Although it won't be officially released until May 1st, Rush's new album Snakes and Arrows was leaked onto the web late last week. Since then, I have listened to the entire album three times. Now, contrary to my wife's contention that Rush is all I listen to, the relatively new song by the group Breaking Benjamin called Breath is quite awesome and rightly deserves to be near the top of the rock charts where it has been for many weeks... but I digress.
This new Rush album, Snakes and Arrows, has alot of music on it, almost 63 minutes worth. You'll notice right from the beginning "old school" Rush elements that put the band on the map 30 years ago but also has a conspicuously modern feel which Rush or any band needs to stay competitive in 2007. et this album features songs with multiple movements as in the case with Track 2: Armor and Sword. This song is more than 6 minutes long but it stays fresh with all its complexity and bold feel. The first track, Far Cry, which has been close to the top of the charts for almost a month is probably harder than track 2. It gets your attention with a strong beginning and bold ending. Some of the middle tracks offer a bluesy feel in parts while changing back to a classical rock dynamic.
For the first time in 18 studio albums, Snakes and Arrows features 3 instrumentals. The first titled The Main Monkey Business doesn't disspoint. It's hard rock, classic rock and acoustic elements compliment each other quite well. The second titled Hope is a short jam session between Alex Lifeson and getty Lee. The third, track 12, called Malignant Narcissism is quick--a little over 2 minutes--but powerful. The bass riffs and tom-tom solos for a measure or two stand out toward the end.
Overall, I'd recommend Tracks 1, 2, 6, 9, 10 and 12. Tracks 6 and 12 being instrumentals.