Reuniting with POWER WINDOWS/HOLD YOUR FIRE producer Peter Collins, Rush released their fifteenth studio album (and nineteenth overall). During its recording, guitarist Alex Lifeson wanted the album to be more hard rock-oriented, while bassist Geddy Lee was content with their recent excursions in melodic pop. Lifeson must have won the battle, because COUNTERPARTS is a harder-rocking affair than Rush's previous several albums. It's also the strongest and most consistent set of songs the band had composed in a while, with a grittier feel (an element sorely missed by fans of the band's 1970s work). COUNTERPARTS contains at least one track that deals with a topical issue (as in 1989's anti-suicide "The Pass", etc.)--"Nobody's Hero" is Rush's analysis of the AIDS situation. But not all of the tracks were conceived as lyrical epics; the opening "Animate" and "Stick It Out" delight in the strength of the band's re-discovered hard rock chops. And while the sheer force of "Cut To the Chase" serves as the track's catalyst, the band's pop sensibilities come back into play on the album's closer, "Everyday Glory". COUNTERPARTS is Rush's greatest work of the '90s.