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Not up to par

Power Windows
Power Windows
By Rush

Mercury / Polygram Records: 1985

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This review first appeared in the November 13, 1985 issue of The Daily Aztec.

With last year's release of "Grace Under Pressure," Rush proved themselves in the upper echelon of hard rock. Songs such as "Distant Early Warning" and "Body Electric" received heavy airplay and showed that hard rock could be melodically complex and also tackle social issues just like Springsteen or Baez.

All of which tends to make "Power Windows" seem a bit disappointing in comparison.

It's not that it's a poor album; if it had been released before "Grace Under Pressure," it might have seemed a very good one.

But the previous album put Rush in company with progressive rock groups like King Crimson, Yes and ELP, while this new release isn't at the level.

"The Big Money" is getting a lot of airplay, but comes off as a rewrite of "Distant Early Warning." The song is full of basic Rush techniques: short pauses between vocals and guitar riffs, short phrases, and Alex Lifeson's syncopated guitar playing.

Indeed, most of the material on "Power Windows" sounds like leftovers from "Grace Under Pressure." This is the first album Rush has put out not to show artistic growth from its predecessor.

Still, it is a Rush album, and most fans of the band will enjoy it.