Clockwork Angels Songs Ranked

Clockwork Angels are the nineteenth and final studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released June 12, 2012 (8 and 13 in Australia and Europe) on Roadrunner Records. During the band’s year-and-a-half break following its Snakes & Arrows Tour, the group decided to write a new studio album. The album was recorded in April 2010 at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee and from October to December 2011 at Revolution Recording in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The album debuted at No. 1 in Canada and at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album won the award for Rock Album of the Year at the 2013 Juno Awards. The entire album tells a story – a mega-epic of over 70 minutes, but each song can still stand on its own, musically if not lyrically. Here are Clockwork Angels songs ranked.

Don’t miss out on the TIMELESS Rush music below! Click to experience the greatest Canadian band of ALL TIME!

12. Bu2b2

“BU2B2 is a short acoustic reprise of the first one, but from a protagonist who’s older, disillusioned, but wiser, and despite still having the same disdain for the fatalists and their unquestioning beliefs, he realizes his own refusal to share in their beliefs and his desire to continue living his own way in spite of all the challenges he’s faced is itself a reflection of a kind of faith.”

11. Wish Them Well

“Wish Them Well is a lesson the protagonist tries to teach – how you can’t let those who don’t agree with, dislike or hate become a driving factor in your life. Those who are evil, mean, stupid or nasty simply aren’t worth spending any more of your energy than needed to get away and get them out of your life. (There’s too much other cool stuff to do!)”

RUSH Clockwork Angels reviews

10. Carnies

“In the fifth song, Carnies, the protagonist has taken a job working on a carnival (kinda like Neil did when he was young) and one night amidst the busy crowds, games, dancers and performers, he spots the Anarchist planting a bomb, and just as he shouts to warn the crowd, the villain throws the detonator to him and disappears. The crowds assume the protagonist is the guilty party and he’s forced to flee the city. The music starts off with an ominous sounding riff alternating with a lighter section that builds tension.”

See more: Rush Albums Ranked

9. Halo Effect

“Halo Effect backtracks a bit (or it’s the protagonist reminiscing) and introduces a little bit of love story – even if it turns out badly. It’s a short ballad, barely over three minutes, led by Alex with a melancholy acoustic guitar on the verses. The protagonist becomes obsessed with a beautiful acrobat performer who doesn’t share his feelings, and he has to come to terms with the fact that he was just projecting his vision of a perfect soulmate onto the object of his infatuation – to be disappointed when she doesn’t comes close.”

Alex Lifeson Says 'There's No Way Rush Will Ever Exist Again'

8. Seven Cities of Gold

“In the next song the protagonist makes his way to the rough port city of Poseidon. `Seven Cities of Gold’ plays off of the old Spanish legend – the unreachable untold cities of riches always forever just beyond reach, but tortuously visible past a brutal wilderness described in the lyrics and Hugh Syme’s artwork that resembles the four corners area (only colder). The protagonist of course hears the stories and has to try to find them, spending who knows how many months or years, and ends up nearly freezing to death before having to return to Poseidon.”

7. The Wreckers

“In The Wreckers the protagonist believes his luck has run out and catches a ship back home. He’s tired, a bit older, and has had his fill of adventure. They get caught in a vicious storm at sea and get lost, and when they see a signal light they believe they’re saved by some Samaritans. But, it turns out it’s a trap to get ships to run aground so the wreckers can plunder the cargos and leave the poor passengers to drown in the waves. Musically, the verses have a melody that reflects the tragedy of the passengers’ shattered hope, with a chorus that reflects the protagonists growing disillusionment.”

Reel Brief: The rock stops rolling for the guys of Rush: Time Stand Still |  The Star

6. BU2B

“BU2B has a very brief acoustic guitar and haunting voice intro before kicking into a pounding riff punctuated by a steam venting sound effect (which they match with their steampunk stage setup on tour). The song talks about the predominant beliefs of the society the protagonist was raised in – a very fatalistic belief system that kept anyone from questioning what they were `brought up to believe.’ The liner notes teaser for the song talks about the omniscient Watchmaker who ruled Crown City, the capital the protagonist travelled to, with alchemist-priests (vaguely like the priests in 2112) providing for every need. Not a very subtle hint at Neil’s, and probably Geddy and Alex’s disdain for organized religion and contempt for those who never question anything.”

See more: Rush Songs Ranked

5. The Anarchist

“No ordered society is complete without a villain – The Anarchist. The rhythmic, lively music to me contrasts sharply with the dark character in the lyrics. To me it speaks of a deeply held contempt for the sort of behavior demonstrated by the worst of the pseudo-Marxist-nihilist idiots who seemed to infest OWS protests in larger cities last year.”

Rush: Time Stand Still (2016) | thedullwoodexperiment

4. Clockwork Angels

“Clockwork Angels takes the protagonist to the center of Crown City, to Chronos Square (noticing the theme of time again?) where he sees the aforementioned Clockwork Angels – floating globes representing Light, Sea, Sky and Land – basically the four elements. They are the visible symbols worshipped by those in the city, but even they are beholden to the unseen Watchmaker. The music has a majestic sound to it that complements the reverence held for the Angels – punctuated by a mocking bridge section with Geddy’s voice distorted as he sings they lyrics”

3. The Garden

“I think it’s the most beautiful song Rush has ever written. It floored me. Musically it has Geddy starting out singing the lyrics to an almost folk-sounding melody that’s not quite like anything they’ve done in any of their more `ballad-y’ songs over the years, with Alex playing an acoustic in support. Then it builds with bass and then Neil joining in on the drums, and then it incorporates some piano and orchestral parts. It has Geddy’s best singing on the album, and closes out with a gorgeous solo from Alex. The lyrics provide the finale to the theme of time and the unseen Watchmaker behind the scenes.”

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees of 2013 - Los Angeles Times

2. Caravan

“Caravan starts off the story in what’s become a standard Rush practice of having the most iconic song up front on the album- it’s a tribute to the youthful longing for adventure and getting-out-of-dodge. A young man wants to escape the safe, secure farm where he grew up. It has a great stop-time riff for the verses, an anthemic chorus somewhat reminiscent of Dreamline on Roll the Bones, and an instrumental break/bridge section that just flat out kicks ass to hear (and to see live on the Time Machine tour video). Three top-notch musicians playing off of and supporting the others with a chemistry matched by few other groups.”

1. Headlong Flight

“Headlong Flight has the protagonist, presumably back home and safe, reminiscing again about all the adventures he’s had, and in spite of how bad things may have seen from time to time, that they all helped make him the person he became. The chorus contains a tribute to Neil’s mentor Freddy Gruber…the real test of a life well-lived is whether you would do it all again. Musically this is the most kick-ass song on the album, starting out with a killer bass riff from Geddy before launching into a rocking 7-minute fast-tempo song that shows off Geddy, Alex and Neil’s jaw-dropping chops…it is going to be a blast to watch them play this one live!”