Critical Collage: Metal Machine Music

“This record is not for parties/dancing/background romance. This is what I ment by ‘real’ rock, about ‘real’ things. No one I know has listened to it all the way through including myself. It is not meant to be. Start any place you like. Symmetry, mathematical precision, obsessive and detailed accuracy and the vast advantage one has over ‘modern electronic composers.’ They, with neither sense of … Continue reading Critical Collage: Metal Machine Music

Critical Collage: Rush vs. the Critics

A by no means comprehensive or conclusive survey of a Canadian power trio who once upon a time (much less so now) got under the skins of more rock critics than any other rock or pop artist going.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

rush-creem3
Creem, June 1981

“For the record, those three are drummer Neil Peart, who writes all the band’s lyrics and takes fewer solos than might be expected; guitarist Alex Lifeson, whose mile-a-minute buzzing is more numbing than exciting; and bassist, keyboardist and singer Geddy Lee, whose amazingly high-pitched wailing often sounds like Mr. Bill singing heavy metal. If only Mr. Sluggo had been on hand to give these guys a couple good whacks…”
Steve Pond, review of Rush live in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone, 1980

Geddy Lee’s high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band – and sometimes a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush’s career when Lee’s vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. A review in the New York Times opined that Lee’s voice ‘suggests a munchkin giving a sermon.’ Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a ‘wail.’ His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized.
Wikipedia entry on Rush

rush-rs-guide
Mark Coleman and Ernesto Lechner, The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, 2004

Continue reading “Critical Collage: Rush vs. the Critics”

Critical Collage: Sgt. Pepper

Seven months ago it was 45 years ago today. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – “Like an overattended child, this album is spoiled. It reeks of horns and harps, harmonica quartets, assorted animal noises, and a 41-piece orchestra.” – Richard Goldstein, review of Sgt. … Continue reading Critical Collage: Sgt. Pepper