Roll the Bones
RUSH

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2.96 | 41 ratings | 5 reviews
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Album · 1991

Filed under Hard Rock

Tracklist

1. Dreamline (4:37)
2. Bravado (4:35)
3. Roll the Bones (5:30)
4. Face Up (3:54)
5. Where's My Thing? (Part IV, "Gangster of Boats" Trilogy) (3:49)
6. The Big Wheel (5:12)
7. Heresy (5:25)
8. Ghost of a Chance (5:18)
9. Neurotica (4:40)
10. You Bet Your Life (4:59)

Total Time: 48:04

Line-up/Musicians

- Geddy Lee / vocals, bass, synthesizers
- Alex Lifeson / electric and acoustic guitars, vocals
- Neil Peart / drums and cymbals

with
- Rupert Hine / additional vocals and keyboards

About this release

Studio album
September 3, 1991
Produced by Rupert Hine and Rush

1991 - Atlantic(US)(Europe) LP
1991 - Anthem(Canada) LP
1991 - Atlantic(US) CD
1991 - Anthem(Canada)(Europe) CD
1997 - Anthem(Canada) CD: remastered
1997 - Atlantic(US) CD: remastered
2011 - Mobile Fidelity(US) CD: gold disc, remastered, limited edition

Thanks to Raff, cannon, Time Signature, Pekka for the updates

RUSH MP3, Free Download/Stream

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Unitron
Rush-Roll the Bones

This album is Rush's lowest rated album on the MMA, and it's easy to see why. Roll the Bones is following more of a pop-rock style instead of the alternative rock of Presto. Roll the Bones suffers from some of the same things that made 'Hold Your Fire' such a bad album. Most of the songs sound the same, and have a sort of pop-rock styling which can get very annoying for me.

1. Dreamline---Being the opening song, of course it's one of the best on the album seeing as this is Rush. The song begins with really catchy guitar and subtle bass beats. The chorus is when it get heavier with the synth playing a very minimal part in the song. Peart gives some great drum beats during the guitar solo. Easily my favorite from the album. (10/10)

2. Bravado is a very bland U2-sounding ballad. It Doesn't go anywhere, the music doesn't even sound good, and there really isn't much to say. (1/10)

3. Roll the Bones---The title track begins with corny synth blasts that sound so dated. The drums keep a steady beat and without those synth blasts it would sound really good. The chorus is really catchy and easy to sing-a-long to, but that's really the only plus about it. The bridge with the rapping is just so ridiculous and how do I put it, stupid. Catchy, but really corny at times. (2/10)

4. Face Up may be a guilty pleasure for me. It begins with really good guitar riffs, and some catchy vocals by Lee. Okay, it mostly is enjoyable for how it's catchy. At the bridge you get a classic solo. A perfect song to sing-a-long to, but definitely not a song that will please many Rush fans. (7/10)

5. Where's My Thing---A really catchy instrumental, this song brings back some of that classic Rush feel. Lifeson conducts really great guitar riffs that may remind you of YYZ. This song shows that even on a mediocre album, Rush knows how to make good instrumentals. (10/10)

6. The Big Wheel may have good guitar, but that's really it. The strong synth kills the song, the lyrics aren't that good, and Lee doesn't even give that good of a vocal performance. Sounds so 80's, yet this is 1991! Just a really annoying song for me. (1/10)

7. Heresy isn't much different from 'Wheel' or 'Bravado', just a really annoying, bland, and synth filled ballad. (1/10)

8. Ghost of a Chance---Beginning with catchy guitar, it starts out okay. It does have its unique times with Pink Floyd-like ambient choruses that sound really good. My problem with this song is that the ambiance and the catchy guitar don't really go that well together. Still a pretty good song though.(7/10)

9. Neurotica begins with the guitar building up til it starts rocking. Neurotica is one of the single songs on the album that goes beyond catchy. This song is what I imagine would happen if you combined the sound of the albums 'Presto' and 'Pressure'.The guitar and drums really compliment each-other here. My 2nd favorite from the album. (10/10)

10. You Bet Your Life---Opening up with Peart attacking the drum set, this song closes off the album. This song, again, is catchy. There isn't much depth musically to this song, but the lyrics are nice. It does get too catchy for its own good sometimes, but it's not a bad song. A decent closer. (5/10)

Overall, I understand the low ratings, because Roll the Bones is my least favorite Rush album. It is a HUGE downgrade from the quality of 'Presto'. It gets way too pop-rock like and sounds really bland often.

Hope you found this review helpful.
siLLy puPPy
The 14th studio album by RUSH starts off fairly promising with the excellent rockin' track “Dreamline.” It brings you back to the RUSH of yesteryear when they still seemed passionate and energized, so they have finally delivered that album that everyone was so patiently waiting for. Or did they? Well, no. The leading track was just a teaser and then on the second track “Bravado” it reverts back to the slow paced uninspired material that makes the filler on the 70s albums sound classic.

