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Queen - Sheer Heart Attack CD (album) cover




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3.98 | 556 ratings

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3 stars Sheer Heart Attack seems to me a very diverse set of styles and sounds, combining the raw, hard rocking qualities of earlier albums along with Broadway-style experimentation and heavy overdubs of later work. They don't really complement each other or form a coherent album, but individually they work quite well and hold up well over time. The plus is that it is quite apparent that each member made valuable contributions, but the downside is that this technique rarely creates a masterpiece for me. Here's a brief summary of what I find most interesting:

Brighton Rock has a relatively strange structure, as it just kind of wanders into Freddie's falsetto, to be followed primarily by an extended guitar jam. I love May's echo effect, and it's even better live. Killer Queen, the playful addition to countless radio playlists, and Tenement Funster, another of May's guitar showcases, are good every time. Stone Cold Crazy and Now I'm Here are excellent rockers as well. To be sure, there is plenty of high quality rock to be found here. There's also musical-esque Bring Back Leroy Brown and the tongue-in-cheek (and potentially offensive) Misfire, both of which I can take or leave.

The progressive-leaning tunes are also largely enjoyable, though they are too short and disjointed to really make an impact. Flick of the Wrist and the Lap of the God tunes both have lots of great ideas (Queen II style), and the production has even improved from the previous effort, but it's hard from me to go back and forth so quickly between prog and non-prog. That may just be a personal weakness.

Definitely a collaborative effort, lots of nice ideas, and progress made here by Queen. We all know exactly where that progress led, for better or worse. A must for Queen fans, and a great addition for any progger.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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