Vapor Trails is the seventeenth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in 2002. The release of Vapor Trails marked the first studio album for the band in six years (since Test for Echo in 1996). Long known for purposeful stylistic changes that defined individual albums as well as delineated the larger-scale phases of their recording career, Vapor Trails brought a shift in many fundamental aspects of the Rush sound as it had evolved over the years. On Vapor Trails there are no keyboards, no traditional guitar solos, and no processed-guitar tones. Instead, Vapor Trails uses a more purified guitar tone, lots of vocal, guitar and even bass overdubs, and an overall darker tone to the music and lyrics. Much of the recordings were from one-off jam sessions and many of the original takes from those sessions were used to construct the songs. Rush made extensive use of computers and music editing software to piece the jam session recordings into songs. Drummer Neil Peart remarked “ Eventually Geddy began to sift through the vast number of jams they had created, finding a verse here, a chorus there, and piecing them together. Often a pattern had only ever been played once in passing, but through the use of computer tools it could be repeated or reworked into a part. Since all the writing, arranging, and recording was done on computer, a lot of time was spent staring at monitors, but most of the time technology was our friend, and helped us to combine spontaneity and craftwork. Talk was the necessary interface, of course, and once Geddy and Alex had agreed on basic structures, Geddy would go through the lyrics to see what might suit the music and "sing well," then come to me to discuss any improvements, additions, or deletions I could make from my end. ” All in all, Vapor Trails offers a dramatic rethinking of Rush's fundamental musical mores, suggesting that they have embarked on yet another new direction. However, it seems that Rush still will maintain a progressive edge as many of the songs feature odd meters, e.g. alternating 5/8 and 7/8 in "Freeze". The album has sold over 340,000 copies since its release Track listing All songs written by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. "One Little Victory" – 5:08 "Ceiling Unlimited" – 5:28 "Ghost Rider" – 5:41 "Peaceable Kingdom" – 5:23 "The Stars Look Down" – 4:28 "How It Is" – 4:05 "Vapor Trail" – 4:57 "Secret Touch" – 6:34 "Earthshine" – 5:38 "Sweet Miracle" – 3:40 "Nocturne" – 4:49 "Freeze" (Part IV of Fear)– 6:21 "Out Of The Cradle" – 5:03 In the booklet, each song's lyrics is illustrated with a card of the Rider-Waite tarot deck, being, in order: Knight of Wands (One Little Victory), The Star (Ceiling Unlimited), Wheel of Fortune (Ghost Rider), The Tower (Peaceable Kingdom), The Chariot (The Stars Look Down), The Hanged Man (How It Is), Six of Swords (Vapor Trail), The Hermit (Secret Touch), The Lovers (Earthshine), Ace of Cups (Sweet Miracle), The Moon (Nocturne), Eight of Swords (Freeze) and The Fool (Out Of The Cradle). Personnel Geddy Lee - bass guitar, vocals Alex Lifeson - electric and acoustic guitars, mandola Neil Peart - drums, percussion Criticism The production of Vapor Trails has been highly criticized due to the album's 'loud' sound quality. Albums such as this have been mastered so loud that additional digital distortion is added during the production of the CD. The trend, known as the Loudness war, has become very common on modern rock CDs. As explained by Rip Rowan on the ProRec website, the damaged production is the result of overly-compressed (clipped) audio levels during mastering, though Rush have admitted that there was digital distortion during recording, which also contributed to the damage. Remastering the album would not correct the damage from digital distortion that was introduced during recording, but it could correct the other, more destructive damage that is the result of overly-compressing the audio during mastering. Billboard Music Charts (North America) Year Chart Position 2002 The Billboard 200 6 2002 Top Internet Albums 29 2002 Top Canadian Albums 3 User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.