Monday, February 23, 2009

Queen - The Works

8/10

Queen's detour into R&B/dance territory ended quickly (thank Cthulhu), as "The Works" is more of a traditional rock album. It's not quite the same old Queen, as the synthesizers are still abundant, and there's not a whole lot of hard rock (the exception being the excellent "Tear it Up" and"Hammer to Fall"). Queen got a lot lighter and poppier in the 80's, but the quality of songwriting is still pretty high; "Radio Ga Ga," "It's a Hard Life," and "I Want to Break Free" are fine contributions from Taylor, Mercury, and Deacon, respectively. The one song which sticks out as being subpar to my ears is "Machines (Back to Humans)," which just comes off as being a lyrical ripoff of the previous year's Styx album "Kilroy Was Here"; Queen could surely have done better than ripping off one of the most stereotypically banal AOR bands. I also didn't like the fact that the pessimistic ballad "Is This the World We Created?" was put at the end of the album; it leaves a sour taste in one's mouth (although it would've been okay if it had been placed earlier). In addition, while it's not terrible or anything, "Man on the Prowl" feels like a rehash of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Despite these flaws, I heartily recommend this album.

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