5.0 out of 5 stars SACD review!
This the first album Rush started to move back to their power trio roots. Except for Show Don't Tell on Presto this the heaviest Rush got until the last couple of records. Was not sure about this one until a friend told me to give it another try. Glad I did because it's an excellent SACD. As for the SACD it sounds great. Only in stereo but the bass has much more of a...
Published 14 months ago by Stephen Bieth
3.0 out of 5 stars Half and half
This album isn't bad, but half of it is unfortunately uninspired. Running down track by track:
1. Animate - Dull chorus, but a nice backbeat. Also Alex Lifeson's guitar work is rather pedestrian.
Published on April 17 2003 by Thomas K. Dye
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5.0 out of 5 stars SACD review!,
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This the first album Rush started to move back to their power trio roots. Except for Show Don't Tell on Presto this the heaviest Rush got until the last couple of records. Was not sure about this one until a friend told me to give it another try. Glad I did because it's an excellent SACD. As for the SACD it sounds great. Only in stereo but the bass has much more of a presence here then the current domestic CD. If you are a fan and have equipment to play it I promise you will love it.
Hopefully there will be more but it's hard to say what if any they might be. Between the early catolog being reissues in 5.1 and the fact that Rush's new material is their strongest in years I doubt very much it's at the top of their list.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Their best since Moving Pictures,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Applying the principles of volume, edge, depth, and power!,
This review is from: Counterparts (Audio CD)
Geddy is still using the Wal bass, but here it sounds so much better than on the previous few albums. Alex is still using Paul Reed Smith guitars to great effect. It seems that Engineer Kevin Shirley was able to really bring out the strengths of those instruments.
Overall the album has a warm, luxurious sound. The drums are full and thundering, unlike the previous couple of albums. Alex is playing in the mid- and lower-range which really pushes Geddy down into the lower registers where his bass really shines. The improvement over the last couple of albums is immediately obvious.
The boys are BACK!
This new sound really comes across in the opening track, "Animate". They really rock out for the first time in a long time--probably not since 'Hemispheres'. In certain places Geddy takes the beat and enables Neil to focus on some incredible fills. This song reminds me of some of the most powerful parts of '2112'.
"Stick It Out" has a really cool opening with a simple, biting riff and loads of feedback. Like "Animate", this is a solid rocker with some of Geddy's best singing on the album. I am fondly reminded of "Cygnus X-1". It is also very "Zepplin-esque". Alex burns up the solo!
The album continues with one great song after another! "Cut to the Chase" rocks out with beautiful doubling of bass and guitar in the opening riff. Again I am fondly reminded of "Cygnus X-1".
Then comes "Nobody's Hero". Erk! This song just doesn't belong beside "Cut to the Chase". It is too simple and melodic. It kills the momentum of the album. It really should have been grouped with "Alien Shore" and "The Speed of Love". "Hero" is a nice little song, but a bit over dramatic and over produced compared to the first three tracks. Frankly, the use of the orchestra makes me think of those overwrought European hair-bands from the late 80's.
I love the guitar and drum doubling of "Between Sun and Moon". The guitar sound is really great. The drums are so loud--but perfect. Maybe this one should have come before "Hero". "Between" works great as a rhythm and melody song--but played in a hard rock/metal style.
"Alien Shore" features a cool groove and a great riff. I love the touches of feedback. It is a nice, dark tune--a real feast of layers. It is a spacious song with a lot of things going on in the spaces.
"The Speed of Love" is a lovely, melodic song that brings the pace down a bit, but still applies the same principles of volume, edge, depth, and power that are featured on the hard rockers at the beginning of the album. On this song, Alex shows off just how inventive he can be. None of the choices he makes are the obvious ones, but they are all perfect.
We return again to "Cygnus X-1" with "Double Agent". The arrangement, riffs the darkness, and the power all invoke that old song. "Agent" features an awesome opening with just bass and voice. The overdriven guitars that come next give an insistent edge to the song. I'm not sure why this great song did not stay in the setlist after the 'Counterparts' tour.
I absolutely love the instrumental "Leave That Thing Alone". It is truly incredible how much they accomplish--how much they manage to get in. I just love the riff, the groove, the swing, the sing-song guitar lines, and the ebb and flow of emotion. Each instrument sounds just fantastic. Being free of vocals gives so much more space for the music.
Just when you think it can't get any better, it does! "Cold Fire" takes off on such a wild ride then switches gears to become melodic and complex. The riff contrasts with the melody to show the shifting emotions of the dialog contained in the lyrics. This song has a Dire Straits feel to it, but harder and faster.
Like "Hero", "Everyday Glory" is a bit out of place. It should also have been put with "Speed of Love". I think that while this is a great song in its own right, it is not the ideal closing track. It sounds incredible. It is really gorgeous on its own. Like "Hero", it is melody driven, but here it works because it avoids being overly sentimental. Alex's playing reminds me of The Edge from U2.
