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Queen - Sheer Heart Attack CD (album) cover




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3.97 | 603 ratings

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4 stars A masterpiece, but not for prog: 8/10

QUEEN debuted with an operatic glam-rock album, distinctively shifting the style on its successor to a much more eclectic presentation (while still retaining their unique style), but even with this commendable artistic juggling, it was only after SHEER HEART ATTACK the band reached stardom. It features the fierce return of glam rock fused with top notch hard rock and more focus on guitar and Freddie Mercury's lower vocal range (I find the latter sad; I LOVED Mercury's beautiful falsetto singing). In a certain way it's arguable that many of their musical inputs here are innovative enough to claim that even though they aren't de jure progressive, they are de facto; that is, although it doesn't sound progressive, contextually, it is. One who is faithful to prog only won't find this very dandy, even though SHEER HEART ATTACK is one of QUEEN's finest releases. But for anyone else who wants to listen to good music - and uses progressive rock as a general rule of thumb, but not as a strict Bushido code - this is an unavoidable gem. Not only it is a beacon of fine music, but also an important puzzle piece of QUEEN's transition from "progressive beasts" to "radio darlings".

So much so I find this to be QUEEN's tastiest release. You can find a lot of diversity throughout the tracks (there's some to acclaim on their libertine composition method, where each musician write their own stuff and then everyone just goes and plays it), which is a characteristic that really stands out.

Some featured tracks include the banquet of glamorous guitar distortion that Brian May feeds us on Brighton Rock; Killer Queen, world's dearest "sleazy Parisian" glam-pop (words of Paul Fowles, rock historian); the aggressive and sluggish Flick of the Wrist; the speed metal precursor Stone Cold Crazy; Misfire, which by the way is one of the few compositions by John Deacon; and the rockabilly-ish Bring Back that Leroy Brown.

Brian May is an astounding musician: not only he's truly creative but also one of the few that possesses a superb mastery of guitar distortion and harmonics, and a distinctive style - there's just an archetypical guitar pitch that makes everyone say, "hey, that's Brian May!". I love how he always finds a spot to put a small harmonics solo, which most of the time pairs with Mercury's singing. Roger Taylor is undervalued, assuming his spot-on quality drumming (and spectacular tenor backing vocals) gets few honorable mentions. Freddie Mercury's legendary proficiency as singer dismisses comments, his vocal diversity was and still is unpaired.

You know what's funny, by the way? SHEER HEART ATTACK's namesake song isn't featured here, but on NEWS OF THE WORLD, released about four years later, and it is - rather ironically - an allegory of its eponymous album. An Innuendo that QUEEN kept their roots and style quite firm throughout the years.

Luqueasaur | 4/5 |


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