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Queen - A Kind Of Magic CD (album) cover




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3.00 | 357 ratings

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2 stars Let's see if we can squeeze anything good of the famous band that went pop: the year is 1986. You're right, not much. Especially not much from the progressive rock point of view.

For the beginning, let us eliminate two awful fillers: "One Year Of Love" and "Pain Is So Close To Pleasure". Avoid these tracks at all costs. Give them a try only if you are fan of cheesy SPANDAU BALLET-like ballads.

Two down, nine to go. Let's move further: "One Vision", "A Kind Of Magic", "Friends Will Be Friends" and "Who Wants To Live Forever" were all present on the chart, and they are all well-known so I won't give them much attention here. The only exception here is "Who Wants To Live Forever", beautiful ballad (with slight touch of prog perhaps), and possibly the best song utilising Yamaha DX7 synthesizer. I'm not a big fan of digital technology and tiny, belly, plastic synth sounds, but these synth pads are just gorgeous and they work perfectly well here. This is the most well-known song from the movie "Highlander". However, this album is not a soundtracks in its entirety, but 4 songs were included in the motion picture, and "One Vision" was included (I think) in the movie "Iron Eagle".

One more fact, slightly off-topic: speaking of synthesizers in "Who Wants To Live Forever", I think that DX7 synth (along with Brian's guitar) represented the trademark of the QUEEN sound in the 80's in a same vain that Freddie's Bechstein piano in the 70's.

The remaining tracks were all included in the "Highlander movie": "Don't Lose Your Head", "Gimme The Prize" and "Princes Of The Universe". All of these are silly, heavy-metal-pop songs in the vain of POISON or EUROPE...oh my God. However, they are not bad at all, they are all high-quality pop tracks, with excellent guitar works from Mr. May, and 80's sound mannerism (that sounds nice to my ears simply because of nostalgic reasons). Brian is providing us solo on the guitar imitating Scottish bagpipes (aha!! prog-folk!! gotcha!), there are some sounds from the movie included (not in a terrible way like on "Flash Gordon"), and last but not the least, there are occasional spice of prog.

Bonus tracks are "Forever", lovely, piano-driven, instrumental version of "Who wants to live forever" and it is excellent. The extended version of "One Vision" is not to be confused with the "Blurred Vision", a B-side of "One Vision" maxi-single from 1985.

This album is essential if: you are a QUEEN fan, you are 80's heavy-pop fan, you are Christopher Lambert fan.

I really can't deny the fact that this album is a good one, actually. Not comparable to QUEEN peaks, but really an enjoyable listening. However, I won't rate it with three stars simply because it won't appeal to the most of the prog rock fans. Two and a half stars rounded to two, but these two are well-deserved ones. Not bad.

clarke2001 | 2/5 |


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