Rush’s “Clockwork Angels” Finally My Generation Gets its “2112” – Album Review

I don’t feel like I’m smart enough to review anything related to Rush. I tried to review “Beyond the Lighted Stage” and was crucified by a couple of diehard Rush fans. So let me start this review off by saying that I love Rush, but I didn’t really discover Rush until the early 2000’s, so you know more about Rush than I do and are probably a bigger/better fan. I still love their music.

 My guess is that most Rush fan would consider “Clockwork Angels” their best album since “Moving Pictures.” It’s my personal favorite since “Hemispheres.” “Hemispheres,” “2112,” and “Moving Pictures” all came out before I was born. While I have enjoyed the last few Rush albums none of them have excited me as much as “Clockwork Angels” has. “Clockwork Angels” is a little bit more special to me because I think it’s my generations “2112.” My generation gets to discover this album now, not 10, 20 or even 30 years after it was released.

  The story follows a young man’s quest through a steampunk and alchemy future in attempt to follow his dream. “Clockwork Angels” comes in a time where albums as we use to know it don’t exist/matter and it comes from a band with a huge catalogue of amazing albums that they could just cash it in and tour off of their classics. “Clockwork Angels” is a special album. If Rush were to play “Clockwork Angels” beginning to end on their upcoming tour Rush fans would not be disappointed.

Recently I read an interview with Neil Peart where he said the he wanted “Clockwork Angels” to be his lyrical and drumming pinnacle (something to that affect.) Rush’s musicianship is and has always been top notch, so it’s difficult for me (a mediocre musician at best) to say that their musicianship is better than ever and have it mean anything. That said the playing by all three guys really stands out. Geddy vocally sounds better than ever. The Instrumentation really stands out on this album to my ears. Alex and Neil have always been what my ears hear first, but on this album Geddy’s bass work really stuck out for me along with Alex and Neil. All in all, you can’t go wrong with Rush when it comes to musicianship.

 If you’re a Rush fan you already have this album. If you’re not a fan of Rush yet, all I can say is what are you waiting for? If you can’t stand Geddy Lee’s voice, go back and listen to the instrumentation on “Tom Sawyer,” pick up “2112” and give that a listen, or better yet make “Clockwork Angels” be the first Rush album you pick up. Don’t skip around the album either. Start with “Caravan” and listen straight through to “Garden.” Close your eyes and escape into the world that Rush creates with their music. You won’t regret it. Before you know it you’ll be freaking out in a resale shop when you find a copy of “Hemisphere” on vinyl, just like I did not even a week ago.

 BYLINE: Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at

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slfm said...

It's hard to listen to this album straight through (though I've been doing that about 2-3 times a day since Tuesday!). You'll finish a song and say, "Dayumn! I gotta hear that again!" and hit the rewind button.

Penny said...

"Clockwork Angels is a little bit more special to me because I think it’s my generation's 2112. My generation gets to discover this album now, not 10, 20 or even 30 years after it was released." -- Thanks for sharing that perspective. I've been a Rush fan since 1980, but have recently turned my 19-year-old son on to Rush and he's crazy for Clockwork Angels. I'm delighted that younger folks like you and he can discover this wonderful work (as well as Rush's excellent back catalog) and I hope that we can all look forward to more such good stuff in the future.

Nice review, man. Clockwork Angels is more than a rock album -- it's a work of art. I think once the book comes out by Kevin J. Anderson, and the tour gets underway -- in which Rush tours with a full string orchestra! -- we'll see even more what a brilliant creative masterwork this thing is.


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