Rush: 'Presto' Album Review

Rush: 'Presto' Album Review

'Presto' ditches the over abundance of synthesizers used on previous albums and utilizes a far more simple hard rock sound

Presto is the thirteenth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released on November 21, 1989 by Atlantic Records. Its total length is 52:11. The band's lineup included vocalist, bassist, and synthesizers player Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neil Peart.

Rush's previous two releases Power Windows and Hold Your Fire over used synthesizers and lost the sound that made Rush great. Rush also brings in Rupert Hine to produce the album. Presto really brings back a hard rock sound that had not been heard since their 1981 album Moving Pictures. Although, Presto may not be as great as Rush's releases during their prime, it does somewhat resemble them.

Presto was a popular release as it reached #16 on the Billboard 200 chart and #27 on the UK albums chart. It has since gone Gold in the U.S, Platinum in Canada, as well as Silver in the U.K. The strengths of the album are its simple hard rock sound, Lifeson's increased guitar work from previous albums, and the overall excellent musicianship the entire band demonstrates. The weaknesses of the album include the several points at which the album is very average and the album still doesn't quite sound like the return of hard rock for Rush mostly due to how rusty they are with this style of rock. Here are my thoughts on each track.

1. "Show Don't Tell" 5:01 (5/5)

"Show Don't Tell" is the exact hard rock opening Rush needed to represent their return to a hard rock sound. It begins with Neil's drumming and soon Lifeson's epic guitar riffing joins in. Geddy's bass is very audible and Neil's drumming is impressive. I love Geddy's vocal delivery on this track. The chorus is extremely catchy and works well with the overall feel of the entire song. There is almost an entire abandonment of synths on this track as they are barely used. "Show Don't Tell" is an excellent opener to represent Rush's return to a hard rock sound.

2. "Chain Lightning" 4:33 (4.5/5)

"Chain Lightning" begins with some nice bass playing and some pretty sweet guitar playing as well. I really enjoy Geddy's bass playing during this track. Neil's drumming is also very good. The chorus to the song is extremely catchy and perfectly fits the song surrounding it. The guitar solo is fantastic, as Lifeson brings back all of his signature guitar effects that make his solos great. I really enjoy "Chain Lightning" and I believe it's one of the best songs from the album.

3. "The Pass" 4:52 (5/5)

"The Pass" is a beautiful song that deals with the lyrical theme of teenage isolation. I love the overall feel the song has. Geddy's vocal delivery is perfect on the track and Neil's drumming is executed with precision. Lifeson's guitar work is perfectly simple and fits the track very well. Again, Rush makes another great chorus that is both catchy and powerful. The song's emotion is what makes it so special. The guitar solo is terrific and fits the track perfectly. Alex's solo is based more on emotion and is a great solo for this song. "The Pass" is the strongest track from the entire album.

4. "War Paint" 5:24 (3/5)

"War Paint" begins with a very simple guitar riff from Lifeson. Soon, the listener hears the first very noticeable synths from the entire album. Geddy's bass is very audible as usual and Neil's drumming is terrific. The chorus is catchy and meaningful. The verses is are probably the least enjoyable part of the song as they don't flow as well as the rest of the song. The song somewhat drags after a while, but is picked up by another very good Lifeson guitar solo. "War Paint" is a track that has moments of greatness, but as a whole is a very average track.

5. "Scars" 4:07 (4/5)

"Scars" has an amazing bass line that is just so groovy that starts the song so well. I love Neil's drumming as well, it really adds to the whole atmosphere of the song. Geddy's singing is perfect. I like Alex's subtle, but effective guitar work throughout the whole song. This song will get anyone to start nodding their head, because of its excellent beat. The chorus is one of the catchiest from the album. "Scars" is one of the most unique tracks from the entire album.

