Rolling Stone - 5/23/02, p.823 out of 5 stars
- "...[Rush] abandons the prog-rock jams...for a harder, Staind-friendly approach..."
Rush: Geddy Lee (vocals, bass); Alex Lifeson (acoustic & electric guitars, mandola); Neil Peart (drums).
Personnel: Alex Lifeson (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandola); Neil Peart (drums, cymbals).
Audio Mixer: David Leonard .
Recording information: Reaction Studios, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (01/2001-11/2001).
VAPOR TRAILS finds prog-rock veterans Rush breaking the longest hiatus (six years, in part due to personal tragedies suffered by drummer/lyricist Neil Peart) in the band's 30-year history. The album is heavier than anything the band had recorded in years. The late-'80s/early-'90s synth-heavy/clean-guitar sound has long since been abandoned for a thick, crunchy, and structurally more straight-forward approach, intensifying the spirit introduced on 1996's TEST FOR ECHO.
Quite notable on VAPOR TRAILS is bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee's singing, which find him soaring confidently in the upper part of his range, especially on "Ghost Rider" and "Nocturne." This brings back memories of the early days, as the '90s often found Lee confining himself to his midrange. As he sings on "Peaceable Kingdom," the time is now again for Rush; VAPOR TRAILS boasts a set of stirring songs with the potential to become instant Rush classics.