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Queen - Queen CD (album) cover




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3.64 | 481 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I can understand people being a little down on this album because of its rawness...but a raw edge can cut two ways: it can give the music an energy that really accentuates the songs, or it can detract from the songs by obscuring cool melodies and countermelodies that you really want to hear. I think that Queen's first try has the good kind of rawness, and I love having this album as a counter to their highly produced later work.

Queen delivers a number of relatively straightforward rockers in this album, and by and large they work very well. Keep Yourself Alive is a great introduction to early Queen: Hard rock with trademark Queen multi-layer harmonies, numerous guitar overdubs, and enough other unique features that help it to stand out from other standard rock tunes (for example, the cool vocal call and response toward the end). The same positives apply to Liar and Great King Rat. Of course there's plenty of creative work from May, but Taylor also puts in some energetic work on drums that shouldn't go unnoticed. Modern Times Rock'n'Roll is a short, hard-rocker that works, and Son & Daughter is a heavy, almost bluesy number that really sounds good with Freddie's distorted vocals.

Of course, there are plenty of prog moments as well. The best is My Fairly King. Even though Freddie has jaw-dropping versatility, here we see that Taylor has even higher range. The other proggy tunes (Doing All Right, The Night Comes Down, Jesus, Seven Seas of Rhye) all make good use of dynamics, vocal harmonies and guitar overdubs as well to create some very interesting and memorable melodies.

This is one of my favorite debuts. I'd rather hear Queen singing about fairies and rock than their body language, but that could be a personal preference. I also like to just hear Freddie sing, without trying to be crystal clear or always in near perfect pitch. I think the studio progressively took out the raw awesomeness of his voice in later work. A prime example that when Queen set out to rock, they could do it with the best, while still generating a unique sound.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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