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Queen - A Night At The Opera CD (album) cover

A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

Queen

 

Prog Related

4.27 | 671 ratings

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Alitare
4 stars The big cheese...

Cheesy as hell. That is the main flaw of this album. I don't consider it a flaw, but some might hate it. It is certainly a precursor to Meat Loaf.

First off, Queen sacrifice some of their pure hard rock roots in lieu of glamming everything up several notches. They add several levels of pomp and Operatic grandeur. Death on Two Legs has a great rocking melody, and it seems that when they do rock out, it has more of a true identity. The lyrics are still bad, but can we really ask for them to have amazing lyrics? I suppose you could, but you won't get it. Instead, you get I'm In Love with My Car(after the fine little Lazing ditty), which sounds so much like Deep Purple, only better. As Deep Purple never knew how to gruff it up with dirt and glam like Queen does.

They seem to pay much more attention to melody and composition compared to their previous efforts, as well. You still have radio commercial sound. You're My Best Friend is the best example of damn fine glam garbage. The laughably bad lyrics and overdubbed skillful vocals are all part of the crass package. I still can't shake the feeling that they are just a commercial machine, though. But that doesn't effect the music, which is in top form. They experiment with styles more, here, as well.'39 has an acoustic beginning, and Lazing before was just silly. '39 turns into a ...country rock swagger ballad? Yes, and it sounds good! Toe Tappin' to be sure. I'd say the most progressive thing about queen is their ability to meld so many different styles into one album.

Sweet Lady drops the ball a bit, as it doesn't have anything beyond their hard rock roots, and feels mundane. A mediocre sag. Seaside Rendezvous has more jumping stylistic jumps and changes. Very popping Broadway in it all. The Prophet's Song is a longer tune than what we have found so far. It rocks well, and has some good opera moments. The vocal harmonies are grand. One of the most progressive pieces on here. The A Capella vocal section grates on my nerves, though. It is bereft of sensible melody, and plodding. At least it does a fine job of rocking after the fact. Love of My Life has a soft introduction, and scales at an almost majestic atmosphere. This I suppose could be the closest thing to a full love "power" ballad on here. The soaring guitar solo is quite nice.

Good Company is strange in a way, but not terrible. It just doesn't amaze me. It is a weak musical idea they tried fleshing out, but it doesn't come off well. At only 3:30 I still feel it goes on for too long. Perhaps due to the painful simplicity of it compared to the rest of the album.

And we have here a miniature rock opera. Bursting out with powerful vocals, multiple sections, deft melodic accentuation, mass multitracking, and is the album's centerpiece. Emotionally, and in compositional terms. Tale of a Bohemian who dies, basically. This is the best I've ever seen Queen, lyrically. IT still isn't perfect, but these are solid. I will say that that two note Guitar... "groan" is so out of place, that it is the only real problem I can find with the song. Opera rock at its peak. The album closes with a short rendition of God Save The Queen. I think it fits nicely.

In all, this album shows Queen at its most creative and melodic. They embrace pomp and opera in full, and still have time to do some hard rocking. The lyrics are not amazing, and some of the musical ideas aren't strong enough to support full song backing, but these are minor complaints as this is a very good record.

Best Song - Bohemian Rhapsody (I can't deny..)

Worst Song - Sweet Lady

**** Strong Stars

Alitare | 4/5 |

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