Counterparts continued Rush's return to the heavy sound of their earlier releases. While their albums from 2112 to Moving Pictures were fantastic all the way through, most of their subsequent albums were uneven, even though the musicianship was always stellar. Counterparts was their first album since Moving Pictures that was strong all the way through, containing no mediocre tracks.
The uptempo "Animate" starts out the album with a bang and hints at the heavier direction of the album. Geddy Lee's bass playing is in fine form throughout, particularly on "The Speed Of Love" and on the instrumental "Leave That Thing Alone." His vocals are also in fine form, especially on the excellent ballad "Nobody's Hero." Neil Peart's drumming continues to be impressive and his lyrics on many of the tracks, particularly on "Nobody's Hero", are among his most personal. Alex Lifeson continues to be pushed closer to the spotlight and his solos on the heavier cuts "Cut To The Chase" and "Alien Shore" are among his best. His background vocals are also more prevalent here than previous albums. Other strong tracks here include "Open Fire", "Double Agent", "Between Sun & Moon" and their ode to grunge, "Stick It Out." There are no instant classics here, like "Tom Sawyer" or "The Spirit Of Radio", but this is certainly one of Rush's more consistent albums and is definitely worth checking out.