|Queen + Paul Rodgers The Cosmos Rocks||EMI|
I normally like to live with major releases for as long as possible to give the best and most accurate review possible. And tis album really required some work on my part to appreciate some of the songs on offer. It shouldn't be this hard, but I guess I'm still not sold on the nature of this partnership and the absolute bottom line is that the style of this album is not what I wanted to hear from the Queen name in 2008.|
I think the production is unnecessarily rough and raw and from start to finish and I'm surprised and disappointed at the lack of trademark Queen-isms in the sound.
I have loved this band for years and still regard the loss of Freddie Mercury as one of the most emotional of all the musicians that have unfortunately passed away.
The decision of the band to move on is one I can absolutely accept – it is afterall, what they do in life. But the pairing with Paul Rodgers has never sat well with me.
I rate Rodgers as one of the great singers of a generation and love his voice...as a solo artist and also with Bad Company. I just don't accept his style is a good fit for Queen.
To me it doesn't matter it the CD cover says Queen; Queen + Paul Rodgers or Queen + Mickey Mouse. If it has the word Queen up on the marquee and features Brian May and Roger Taylor, then there is instantly going to be some expectation of the sound, style and quality of the music within.
This album to me is Queen + Paul Rogers, but minus much of the Queen.
Brian May's wonderful rich and warm guitar tones are missing for the most part and the layered harmony vocals of Queen of old are all but gone. In its place is a stripped back Paul Rodgers blues rock record.
And overall, when compared to the output of both Paul Rodgers the solo artist or the Bad Company singer and also the past material of Queen – this record simply isn't as dynamic or exciting.
Track By Track:
Cosmos Rockin is I guess the closest thing to a traditional Queen sound on the record, but May's guitar is well back in the mix and the song isn't the catchiest I have ever heard.
Time To Shine is a good song – albeit a good Paul Rodgers solo song – but it is a real tempo killer coming after the opening track. Sadly it sets up the tempo of the whole album.
Still Burning is another relatively slow paced blues rocker that for me just plods along with a chorus that doesn't deliver the goods.
Small is another slow track – this time an acoustic ballad. But it is a stronger track and Rodgers voice sounds immaculate. I like the chorus hook, but again, as a whole the song really is a Paul Rodgers solo track.
Warboys is a moody subdued rocker that finally gives May a little time to shine late in the track. Interesting track.
We Believe is a mid-tempo ballad that fires up a little mid-way through and finally we get to hear a little of that Queen harmony vocal magic.
Call Me is happy go lucky pop song that Queen have done before and is just a little to sugary sweet for my tastes, but showcases a mid-album passage of music containing the best songs on the record.
Voodoo is a truly boring slow blues song that goes nowhere.
Some Things That Glitter is yet another slow track that is quite stylish, but is lost amongst the congestion of slow paced songs on the album. The vocal is soulful and we do get to hear that trademark Brian May sound (a little) late in the track.
C-Lebrity was the first song released and has a more recognizable Queen/May sound. I still don't rate it as a great song…just ok. Hate the chorus.
Through The Night is yet another slow bluesy song, again showing who was really in control of this album's direction. This song would have been more favorably received if not surrounded by tracks of a similar pace. It's one of the better slow tracks on the album and features some nice guitar work late in the song.
Say It's Not True is a pretty good soft ballad that builds to a more rousing and inspired finished. Good to hear Brian's vocals in there too.
Surf's Up...School's Out is noting short of absolutely hideous. A complete waste of time and effort and a further blight on whatever it was the guys were trying to do with this album.
I didn't like the live album from a year or so ago and although a fan of all parties involved, I just don't get this pairing and the resultant album of new material is to me, very flat. The album's tempo is too slow and the lack of traditional Queen elements is alarming.
I didn't expect a classic sounding Queen album, nor do I expect the guys to repeat past history, but together as a unit I just don't think they delivered quality songs or the spark that you would expect based on the talents of those involved.
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