Rush’s varied, misunderstood Snakes and Arrows offered hope amidst tragedy

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While it may not quite be the wild and crazy effort that producer Nick Raskulinecz promised, Rush’s Snakes and Arrows was a solid, enjoyable album. If anything, it suffered mainly from the band’s attempts at covering so much ground.

Where Rush had formerly been so focused on a “sound” for each album, Snakes and Arrows (released this month back in 2007) is all over the place — picking bits and pieces from throughout their catalog. It makes for a fun listen, but not an especially focused one when you’re in a particular mood.

What I respond to on Snakes and Arrows, more than many other Rush albums, are drummer Neil Peart’s lyrics, which seem to be misunderstood by many as the words of a very bitter man about a very cold world — rather than what I believe them to be. Which is one man attempting to show that while there are terrible events of every kind taking place, there is beauty and belief and justice to be found if we would just trust in each other.

In the end, a unified message of hope tied an album of loose ends together in a fantastic way.

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