6. "Presto" 5:45 (3/5)

"Presto" has a very nice acoustic guitar riff from Lifeson and Geddy's vocal delivery is not my favorite on this track. The chorus is fitting to the song, but lacks the effect many of the others have on the album. Lifeson's guitar solo is terrific and does give the song a much needed climax. "Presto" tends to drag at times and doesn't really offer anything that makes the listener want to listen to the song again.

7. "Superconductor" 4:47 (3.5/5)

"Superconductor" has a very catchy guitar riff that gets you into the song right away. I love Neil's drumming as well, as it perfectly goes along with Lifeson's guitar. I love the chorus of the song. It may be very simple, but I like its simplicity. This song is definitely driven by Lifeson's guitar work though. I really enjoy his playing throughout this entire track. Geddy's bass at times is also impressive. "Superconductor" may be very simple, but it's also pretty effective.

8. "Anagram (for Mongo)" 4:00 (2.5/5)

"Anagram" is definitely one of the strangest songs from the entire album. Lifeson's riffs are fairly heavy at times during this track. The chorus is very catchy and Geddy's vocal delivery is very good on this track. Geddy's bass playing is also solid throughout this track. Synths are used in moderation during the track. "Anagram" is an okay track.

9. "Red Tide" 4:29 (5/5)

"Red Tide" begins with some pretty cool synths and keyboards. Geddy plays piano sounding keys during this track. "Red Tide" contains my favorite chorus from the entire album. Lifeson's guitar work is perfect, Neil's drumming is powerful, and Geddy's bass is very audible. "Red Tide" uses keyboards, pianos, and synthesizers perfectly and Geddy's vocal delivery is as good as it has ever been. Lifeson's guitar solo is just nasty and is so powerful despite its short length. "Red Tide" is one of my favorite tracks from the entire album.

10. "Hand over Fist" 4:11 (3/5)

"Hand over Fist" begins with acoustic guitar playing and some steady synth effects. I actually enjoy Lifeson's riffing during this track. Neil's drumming is very good as well. The chorus is very catchy, but lacks the power of others on the album. Geddy's vocals are very passionate at times during the track. Lifeson gives another powerful guitar solo and a guitar outro as well. "Hand over Fist" is very repetitive, but is a decent track.

11. "Available Light" 5:03 (4/5)

"Available Light" begins with some keyboard playing from Geddy that is very dramatic. Neil's drumming is perfectly paced. The chorus is very beautiful and adds excellent effect to the entire song. Lifeson's guitar riffs are very powerful at times. Geddy's voice is full of emotion and is very powerful. I really like the emotional power the song holds as well as its beauty. Lifeson's guitar solo is excellent and its emotion is very fitting to the song, he plays it in. "Available Light" is a fitting in to a good album.

My Verdict:

Rush's Presto puts an end to the synth sound Rush had on it's previous few albums and brings back a more straight forward hard rock sound. Presto may not blow one away upon first listen, but it is definitely nice to hear Rush return to their hard rock roots on the album. Overall, Presto may not be a Rush classic, but it does bring back their hard rock sound.

Grade: B

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Remember To Be Kind To Theme Park Cast Members This Holiday Season

They make the magic for you.

For those of you who have traveled to a theme park during the holidays, you know what you are in for.

The weeks right before and after Christmas are some of the busiest times of the year to visit, making the parks extremely crowded and wait times higher than usual. Yet, this time is so popular since it is fun to experience the magic of the season with your family during the special Christmastime celebrations at the parks that bring something extra to your holidays.

One of the most important things to remember during this time of year is to be nice to the cast members!

Families that come to the parks during this time have so much to remember and so much to do; unfortunately, something that is often forgotten during a vacation is to be thankful for those who have to work during this time of year.

The cast members and team members who work during the holidays are doing so at the expense of spending time with their own families. They are sacrificing their Christmas celebrations at home to be at work making your vacation magical.

Some of these workers are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from their families and may not have seen them for weeks or even months. Yet, they are here in Orlando working in a job that they are passionate about because they love making happiness for their guests

Making magic and spreading happiness is something that is important to us and why we love what we do. However, it is still really hard to be away from our families at Christmas.

