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Queensr˙che - Take Cover CD (album) cover

TAKE COVER

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

2.17 | 91 ratings

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Raff
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Perhaps an odd choice for my long-overdue return to reviewing here on PA, since it belongs to the much-maligned category of cover albums... I came across "Take Cover" last week while browsing through the music section of a bookshop I visit occasionally, and, being a longtime follower of the band (as well as a sucker for cover albums), I decided to purchase it - encouraged by the fact that the price was considerably lower than for an average new release. Well, since the day I bought it, I've listened to this album at least four times - which, for my standards, means I have really been impressed by the music on offer.

As many other musicians have done over the years, in recording this album the Seattle quintet have wanted to pay homage to music that has been influential on their career. "Take Cover" contains 11 songs chosen among the many the band like to perform during their soundchecks. Some of them may indeed look like somewhat odd choices for a band like Queensryche, especially since most of the tracks have nothing to do with the genre that has made them famous. As a matter of fact, only one of the songs is a metal classic - Black Sabbath's ultra-powerful "Neon Knights" (which, incidentally, is a big favourite of mine as well). The rest of the tracklist is nothing if not eclectic, ranging from The O'Jays' R&B classic"For the Love of Money" to an absolutely blistering live version of U2's magnificent "Bullet the Blue Sky", complete with politically-charged rap.

The album kicks off in style with a 'metalised' version of Pink Floyd's disturbing "Welcome to the Machine", followed by another favourite of mine - Judas's heartfelt plea to Jesus, "Heaven on Their Minds", one of the highlights of cult rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar". Tate is in great vocal shape throughout the album, and is not afraid to tackle songs interpreted by some of the greatest singers in rock, like the aforementioned "Neon Knights", Peter Gabriel's "Red Rain" and Queen's sinuous, sprawling epic, "Innuendo". The band's performance is also very accomplished, full of sparkle and energy. Whoever wrote them off in the past couldn't have been more wrong - they have still got a lot to offer to lovers of great rock music.

On the other hand, it must be said that not every song comes across as a complete success. For instance, Queensryche's acoustic take on Buffalo Springfield's "For What Is Worth" is not as strong as Rush's version on the "Feedback" album released in 2004. Though Geoff Tate's voice has lost none of its power, you can feel it straining when interpreting one of The Police's most progressive songs, "Synchronicity II", written for the completely different vocal style of Mr Sting. The operatic piece "Odissea", sung by Tate in broken Italian, is to these ears nothing more than a curiosity, even if Tate proves to be a more than capable would-be opera singer.

Though "Take Cover" will probably be considered by many as little more than filler between 'real' albums, in my opinion it is one of the most interesting examples of its kind. Obviously it is by no means a masterpiece, but it proves once again that Queensryche are not just another, run-of-the-mill heavy metal band.

Raff | 3/5 |

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