Friday, February 20, 2009

Queen - Hot Space

4/10

WHY? Why did Queen decide to make an album comprised almost entirely of dance music? Actually, the answer is fairly obvious; after the runaway success of "Another One Bites the Dust," they decided to milk the dance-rock cow for all that it was worth. Unfortunately, unlike, say, ZZ Top's Eliminator, which combined the band's blues-rock with 80's dance beats, there's very little of the old Queen to be found here. There are so many synths that you'd never guess this was only the second album using them.

There are still a few decent songs, though; "Staying Power" gets things off to a good start, and there's something about the drumline in "Dancer" that I love despite the fact that it's obviously artificial. And then there's the closing track, "Under Pressure," the collaboration with David Bowie which was famously ripped off by Vanilla Ice. Unfortunately, most of the other tracks are just unmemorable, with "Body Language" sticking out because it's so bad, both lyrically and musically. The video for the song would be the first one ever rejected by MTV, showing that the channel was about as edgy 25 years ago as it is today. Except for Flash Gordon, this should be the last Queen studio album you purchase.

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