After flirting (albeit mildly) with alternative rock on Counterparts, Rush returns to classic progressive rock on Test for Echo. Cutting back many of the AOR production flourishes that hampered most of their late-'80s and early-'90s releases, the band concentrates on the sounds and styles that made albums like Moving Pictures huge successes in the late '70s and early '80s. Test for Echo is all instrumental gymnastics and convoluted song structures, all of which demonstrate each member's skills. And the key to the album is the individual performances, since each song isn't particularly memorable as a song, only as a way to showcase the solos. With Rush, such a tactic isn't necessarily a bad thing, since they have always been better at playing than writing, and they have rarely played better in the past ten years than they have on Test for Echo.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine