Timeless music: A review of Rush’s Clockwork Angels


As everyone in the Jackverse knows, I am a huge Rush fan and have been since I was in middle school. Recently they released their twentieth studio album (that’s right — 20). The power trio from Canada had released three of the songs from the recording as singles:

  • Caravan
  • BU2B
  • Headlong Flight

Each single proved to be better than the first and the collection of the three seemed to promise one hell of an album. Little did I know, that album would wind up one of my favorite ever released from the group!

I know, I know… bold words about the band the gave us:

  • Moving Pictures
  • Signals
  • Power Windows
  • Hold Your Fire
  • Snakes & Arrows

But Clockwork Angels is one of the first recordings they have given us, in the last decade, in which every single song is a glorious gem.

A little information:

Clockwork Angels is yet another concept album — this time of a Steampunk nature. The story it tells is fascinating and done with Neil Pearts genuine and heartfelt lyrics that few rock lyricists can match.

A break down of songs

Caravan: This was the first single released with a great guitar riff. The steampunk theme is quite predominant here. This song lets you know, right away, you’re going to be taken on an incredible journey.

BU2B: This happens to be one of my favorite Rush songs to come out in a long time. With a power hook and some amazing lyrics, BU2B instantly reminds you the power trio still knows how to rock.

Clockwork Angels: What a worthy title track. Clockwork Angels starts with a haunting chant-like voice (probably that of Geddy) and quickly heads into a powerful drum beat and guitar intro. Geddy’s voice sounds marvelous singing out the amazing words penned by Peart. I absolutely love the guitar work of this track. You should listen very carefully — to get the full effect. One of the best choruses Rush has written in a long time.

The Anarchist: Love the ebb and flow of this song. You almost get the feeling this song was written in two occasions, but the over-all effect is powerful.

Carnies: Never before has a Rush song hit with such a heavy guitar riff. After the tinkling sounds of the carnival fade out, Alex punches you in the gut with a powerful and dirty riff. Love this.

Halo Effect: Taking the tone and rhythm down a bit, Rush hits us with a sweeter tune with a wonderful melody that hearkens back (a bit) to the Roll The Bones album.

Seven Cities Of Gold: Go Geddy Go! This song begins with a tricky bass line which is soon joined by some wonderful acrobatics by Alex and Neil. Really amazing tune.

The Wreckers: This track has a story behind it — one of those that really piqued Neil’s interest. It contains one of my favorite choruses of any Rush song to date.

Headlong Flight: Damn! What an amazing bass line. This song is driven with a purpose we haven’t heard from Rush since, maybe the song Driven.

BU2B2: This is a bit of a hidden gem. It’s a strange and short take on the original that really does work inside the madness of this whole. It’s strings and Geddy and not much more.

Wish Them Well: Another hard-driving tune that gets Geddy’s voice back up in the stratosphere (in the background).

The Garden: In every Rush album there’s at least one track that hits me in the gut and digs its fingers into my soul in ways other music simply can’t. This is that¬†song. It’s beautiful and unlike any other Rush song you’ve ever heard. From the very beginning mix of strings and bass, you know you’re in for something really and truly special. And the bridge of this song is almost too much emotion… you might find yourself getting a bit maudlin.

As a whole, no other Rush recording is this complete. Clockwork Angels offers the listener everything — from typical Rush to something new and important. Anyone hard-core Rush fan will adore this recording. Any casual fan might well fall in love with their music. Any fan of music in general will appreciate this release more so than they’ve appreciated any recording in a long, long time.

For those that don’t believe a power trio that’s been together for over thirty years, can’t make your heart and soul sing, take a listen to The Garden.