more. And that's that.
on 2012-02-29 gutterseed Said:
Heres why this album SUCKS!!!!!!!!
Ok, I'll stick those words to one album that blows counterparts away. "Roll the bone's" was the best Rush album of the 90s. Dreamline, roll the bones, bravado, those songs have all become STAPLES of Rush's live shows. I'd argue all day about "Dreamline" being the best Rush song to come along in the 90's. It's CLASSIC rush and not some pseudo-passionate cultural Geddy statement "I'm pro-homo".
Seriously, in all honesty I don't have problems with homosexuals, but I think writing a song about someone who was overlooked, especially when the guy didn't serve in the military during a serious war, is anything to write home about. Anyone can save a drowning child, great, but cures a disease? wake the fuck up geddy. lands a crippled airplane? whatever, in fantasy it's all good, but in 1993, ok, whatever geddy. I won't lie solitary, Pert whails on the drums, but the rest of the band suffers to keep up. "spit out your anger, don't swallow your tongue"? dumb lyrics, speaking of lyrics "natural reflex, pendulum swing, you might be too dizzy to do the right thing"...The lyrics suck on counterparts. Nobody's hero....blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.
But i'll move on, because dreamline, bravado, and roll the bones put anything on counterparts to shame.
Lets just go through each track on counter parts, solitary:
stick it out, already covered, it sucks, spit it out geddy
Cut to the chase? Pert drives the entire song, guitar is ok, but geddy says it best "you may be right, its all a waste of time"...cut to the chase geddy....
we've been through nobodys hero....screw that song
between sun and moon....wow there's a lake between whisper ans shout, and doubt, the mirrors of the sky, ok...smoke some more pot geddy...neil....just follow the sun and beat your drums really hard...because geddy apparently hates you "defy the sun!"
The gap between act and act, the gap between actor and act, the time between wondering why? the lyrics just plan suck....I hit skip....why the sun? because neil pert is the sun of this album, your basslines are horrid
Alien shore.....once again, neil pert drives the beat, geddy talks about body and soul, the struggles of swimming in a primative sea, the lyrics are stupid. shining bridges on the ocean floor? c'mon geddy, there aren't bridges on the ocean floor, you've never been there.
speed of love, great intro, not typical rush, but oh god, here we go, love is born with lightning bolts, a storm on a raging course, love can fade with the rage of dawn, ugh, i can't listen to it, BTW, neil, you should have just refused to play the album at this point.
Where would you rather be? anywhere but here? when will the time be right? any time but now....are we recording a soundtrack? way to pull together guys, guitar work and drum work are great on this track,, geddys vocals suck. I couldn't even listen past wilderness of forgivesness,
Leave that thing alone rules...i hope geddy doesn't sing on it. And he doesn't, which just goes to show you that the rest of the band kicks ass, even though geddy plays great, the guitar and drums just rule this song
Cold fire....horrible lyrics, great music
everyday glory, proof the album is just a piece of shit. "In the house where nobody left and nobody speaks, and the shadows free, the litttle girl lies shanking pressing back her tears until nobody sees"....
Geddy should not have writen lyrics for this album. Rush should have hired a better frontman. Every band has it's great album (S)
This one SUCKS. NO lyrical content, nothing to offer musically with the exception of guitar and drums, and I think those two could have hired someone from the band live or our lady peace to write better lyrics,
I appreciate Pert's dedication to the band. Geddy eventually wrote better lyrics, but this album is definately a bunch of BS. If it hadn't been for Rush showing previous talent, I'd have written them off, but every band is entitled to one crappy album.
Stick it out Geddy, Roll the bones,
You should listen to Roll the Bones.
on 2012-02-28 SolitaryMan Said:
Nobody's Hero is arguably the best song they wrote in the 90's. By your admission, they cannot make another 2112 or Fly By Night. Or Moving Pictures, for that matter. Why not take those words and stick them to every other Rush album that ISN'T one of the three? Doesn't need to be mentioned because it's a common consensus those are the pinnacles of their career. But, honestly, the increased production values, lyrical ambitions (rarely has Peart dabbled so far into human emotion as he did on Counterparts), increased edge over anything since Moving Pictures and the typical songwriting and technical chops all chalk up Counterparts as superior to Roll The Bones in my book.
on 2012-02-27 gutterseed Said:
Awful. You can't MAKE another 2112 or Fly By Night. You can't follow Roll the Bones with this garbage. Nobodys hero was as horrid as the other tracks on this one. Neil Pert is the only one that shines on thsi album. And judging his work ethic, he did an outstanding job with what he had to work with. There's a reason this album is under-rated, it sucks. I am a die hard Rush fan. But honestly, Rush should have just skipped this album.