5.0 out of 5 stars Still rockin solid,
By A Customer
In my eyes, there are four different types of Rush fans.
1)Those that think that they like Rush because they've heard some of their songs and think they sound cool, but still don't really appreciate Neil's lyrical genius, or the entire trio's musical ingenuity.
2)Those that just think that Rush could never do better than Moving Pictures
3)Those that think the band has serious musical talent but can't stand Geddy's voice, and finally
4)Those who buy every cd they have ever released, eat, drink, breath, and sleep their music, have every single lyric memorized, and would do just about anything to get to meet the band.
I consider myself a member of the fourth group, as I fit almost all of that criteria, and becuaes none of the other three are close to me. People who think that Counterparts is a bad album, or not their best or slightly less than what they are capable of achieving should find themselves in the first three groups. Any fan who is true to the band, and who understands and appreciates both the entire trio's musical talents, as well as Neil's sheer lyrical genius should know that this is another winner. This band has been making the best music around for a long time, and they continue to do so with this album. Some say that some of the songs are lacking in various areas, and to those people I say this: Are you out of your mind? This is some of my favorite Rush material ever. The powerful opening tracks(Animate, Stick it Out, and Cut to the Chase) demonstrate Alex's ability to write strong, moving riffs, and almost shows Neil's ever present skill behind a drum kit. The ballads of the album(Nobody's Hero, Speed of Love, and Everyday Glory) clearly show Neil's talent in lyric writing. The instrumental song "Leave That Thing Alone" shows the band's obvious ability to play together, and to compliment each other in song. The songs "Between the Sun and Moon", "Cold Fire", and "Double Agent" show the band's ability to be creative and to have fun while making their amazing music. I will admit that I do not take a very heavy liking to "Alien Shore", but it is still a strong song that I listen to with the rest of the cd. There are no bad tracks on this cd in my opinion, I'd say they all demonstrate a different strength from the band and each of it's members. I personally find myself with almost any of the songs on this cd stuck in my head close to everyday. All in all this cd is a powerful album from start to finish, and show's the bands unbelievable ability to not only produce moving music, but to do it with an exceptional finesse found very rarely in most modern music.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of Rush's fourth phase,
Rush's album Counterparts was released in October of 1993. The album was the band's first since 1991's Roll the Bones and first with returning producer Peter Collins since 1985's Power Windows and 1987's Hold Your Fire. The band recorded this album in early 1993 at Le Studio in Montreal. For this album Alex Lifeson, Neil Peary and Geddy Lee decided to go for pretty much guitar, drums and bass respectively and do away with the synthesizers. The first taste of this album for me and America was Stick it Out which was a huge hit on American rock radio and helped push this album to #2(the highest position any Rush album ever hit surpassing Roll the Bones and Moving Pictures' chart placing) and Platinum sales. Other standouts are the opening Animate, the rocking Between Sun and Moon, the ballad Nobody's Hero, the great instrumental Leave That Thing Alone and the wild Double Agent. It was in support of this album that I saw Rush live for the first time with Candlebox opening and Rush just kicked ass, especially Neil, the real professor of the drum kit!
2.0 out of 5 stars Absolute lyrical cheese...,
In my 15+ years of listening and buying this bands albums I can not for the life of me understand peoples ethusiasm for this record.
Counterparts seemed to be a welcome change as the band dropped more of its keyboarding sound, and Alex started to do more riff rocking guitar action. Don't get me wrong, Alex and Geddy do some decent grooving on this album, but there was a big problem. And it is the biggest problem on the album.
That problem was Niel. Niel Peart who is considered probably one of the best drummers who ever lived, fails to live up to his impressive playing on this album. Basicaly Niel's drumming on this album is predictable and borish. There are no fancy rolls, or intricate beats or anything to get you moving. In fact everything I think is 4/4. But the worse was yet to come.
Niel who is the principal lyricist for the band, has penned his WORST lyrics ever (yes worse than Caress of Steel). Songs are peppered with incredibly CHEESEY lyrics, and many of the songs just reak (Nobody's Hero, Everyday Glory), sound stupid (Between Sun & Moon), have stupid song breaks that kill the momentum (Cut To the Chase, Double Agent), or are just titled idioticly (Speed of Love). He really dropped the ball on this one, and Geddy's vocals come in at the most weird tonnes, and awkward places making everything 10 times worse. No don't get me wrong, a song about AIDS is great as long as it's done well. However Nobody's Hero is just the most corniest, cheesiest, weepeist, sachrinst thing I have ever heard. Never mind the exhausting outro string section that's beaten over your head to death...
Let's look at some more lyrical cheese shall we:
"For You and Me; sex is not a competition
"AHhha ha to yes why the sun?"