Think it is hard to be a guest when the parks are crowded?

It's even more difficult for the cast members who are working as hard as they can, for 8-15 hour shifts, when things happen that are out of our control. We too dislike long waits, telling your child that he is too short to ride or the fact that a ride is temporarily closed. These things make our jobs difficult too, just as they may be a huge setback in your vacation plans.

So focus on the positive things and appreciate the time you can spend with your families and friends rather than dwelling on the things that may be small setbacks during an overall wonderful holiday vacation. Please be patient this holiday season. Give the cast members a smile and a pleasant "thank you" or "Merry Christmas". We are here for you and we want you to have a wonderful vacation, but it still makes an incredible difference to know that our work is appreciated.

At this time of year, it is important to spread Christmas cheer and we are excited to celebrate with you and your families!

Cover Image Credit: Park Troopers

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7 Reasons 'Starset' Deserves To Get Big

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do.


Starset consists of four members, Dustin Bates, Ron DeChant, Brock Richards, and Adam Gilbert. The band was formed in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. Their music has influenced my and several others lives.

Here are a few reasons why they deserve to go down as one of the biggest bands in history.

1. They're the most original band I've heard in awhile.

Starset's content is unlike any other band I've heard or seen before. They classify themselves as "space rock", creating a type of music that many have never heard of before. They use your regular guitar, bass, and drums, but they also incorporate the use of violins, cellos, and synthesizers to create the unique, one of a kind sound. The lead singer, Dustin Bates, even created his own microphone that distorts his voice to use in live shows, so that you feel as though he's speaking to you through a radio in a space station.

2. They're all a bunch of nerds/dorks.

Starset is the kind of band that you'd love to be friends with. Not only are they wicked smart, they also have an amazing sense of humor. They incorporate their knowledge into the songs that they write, leaving you wanting to learn more about what it is they write in their songs.

3. Their songs are lyrically and melodically beautiful.

Ricochet is one of their most impactful and meaningful songs. When you first listen to it you can hear the emotion in Dustin's voice, but as you take a minute to listen to the lyrics, you realize it has so much more meaning than what you assumed. It represents the struggle of a relationship gone sour, the internal struggles within yourself, and the effect it has on both people in the relationship. It's a song that a lot of people can relate to, and I find that amazing.

4. They interact with and care about their fans.

Nyah Kite

Before their shows, they do eat and greets where they hang out with their fans, eat pizza, perform some acoustic songs, and take pictures with them. They have genuine conversations with them, asking us our names, what we like to do, and just keep up small talk. My brother, pictured here, had a conversation with Ron, the bassist, before the show started and they got along phenomenally. I don't know many bands who take that much time to get to know their fans and they even interact with them on Twitter.

5. Have comics with Marvel.

The Prox Transmissions - Marvel Comics

Not only does Starset create music, they also have their own comics with Marvel. The comics are based on an alternate world they created through their music. Each album has a story, but now it's come to life through their comic, The Pros Transmissions. How dope is that?

6. Created their own society to inform the world of various things.

The Starset Society is a mission, created by Starset, to inform others of the up-coming technological advances happening in the world today. The main goal of this society is to make sure we're well aware of the things happening in the world, and it's not just aimed for the fans of Starset. It's influenced by the idea of Thomas Jefferson that says the first step toward a guided future is an informed public.

7. They love what they do.

Nyah Kite

The main reason they deserve success is that they love everything they do. They put so much work into making their shows interactive and enjoyable, and they spend years working on albums so that they and their fans are pleased with the final product. Knowing that they put so much passion and effort into their work makes it obvious that they deserve to be one of the biggest bands in history.

After learning more about this amazing, influential band, aren't you intrigued to hear more of their music? To learn more about their society and their comics? They're great people with a great purpose driving them to continue creating some of the most unique, epic rock sounds in history. Check out Starset. You won't regret it.

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