I should have said guitar solo sections instead of breakaway sections because that's where most of what I'm talking about occurs. My above postulation on the 4/4 to odd time sig back to 4/4 was an over-simplification as I discovered last night while scanning through all the New Rush albums. Overall, the arrangements aren't as straight forward time signature-wise as I'd thought but I do think I was able to spot a trend in Rush's use of these quasi-Freewill/Tom Sawyer solo sections in many of their songs, especially '80s Rush.
Usually there is a stark tone and time shift from the main vibe of the song with these sections. It's as if the floor falls out from beneath the band and they're suddenly falling in space or flying blind or whatever you want to call it. The arrangements are typically pared down but are still fairly instrumentally busy. It's as if they're reminding listeners that they were once a three piece. lol. These sections typically aren't as virtuosic as I mentioned above but they're not for amateurs either.
Here's my list of songs that I feel have this type of solo section (your mileage may vary):
Lock And Key
Turn The Page
TEST FOR ECHO
Test For Echo
I'm glad I did this because it gave me the chance to revisit New Rush after many of years of neglect. There are quite a few gems to be found in each of New Rush's sub-eras and a good many of the songs have fiendishly clever arrangements. I think of the band as hard-rock-pop colored with prog-isms and Rush-isms during this era and it worked for them a good amount of the time. I have problems with a lot of New Rush though. During the GUP through HYF era, much of the band's humanity got buried beneath a deep, glossy coat of '80s keyboard, drum and studio tech and a too icy guitar sound. (For a band associated with techiness, they didn't fair very well when it was actually applied to their recordings.)
The '90s get rockier but the albums also get longer and there is too much time to fill to sustain consistent, high quality songwriting for their entire run-times. I really wish Rush had just kept throwing everything they had into 40 minute albums. Album lengths get even longer in the 2000s but now you get a darker musical vibe with less intricacy and more serious lyrical themes, which would have been fine if the songs had been a bit better. You also get shitty production sound for your listening pleasure.
But at least they ended it on Clockwork Angels which I feel is a legitimately great album (with flaws, of course) that stacks up well against Old Rush. It has that long missing cohesiveness but also the mercurial and ineffable qualities that made Old Rush so exciting. The songwriting and playing are creative and dynamic and sometimes inspired and there's a unity of purpose between the three of them that had been missing till maybe all the way back to when Terry Brown was turning the knobs.