Top critical review
Overall, overrated, but parts of this album are excellent.
on June 25, 2002
I love Rush. I've been a huge fan of them since I was 10. But, 2112 was somewhat of a disappointment because for a long time I heard endless talk of how "amazing" this album was. I was already predisposed to Moving Pictures, a great CD, so the sound of 2112 was very different upon the first listen, which I adapted to after a few listens.
Starting with the epic, 2112, if u took out the Discovery and Presentation segments of it, it would be fantastic.. well, the heavier part of Presentation was OK, but I never liked Discovery. The riff was alright, but Geddy's vocals are unconvincing. The Grand Finale ended the suite perfectly, probably better than any other Rush epic before or since, and Geddy gives the most theatric and beautiful vocal performances in Soliloquy (particularly when he screams his lungs out).
But after 2112 are 5 more songs, at 4 minutes or less. A Passage To Bangkok and the Twilight Zone both have terrible lyrics, and as songs themselves, they're mediocre at best. Same w/ Lessons, though Alex Lifeson wrote the lyrics (stick to the riffs, Alex).
Next is Tears, penned by Geddy Lee, which is actually a beautiful piece, with excellent guitar compositions, and swirling synths to create the plaintive mood. And hell, Geddy's lyrics do not [stinks]. A tear-jerker if you're very sensitive (like me). Then we come to the album's closer, "Something For Nothing," a 4-minute rocker. It's a very decent way to close off the album, with decent lyrics and a good vocal delivery. The band's playing also flows throughout the song.
My other complaint about this album is the production. Sometimes the guitar distortion and the drums sound kind of "commercial," maybe the way Styx would sound. And I HATE Styx. Subsequent Rush records sounded much better.
Overall it's a 7/10 for me. It was basically what Rubber Soul was to The Beatles.. they were getting closer to creating albums that changed your life, but they needed those albums (2112 and rubber soul, respectively) to give them that giant leap from good to excellent. I'd start off with the albums from 1977-1982 by Rush, but get 2112 if you want to get into their earlier stuff.