Friday, 4 February 2011

CD Review: Roll The Bones, by Rush (1991)

On their 14th studio album and 17 years into their career, Rush turn their attention to the subject of fate. The music on Roll The Bones occasionally surprises by emitting a pulse, but the package is badly let down by some embarrassing tracks. Bravado, The Big Wheel and Heresy would cause mass-walkouts if they were ever played in front of any crowd not consisting of die-hard Rush fans. These tracks are asinine and fatuous, and including all three on the CD is very close to an outright insult.

Better material is found elsewhere: title track Roll The Bones stands out, as it finds a solid hook, a sense of determination and an energetic bounce. It also features a rap section which almost works but does overstay its welcome. Where's My Thing? is a satisfyingly lively instrumental, although the title is a sad reflection on the general lack of inspiration. And Ghost Of A Chance combines emotion with an enduring melody, Rush for once achieving consistency between poetic lyrics and imaginative metal.

The rest of the album meanders in self-obsessed mid-range progressive territory, the band mostly going through the motions, tank dry, avoiding risk, emphasizing safety, and steering far from any serious stretching that may tempt fate.


Alex Lifeson - Guitars
Neil Peart - Drums
Geddy Lee - Bass, Vocals, Synthesizers

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Dreamline - 7
2. Bravado - 5
3. Roll The Bones - 9
4. Face Up - 7
5. Where's My Thing? - 8
6. The Big Wheel - 5
7. Heresy - 5
8. Ghost Of A Chance - 8
9. Neurotica - 7
10. You Bet Your Life - 7

Average: 6.80

Produced by Rupert Hine and Rush.
Engineered by Stephen W. Taylor.  Mastered by Bob Ludwig.

All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.

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