-Between Sun and Moon
It was just before sunrise
What kind of lyric are these? I even heard them play Sun And Moon live and it was horrid! It's amazing the lyrics Niel has penned and the worlds and moods he's created and this was what he came up with. It boggles my mind... They don't even sound jocular or humourous even...
This is without a doubt the bands WORST album they ever made (at least so far). I even say it's worse than Caress of Steel because at least with that recording they 1) tried something creative and imaginative 2) were pressured to get the record out before they were even ready.
Only buy this album if you are a huge fan of the band and need to complete your library. THat being said make sure it is the LAST Rush album you buy. If anything go out and get the next album they released after this album 'Test For Echo'. That album is basicaly what Counterparts would sound like if they did it right, it blows this album out of the water!
4.0 out of 5 stars distant relations,
as with most rush albums once you start playing them you cant stop playing them.As most of my friends just want to hear MOVING PICTURES PART 10 all the time i say rush wouldnt be the trio they are now if they went along that road.Another fine album in the bag.
4.0 out of 5 stars Rush's Devolution,
First we must recognize that there are two classes of Rush fans: the ones who think that that Rush a heavy metal band that reached its pinnacle with Moving Pictures and those that think that the group's mid-1980s sophisticated "symphonic" period ("Power Windows" & "Hold Your Fire") was best.
I count myself mostly among the latter, though I certainly appreciate and enjoy the earlier work (there's nothing like driving home to "The Red Barchetta").
Counterparts marks the beginning of Rush's definitive move away from a complex sound toward a simplier, leaner sound. This "devolution", from my perspective, still contains some noteworthy efforts (I have to admit an inexplicable attraction to "Double Agent"). However, from my perspective, this transition work marks the last really listenable Rush work.
This is a solid 4/5 stars but with noticable faults.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rush : " Counterparts",
This is an excellent release by Rush. I really think that "Counterparts" is very highly underrated. It has one of the strongest vibes of any Rush release to date IMO. The songs are very well written, and the guitars / percussions are some of the best Alex and Neil have put forth since the early 80's. There are really no lame tracks here what so ever. It's heavy too!!!
Rush really put serious effort into this one, and they've come away with one of the best releases since Permanent Waves / Moving Pictures IMO....
I bought this a few months ago after reading many mixed reviews. At first listen, I was very impressed with it. This is one of those CD's that really jumps out at you IMO. It's a masterpiece, and is now one of my favorite Rush releases...
Regardless of the bad reviews, you need to give this a good listen. It's one of the strongest Rush releases to date....
STICK IT OUT!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars Took a little warming up too...but worth the effort.,
This album is a little "cold" for Rush...not that they are known for their warmth! But it feels just a bit more slick that usual. So a little bit of a barrier is set up between the listener and the band. But give it a second listen, like I did, rather than dismiss it. I'm a HUGE Rush fan, but this one took me longer than any other album to warm up to...but now I'm a big fan. Almost all the tracks are stellar, but there are three I'd like to highly recommend:
1) ANIMATE, the opening track, is almost three songs in one. The opening riff is catchy, but the least interesting. Later in the song, when the tempo goes upbeat, this thing really starts rocking! Lyrically, it's interesting too...Peart makes some interesting comments about the need for our "manly" side to be balanced by more "feminine" aspects, either internal or external. Peart is always exploring the idea of balance, between heart and mind, usually, so this is a departure of sorts.
2) STICK IT OUT Kinda in the vein of FACE UP (my favorite from ROLL THE BONES), it's the closest that Rush does anymore to a kind of anthem...a crowd sing-a-long, if you will. It jams!
3) BETWEEN SUN & MOON. The song rocks pretty hard, with a clear, crisp guitar riff, more "shiny" than usual for these guys. But the song has a real beauty behind it as well. They performed it during some of their shows on the recent VAPOR TRAILS tour, and even though it was one of their lesser-known songs on the set list, I found it one of the high-points of the show for me.
The low point of the album is NOBODY'S HERO. I appreciate the sentiment, particularly as Peart, through the voice of Geddy Lee, expresses the pain at his loss of a friend due to AIDS. It's nice that the guys feel politically correct, but the lyrics fit VERY awkwardly with the music, and frankly, I just skip this track most of the time. Everyone can misfire once in awhile and be forgiven.
The musicianship is, as always, stellar. Alex Lifeson's guitar is more front and center here than in the last few albums, and the keyboards are starting to recede into the background...a foreshadowing of their disappearance on VAPOR TRAILS. For the most part, the lyrics are very direct, and Rush fans won't be disappointed. The album got virtually no radio-play, and didn't sell as well as others...which is a shame. I think it is worth a second look. Not the album to introduce someone to Rush, but for fans, it really deserves a place of honor.
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