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Rush, “Vapor Trails Remixed”

Anyone who has talked Rush with me in the past ten years has heard me ramble about how I loved the much-maligned Vapor Trails album, despite its horrific mastering. I always hoped Rush would find the time to go back and fix the record, and recently they delivered the goods.
The 2002 album finds the band recovering from the death of Neil’s wife and daughter, and the songs erupt with his long emotional recovery, breathing fresh air (at a huge cost) into a band whose lyrics had grown *Very* stale (‘Net boy/net girl’ I’m looking at you). Everyone’s playing is top notch, and the lack of guitar solos, while indicative of the time it was recorded, compresses the 12 tracks into a full set of tight, power trio rock that is still sorely lacking in our world.
The album has some of Rush’s best work in their career, and now you can finally hear it. The new mastering isn’t perfect, as the damage done to the album’s overall sonics cannot be entirely erased. But there is so much more clarity and room to breath in the records, you can actually – and finally – listen to it without losing your mind. It was worth the wait.

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