2112 is archetypal high-concept heavy/art-rock, featuring an interconnected suite of songs and a futuristic science fiction-inspired lyrical theme (courtesy of drummer/sole lyricist Neil Peart). When it came to '70s sci fi rock epics these guys were capable of giving Hawkwind and Jefferson Starship a run for their money. The first half of the album features "2112" proper, a series of interrelated tunes that paint a portrait of a 1984/Brave New World-style future, where music and emotion are outlawed. Ultimately, our hero discovers a guitar and uses it to fight the powers that be, all to the accompaniment of vaguely Led Zeppelin-derived heavy rock riffs and daunting time signatures. The final five tunes are unrelated to the concept piece but continue in a similar musical vein, though a little balladry is mixed in towards the end.
Rolling Stone (p.57) - 4 stars out of 5 -- " is their most extreme, grandiose and Rush-like record, and thus their greatest..."