Halo Effect

Background and Commentary

Gold

Might be another “Closer to the Heart.” It’s a ballad with acoustic guitar over a string section.

“Halo effect” is a psychological term referring to the way we project onto beautiful people what we want to see in them. Inevitably we’re disillusioned, because we come to realize we allowed their beauty to blind us to who they really are. In the Clockwork Angels narrative, the young man falls in love with a beautiful dancer only to realize later she’s not the love of his life that he thought she was.

“I think we were going in a different direction with ‘Halo Effect,'” Alex says in a MusicRadar interview.”I remember we were in our little control room—we had three different rooms going at one time—and I picked up an acoustic and started playing. Geddy began mouthing the lyrics, and then something clicked: he started playing along, and we just developed the song from there. The song is really about the emotional decisions we make that don’t work out. Quite often, it’s in a relationship: you think you see something, but it’s not really there. So the song had to be sweet and it had to be heavy at the same time. We needed those two contrasts. I think we nailed it. There’s such a great acoustic sound on it, and the solo section is something that’s quite different for us. It’s frivolous and light, kind of like butterflies in your stomach, that feeling you get when you’re in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with.”

“Can you possibly tell that a song is destined to become a classic the first time you hear it? Possibly—and if, for some reason, ‘Halo Effect’ doesn’t make it into the pantheon of all-time Rush greats, it’ll come damn close. Over a gorgeous, double-tracked acoustic guitar figure, Geddy Lee sings richly, even-tempered and marvelously expressive. The track surges into a section of stomping power trio goodness, but the overall framework is acoustic, soon laced with elegant strings. ‘What did I do before there were words?’ Lee asks, bathed in a breathtaking glow of cellos that carry him—and us—away.”—Joe Bosso, MusicRadar

“This little three minute ditty is the first time the foot has come off the gas, but even this doesn’t quite fall into ballad region as the band hold in, but don’t disguise, the urge to let loose. ‘Halo Effect’ has third single written all over it as the uplifting chorus is tailor-made for vast stadium sing-alongs, and is guaranteed to become a fan favourite. “—Dominic Hemy, The Digital Fix

“’Halo Effect’” is the first really gentle moment on the album. It features some very pretty acoustic guitar work from Lifeson, with an almost “In the End” type of feel to the opening bars. It’s a short-lived break, however,  as one of the true highlights of the whole opus is around the corner.”—Rob Palladino, Audio Times

Lyrics

I HAD FALLEN HELPLESSLY IN LOVE with one of the performers. She was so different from “the girl I left behind,” and I was beginning to understand I had only pretended she was right for me. I pursued my beautiful acrobat obsessively until she let me be with her – then I suffered her rejection and contempt. Once again, I had created an ideal of the perfect soulmate, and tried to graft in onto her. It didn’t fit. Such illusions have colored my whole life.

What did I see?
Fool that I was
A goddess, with wings on her heels
All my illusions
Projected on her
The ideal, that I wanted to see

What did I know?
Fool that I was
Little by little, I learned
My friends were dismayed
To see my betrayed
But they knew they could never tell me

What did I care?
Fool that I was
Little by little, I burned
Maybe sometimes
There might be a flaw
But how pretty the picture was back then

What did I do?
Fool that I was
To profit from youthful mistakes?
It’s shameful to tell
How often I fell
In love with illusions again

So shameful to tell
Just how often I fell
In love with illusions again

A goddess with wings on her heels …

Tutorials/Covers

“Halo Effect” guitar cover

“Halo Effect” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on June 6, 2012.

 
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