RUSH seems like they threw in a token track of their former sound but don't really want to revisit that era and instead opt to throw in anything current of the era most noticeably alternative and indie rock of the early 90s. I hear an assortment of influences including funk and even woefully out of place hip hop on the title track. When I first got this album I absolutely hated it and immediately got rid of it. I recently picked it up dirt cheap just to reevaluate it with a more critical ear this time around. What i'm finding is that the music itself does not sound so horribly bad but the problem lies in the fact that Geddy Lee's vocals just don't fit any of the sounds they are trying to incorporate into their style.

The album just seems lackluster despite an admirable attempt to stray outside of their comfort zones and with vapid lyrics like “Why are we here? Because we're here. Roll The Bones. Why does it happen? Because it happens. Roll The Bones” it is apparent that RUSH has never been so estranged from the mythical feel of Xanadu or the milk of paradise. An awkward and tepid album but I have admiration for their adventurous spirit but still find this to be one of the least interesting RUSH album right at the bottom of the barrel with “Hold Your Fire.”
arcane-beautiful
Yes, Rush have put the synths behind them now, yay.

After Rush saw a success in the less use of synths, they decided to make a more guitar, bass and drum orientated album, which they easily should have seen to be successful, because they are a billion times better with that organic structure.

This album is alot better and more enjoyable than Presto, and the rest before that...

1. Dreamline - Wow, what a chorus. I love the synths in this song. Even the pre chorus is amazing. Great start to the album.

2. Bravado - Very U2. Great song with a great simple, but effective chorus. Great guitar solo.

3. Roll The Bones - The intro sounds very Michael Jackson. Amazing chorus. The rap is a bit cheesy, but it suprisingly works.

4. Face Up - The chorus is very cheesy, but it always works with Rush. Love the ambient keyboard section.

5. Where's My Thing? - Great funly instrumental with an amazng bass work from Geddy. Some very kick ass riffs in this song.

6. The Big Wheel -Love the keyboards in this song, especially in the chorus. The chorus is also great as well.

7. Heresy - Another song with great use of keyboards. Great chorus. I love how well this song flows.

8. Ghost Of A Chance - Quite an interesting song. I love the change in dynamics throughout. This song reminds me of Seal for some reason. The lyrics in this song are very esoteric (my new found faith, haha).

9. Neurotica - Love the riff in this song. Pretty cool chorus. I like the middle section. Very funky. Another great guitar solo.

10. You Bet Your Life - Cool chorus, with great ad libing bits.

CONCLUSION: The return of amazing rock based music. Things...will only get better.
Warthur
Roll the Bones sees Rush continue the tendency that begun in Presto to gently excise the synth-heavy aspects of their 80s sound and return to a more guitar-focused approach. This time around, the band also seem to make a conscious attempt to incorporate influences from various indie-rock trends of the day.

In principle, this isn't a terrible idea - at the very least, keeping an eye on current musical trends can help a band save themselves from stagnation. However, the execution here leaves a lot to be desired; the album lacks personality even compared to bland releases like Hold Your Fire, and when you combine this with a production job which seems curiously lacklustre considering the technical polish Rush habitually gave their releases it all adds up to one of their least essential albums.
AtomicCrimsonRush
Don't rush out to buy this one!

A very routine album has Rush going by the numbers with poor production values and badly mixed sounds. The guitars are repetitive and commercial sounding. The drums sound like Peart is banging the pots and pans in his kitchen. Lee sounds bored and his bass is nothing special here. Apart from one or two shining lights "Roll the Bones" fades into obscurity and is perhaps as bad as "Presto", though this is perhaps their worst album. Unlike the disappointing "Presto", "Roll the Bones" does have a few excellent tracks.

Dreamline is a great rocker with some innovative guitar work and is well structured. Bravado sounds good overall, and has a nice litle riff driving it. Roll The Bones is perhaps the best song on the album with a cool memorable lyric; "why are we here, because we're here, roll the bones..." or better still, "why does it happen, because it happens, roll the bones..." It has a groovy hook and sounds great live. The film clip promo was rather fun and it showed that the band could still enjoy their music, even if they shed their prog traits during this era.

Where's My Thing (Part IV of the "Gangster Of Boats Trilogy") is the first instrumental for years from the power trio, and it genuinely stands out as a highlight with the band letting loose and doing what they do best, rocking the roof off. After this we are inundated with mediocrity fillers such as the dismal The Big Wheel, Heresy and Ghost Of A Chance. Neurotica is better with a moderate tempo and some melodic hooks, and the album ends on the rather traditional You Bet Your Life, that is forgettable but sounds good while it plays.

The problem with the album is the lack of passion, the band sound tired and the songs for the most part are ruined by poor production, as though they were not using a sound engineer at all. It is so badly mixed that it would do well to re release this album as a remaster with remixes of the original masters. It certainly would not hurt because honestly this album is a slog to get through with only the aforementioned tracks to recommend it to anyone but the diehard Rush collector.

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