Well here it is. Now that I've been able to listen to the entire CD from beginning to end about 15-20 times, I think I can at least put my initial thoughts together. I'm hesitant to do this because I've always said it takes at least a year to truly evaluate a Rush album and determine where it stands with the rest of the collection, but I figured I at least have heard it enough to give my initial thoughts. DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T WANT DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE NEW RUSH ALBUM DUE FOR RELEASE MAY 14. First, I'll start by saying that I've been a diehard fan since 1980 (Permanent Waves) - at the ripe age of 8. Incidentally, I'm definitely more of a fan of the pre-80s stuff such as 2112, Hemispheres, A Farewell To Kings, etc. Here is my breakdown, song by song (in order by track): 1) One Little Victory - The first single off the album. I'll never understand how Rush always manages to release the weakest song on the entire album as the first single. Yes, I know there have been exceptions in the past. This is not one of them. The music of this song (guitar, bass, drums) are actually very good. It's the lyrics I can't get past. If I wanted lyrics like that, I'd listen to Creed or Pearl Jam. 2) Peacable Kingdom - Great bass work by Geddy. I could see this as being one of those Rush songs that grows on you as the years go by. 3) Ghost Rider - Probably my favorite track. POWERFUL stuff. Anyone who thinks Geddy has lost it vocally should give this one a listen. 4) Ceiling Unlimited - Has sort of a U2 sound (which turned me off at first), but I've learned to appreciate it. 5) Stars Look Down - Another example of Geddy showcasing his best vocals in a long time (along with Ghost Rider). 6) How It Is - The "feel-good" song of the album. At first it sounds like a depressing, negative song, but listening closely to the beat and lyrics makes you realize it's about possibilities and making the most of what you have. 7) Vapor Trail - Great lyrics, great classic Rush beat. 8) Out Of The Cradle - Another track that took me a few listens to get into. Haven't quite figured out what it's about it. Great guitar work by Alex. 9) Earthshine - I love this one. From what I hear, this will be their next single off the album. It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to it. Not your typical 'Roll The Bones' or 'One Little Victory' Rush single. Could be the 'Cold Fire' of this album. 10) Sweet Miracle - Okay song, I'm just not crazy about the chorus. It just seems forced to me. The lyrics are good, so this one might grow on me. 11) Nocturne - As I'm listening to this as I type, I think this track has moved up the ranks. Probably the most prog-sounding of the album. 12) Freeze (part IV of Fear) - Probably the most early 80's sounding song they've done since, well, the early 80's. 13) Secret Touch - Great close, although I think I would have closed with 'Freeze', but what do I know. I love the bass work in the beginning. Favorite tracks: Ghost Rider Freeze Stars Look Down Secret Touch Earthshine Least Favorite tracks: One Little Victory Sweet Miracle Conclusion - I'd have to say, this is a VERY solid effort. Definitely surpasses 'Test For Echo' (wasn't a big fan of that one)...only time will tell if it can surpass 'Counterparts'. I love 'Counterparts'. My only complaint so far (okay, two complaints) is that (1) there is no instrumental, and that (2) yet another Rush album has come, and they still haven't put together an epic track like they did regularly earlier in their career. Quite frankly, we haven't seen that since 'The Camera Eye' on Moving Pictures. So of course I wasn't really expecting it this time around, but I guess I always hold out hope in the back of my mind, especially with bands like Yes coming back with more "progressive" type stuff. Interestingly enough, what I've found with most Rush songs is that the ones that really learn to appreciate and like more over the years are the ones that I didn't like right away (after 1-3 listens). I can honestly say that I felt that way on every single track on this CD, which to me is very promising as to how this one will ultimately measure up to the rest of their collection. I am anxiously awaiting to obtain the "official" copy on May 14.