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"Vapor Trails" impressive arrangements

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Jim T., Jul 10, 2002.

  1. Well...aside from the muddy issues with the mix on Rush's "Vapor Trails" CD, does anyone else feel that these are by far Rush's most mature and sophisticated songs/arrangements? It's definitely an earphone listening experience to hear all the layered bass parts, but I really feel that Rush has finally come into "adulthood" with this album? Try as I might, I still find prior albums like "Moving Pictures" to be full of cliched licks and insipid lyrics. And oh-those cheesy synth noises drive me nuts! I think that the writing and incredibly creative bass and guitar parts on "Ghost Rider", "Peaceable Kingdom" and "The Stars Looked Down" to be right up there with Cream and even some Led Zep. Am I alone? Anyone know how "Vapor Trails"
    is selling?
  2. I hate VT and love MP... but PoW is my favourite - heart of the "cheesy synths" era!

    Go figure.

  3. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I think the arrangement on VT is pretty nice. You can tell a lot about the texturing and overall arrangement was well thought out at times, but I do admit the production could be a lot better. Though I haven't checked the album out on cans yet, it's hard to even pick out the bass parts sometimes. That's something I never thought I would say about a Rush album.
  4. i love the album i think its one of there heaveyer albums and i like that
  5. oddentity


    Nov 20, 2000
    Some of the bass and guitar parts are indeed great... but I think the lyrics are just as insipid as they have ever been.

    Imho, the arrangements are totally overblown and they ruin what would be otherwise great songs with far too many layered vocal parts and bass tracks. I thought Geddy could have used a lot more restraint in his vocals. Neil's lyrics were very personal and, imo, would have benefited from sparser arrangements.
  6. I liked the darker,lower timbred mood of the guitar parts on this album. I thought it made Rush sound more "serious" and powerful than their much maligned "frat-boy" teen reputation sound that dogs them wherever they go. I still don't understand why they went with such a muddy-godawful mix though. I DO like the homogenous quality of the mix but yes, the bass parts are only individually hearable in the cans. I don't mind synth if the parts are not corny or immediately dated like I felt they were on Moving Pictures, but each to his own. I for one, was very glad that Rush chose not to use keyboards (at least Geddy's) this time out.

    This is the first Rush album that I've EVER liked, material and arrangement wise, but then I'm an old man of 50! I kinda hope that they continue with this style but with a clearer mix next time. I tried to access the Billboard site to see how this album's doing on the charts but for some reason my 'puter won't go there!?

    I even thought of traveling a long distance to see them perform this material, but the date won't work out for me. Anyone know if Rush is planning on filming this tour? Thanks.
  7. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    That's a good question, I really don't know. I think it would be really wise on behalf of the band and the label if they did record some shows and put together a live DVD. For two reasons basically:

    1) They are a band that's been around a long time, and have built up quite a following over the years. Pretty devoted fan base for the most part.

    2) They have been on hiatus for so long, now would be the time to capitalize on their return.
  8. VT has REALLY grown on me. I think it's in the top tier of their work, tho "Hemispheres" is still my favorite.

    I, too, think the production/mixdown is muddled. I also think there's often too many bass tracks (call me old fashioned, I like just one bass track).

    But, despite those gripes, the strength and power of the songs is undeniable. Very high-quality Rush music.
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    my biggest gripe with the album is the passive bass through a di. this time around it just didn't cut it, with all the heaviness they were going after. he should'a played the wal, imo.
  10. One of the things that I like best about this album is Geddy's vocal harmonies. His voice has always been unique and I've liked it, but it does verge on "squeaky-whiney" at times-for a male vocalist. I think that the thickening and harmonizing makes him sound much better. The background vocals on "Peaceable Kingdom" are powerfully effective. The darker, grinder arrangements are a direction that I hope they'll continue with even tho that mix has issues!

    I also find myself hearing and singing the melody lines to just about every song on this CD throughout the day. This is something that never happened for me with any of the other Rush albums. (Just one or two songs per album rather than ALL of them.)

    If you haven't tried listening repeatedly with headphones yet, the layered bass parts are pretty cool and might grow on you. I like that Geddy is strumming chords in the background. If esoteric jazz guys like Matt Garrison and Pattituci aren't showing the general public that bass guitar can be more than "oom pah", maybe Geddy can! This is the first rock album in several years for me, that has been in "constant rotation" on my player. That fact that it's Rush that has so inspired me
    (in my own studio) of late has been surprising and I couldn't help passing the word on this album. Anyone know if it's selling particularly well?
  11. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    On a side note: I'm seeing them wednesday!!!!

    I agree about the choice of bass (and JT's suggestion) partially: All the layers and complex parts should have been done on the wal to cut better, but I think the Jazz was a perfect choice for the main lines. (i.e. the ones that will be played live)

    I'm loving this album, though I also like their keys/synth intensive albums the best (aside from this one) I can say that if there's any Rush I like less than the rest, its their really old 70s material (first few albums). To me they just weren't refined enough.

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