Rush, Vapor Trails
This 2002 album was Rush’s first after Übermensch drummer/lyricist Neil Peart’s personal tragedies in the late 1990s.
The car-accident death of his only daughter in August 1997 and his wife’s subsequent death 10 months later prompted Peart to tell Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to consider him retired. But in 2001 Peart returned to the band to write and record Vapor Trails—the name being a plural version of one of the album’s strongest songs.
Peart has worked with art director Hugh Syme since the mid-1970s to create covers that match the content of the many Rush albums. As always, Syme delivers here, capturing in one blistering image the lyrical themes of transition and transcendence as well as the harder edge to the album—which features deeper guitar and bass chords and (finally) eschews keyboards.