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Queensr˙che - Hear In The Now Frontier CD (album) cover

HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTIER

Queensr˙che

 

Progressive Metal

2.46 | 146 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Musical chairs

Queenryche have over the years been rather up and down with their albums. They followed up the excellent "Operation : Mindcrime" with the MTV dominated, and ultimately disappointing, "Empire". They then found their way again with the darker "Promised land", but here with the follow up to that album, things go a bit pear shaped again.

The problem with "Hear in the now frontier" is it's just not that good. The song writing appears to be the main culprit, but the production too is lacking focus and direction. The band seem to have been trying to avoid the overt commercialism of "Empire", but lost their nerve when it came to venturing too far from the MTV pop rock with which they found such great success.

The opening track, "Sign of the times" whets the appetite for the album, being an enjoyable if unadventurous slice of melodic pop rock. Things however go rapidly down hill from there, with the following tracks "Cuckoo's nest", "Get a life", and "The voice inside" being average pop rock. "Some people fly", even sounds like a repetition of "Cuckoo's nest".

There are some pleasant if still unchallenging tracks. "You" has the sound of a hit single, with a strong hook in the chorus, "Hero" has some pleasant acoustic guitar supporting Bowie-esque vocals, and "All I want" has echoes of the Beatles with higher pitched vocals, and a psychedelic guitar effect. (Tate was uncomfortable with the song, and declined to sign on it!)

The remastered version of the album has four bonus tracks, three of which are MTV unplugged versions of tracks from previous albums. The versions of "Silent lucidity" ("Empire"), "The killing words", and "I will remember" (both "Rage to order") are all excellent. They appear truly unplugged, thus bringing out the strong melodies of the original compositions. A side effect of this that they can sound like Journey at times.

The other additional track is "Chasing blue sky", a highly commercial soft ballad, with strong hints of the Beatles.

The musical chairs within the band for who leads each album continues here, with Chris DeGamo taking on the role for this album. While "Hear in the now frontier" has some good moments, overall it represents a step backwards for the band. The bonus tracks on the remastered CD, together with some informative sleeve notes, do however enhance the package considerably.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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