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Blue Öyster Cult - Mirrors CD (album) cover


Blue Öyster Cult


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2.65 | 121 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Different.

It was in 1976 that Blue Oyster Cult [BOC] released their commercial hit ''Agents of Fortune'', fueled by the hit (Don't Fear) The Reaper. In a crazy, wish you were here kind of way, their next album, Spectres, was an album much in the same style, even a sister album of sorts. This saw the band leaving the heavy metal genre that they'd help to found, and their fans started to feel a bit left out, with songs like ''Fireworks'' in the place of something heavier, like ''The Red and the Black''. By 1979 many fans were likely hoping to get their rock back on when BOC went to release another album. When Mirrors came out... they would be disappointed. The album was even softer and more commercial than the last.

This does not mean, however, that the album is bad. With the ability of hindsight it's quite clear to see that BOC actually had something going here. Often accused of being bad pop music, Mirrors actually offers some quite catchy pop-rock that has some very progressive moments hidden away in it. Softer, yes, but it's still good.

The album opens with the heavy DR. MUSIC. While this sounds more or less like something made by Kiss, it's still a good rocker with a nice sing-along chorus. Those back up singers do get fairly annoying, though (but they will be there all throughout the album, so be prepared). Another good pop-rocker is the title track, MIRRORS. Though the singing girls in the chorus will definately throw off the average metal-head, this song's catchy riff and interesting lyrics will keep many a rock fan entertained. I AM THE STORM is another good rocker, even if it's speed changes are a little bit awkward. YOU'RE NOT THE ONE (I WAS LOOKING FOR) is a radio-friendly, wanna-be hit, but's still catchy none the less. LONELY TEARDROPS also deserves a mention, being likely the only time where the female backers actually contribute to the music.

What about music for the prog fan?

There's a couple great tracks here that border on prog, enjoyable for the prog-head. THE GREAT SUN JESTER is a great song with some excellent lyrics and melodies with some pretty piano thrown into the mix, great for any prog fan. THE VIGIL is likely where most prog fans will get their rocks off, though. More complex and aggressive than any of it's peers, this is a jump back in time for the BOC. Had they kept on going with songs like this they would have made... well, another ''Imaginos''. IN THEE is another song that's not quite as prog, but it's very nice and slow and cozy, a great pop love song that doesn't annoy the average rocker.

A very different album that's maligned, but rightly so. 2 stars, fans and collectors only. Prog-heads should likely start with the black and white era of the band, but people who liked Agents or Spectres will enjoy this one. Bad metal album, but a good rock album with some prog elements (if subtle).

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |


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