Guitar World posted an interview with Alex Lifeson online from the last dead-tree issue. It's a good read and it's nice to see Lifeson still getting love from the guitar community after all these years. He's always been one of my favorite guitarists and I've always felt like not enough people really appreciate his unique style and range.
As for the new record, I'm totally in love with the new album “Clockwork Angels”. When I first got into Rush, they had already released what became my favorite albums (“Hemispheres”, “Permanent Waves”, “Grace Under Pressure”) and most of the new releases (“Hold Your Fire”, “Presto”, “Roll The Bones”) didn't move the meter too much for me. After a while I put Rush on a shelf and seriously wondered if I'd ever really listen to them again.
Then about five years ago I played “Guitar Hero” on an Xbox 360 for the first time and one of the songs I absolutely decimated the stiff office competition with was “YYZ”. Somehow that set off some latent gene in my musical psyche because I went totally nuts for Rush over the next couple of years. I went back and picked up albums they had put out since I had left the tribe. Among them was “Counterparts” which was the strongest Rush album (IMHO) I had heard since “Grace Under Pressure”. Still, the new stuff still wasn't quite as awesome as the old stuff.
Then comes “Clockwork Angels”. I can't tell you how awesome it is to be into the band when they release a new album that you fall in love with. I saw them on the “Time Machine” tour and I'm going to see them again in November . I am totally jazzed.
Who would have guessed that in 2012 I'd get a new Van Halen record and Rush record that I both absolutely love? Lucky me.