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




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4.29 | 950 ratings

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3 stars Queen again fail to deliver a prog masterpiece, but that's just fine, because I really don't think that was their goal in the first place. What we have here is a collection of hard rock, progressive rock, and a genre that is composed entirely of Freddie Mercury's odd musical flights of fancy (usually the lowlights of any Queen album for me, by the way). Even though it can sound so varied, every element here has that Queen uniqueness.

The rock: Death on Two Legs, I'm in Love with My Car, '39, Sweet Lady. Of course I bought this album for Bohemain Rhapsody, but these rockers really made me confident in my purchase. Death on Two Legs has one of the most effective uses of the Queen chorus that I can think of, and plenty of heavy guitar from May. The same goes for ...My Car and Sweet Lady, except they are a bit less catchy. '39 was a great surprise: a thoughtful, reminiscent tune that demonstrates May's songwriting versatility.

The prog: The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, God Save the Queen. The Prophet's Song is also a real find--to me it's a glimpse of the kind of music that Queen would have produced if they would have remained in their Queen II mindset. You'll also hear a unique, multiple-Freddie echo section that demonstrates the band's musical ability to harmonize so quickly and creatively. Of course, the band saves their best for last, and Bohemian Rhapsody is where Queen put together all their potential for energetically and concisely combining their rocking, symphonic, and operatic facets. It's overplayed for a reason--it's unique, catchy and creative music. Also, great touch by rounding out the album with the overdubbed guitar piece, God Save the Queen.

The eclectic Freddie moments: Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon, You're My Best Friend, Seaside Rendezvous, Love of My Life, Good Company. Of course, the whole band was on board for these tunes, but I don't think they would ever have been recorded without Mercury. Most of them are goofy or overly sappy, but thankfully they are short. Unfortunately, for me they really inhibit the cohesiveness and flow of the album as a whole.

Plenty of great moments, and also a number of forgettable ones. If you want an introduction to Queen, this is a good place to start, but I think that each of their earlier albums is at least as proggy as this.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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