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Queen - The Game CD (album) cover

THE GAME

Queen

 

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2.86 | 497 ratings

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theCoagulater
3 stars It's an album for sure. First of theirs to feature synthesizer, and the first Queen album of the 1980s... That's all the trivia I could bare to look up.

Play The Game If there's any band that knows how to start an album it's Queen. They know right when that needle drops you need to be transported elsewhere. Play The Game executes that in a clean fresh way that introduces the sound of the album and fits in snugly. The tone rising and quickly falling to bring forth the vocals rids any need for a more elaborate intro. It's like a swig of mouthwash for your eyes, resetting whatever mood you were in before and forcefully seating you in front of this album. I like the metaphor they went with here, it fits the whole vibe they were going for, it's not like it means too much, but it's fun and a great way to get in shape. The guitar solos also add the finishing rough edge to prevent this from being standard step-by-step pop-rock. But at the end of the day this track is best listened to how it is, there's nothing in here that's especially thought-provoking, or meaningful (which is a theme that I feel continues throughout the album). But a good song's a good song, and if I don't gain a third eye from it that's fine. I also shit myself during the synth solo, I thought they were above that ungodly instrument smh.

Dragon Attack Play The Game still might be a bit poppy for some people, and that's fine. Maybe the traces of hard rock didn't make it up to them, maybe they weren't paying attention, maybe they suck and are awful and I also hate them, and that's fine. But just in case anyone thought Queen lost their cool, Dragon Attack would prove overwise. It's funky, hard, the drum solo is especially cool, and the layered guitar solos jiggle a thousand keys in front of your face. The lyrics and vocals, while still meaningless, are very agreeable. They hit the nerve of "yeah man".

Another One Bites The Dust "Hey! I know this song!" Little Timmy said while I drove past blasting this album, his tiny head exploding from being in the way of my bass frequencies. I figure every man, woman, and child this side of the Atlantic has had this song stuck in their head at one point. One of (if not) the most recognizable bass lines ever written, matched with memorable lyrics sung by an anthemic singer, and a very well-crafted song structure creates what was bound to be a number-one hit. Another One Bites The Dust pulls itself back a little, it strategically holds itself back to keep you listening. You sit there and wonder "when's this shit gonna pop off?", it never does. It uses this to keep you listening closer for that moment it does go off, and when you get bored it ropes you back in when everything ramps up dramatically at the end of each verse. This ramp-up doesn't last, but it keeps you there. The bridge does much the same thing in the opposite direction, instead of keeping you there by ramping up, it slows down building tension. And if those strategies don't work there's still the amazing, insanely catchy bass line that strings this song together. Another One Bites The Dust doesn't hold you above water, it pushes you above water, and when you start sinking again it punches you back up. Sorta like how your dad would push you on the swing as a child.

Need Your Loving Tonight This is the brown spot on the record. Squeezed between two extremely recognizable tracks is a meaningless, in- your-face, nothing hot dog. The lyrics are uninspired, Freddie's vocals don't fit the nature of our protagonist, the aesthetic is off, and nothing hits me musically. The guitar solos are good, but when talking about Brain May "good" is an insult. The track's only saving grace is being in between two amazing number-one singles, and even then, the flow of Another One Bites The Dust into Need Your Loving Tonight feels so unnatural. The low bass and drums fading and echoing out would fit a lot better with the soft opening guitar of Crazy Little Thing Called Love than it does with Need Your Loving Tonight's "YEAH!", and subsequent rotten cheese guitar riff. This is bar none my least favorite Queen song (as of writing this). This sounds like Queen from an alternate universe where they never took off and were stabbed to death for being shit.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love Another classic of the Queen catalog. Right after the greatest song of all time comes this Elvisy romp. I love the phrase "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", it's a very wholesome way of looking at love. The bass line to this one is my favorite off the album, everything about it is so fun and inclusive. The rockabilly electric guitar solo paired with the claps and doowoping (or whatever you would call it) build a solid atmosphere. Nothing in here feels wrong, or out of place, everything from the voice to the spastic guitar accents works great. This is one of those songs that will always, every time I put it on, make me happy; it's impossible to not be in (at least) brighter spirits listening to this.

Rock It (Prime Jive) Queen has always boasted about not using a synthesizer on their records. If you own a 70's Queen LP you'll see in the credits "No Synthesizers!". And it's great that they finally came around to using one, but isn't it kinda weird to have a song about "real rock 'n' roll" right after you went back on your thing about not using synthesizers in your real rock records? But the use of the synth here is pretty good, so I guess all is forgiven. I feel like the lyrics here should do more in the way of meaning anything at all. Dragon Attack had the excuse that the lyrics are cool, and the rest of the song didn't need them, but I feel like good lyrics are a little bit more needed here. Maybe tell a little story here, that would fit nicely with the progression the song goes through. But when you have a song with good progression and lyrics that don't go anywhere, or move anything, the lyrics play tug-a-war with the rest of the track, and make it all uncomfortable.

Don't Try Suicide I feel that the flexible and uncoordinated core of the instrumentation matched well with the borderline-offensive lyrics. But they shouldn't be offensive to people with suicidal thoughts, it's about attention whores who pretend to be suicidal for whatever reason (imo). The amount of cheesy backing ground vocals and odd inflections elevate the sarcasm to near-Zappa levels. The only time it's honest is on half of the bridge, until the line "You just can't be a prick teaser all of the time", which is fucking hilarious. This song is the best time, one of their most plainly enjoyable tracks. And of course the bass line is funky as shit. I also think the outro blends in nicely with Sail Away Sweet Sister, getting more mellow lending up to the end.

Sail Away Sweet Sister This tugs on the heartstrings hard. The sheer amount of delivery that comes with the fluctuating dynamics of the last line of the verse and the bombastic choruses that follow. The lyrical content reminds me of Bridge Over Troubled Water, the always sticking by your side even when you've sailed on by, of course they do it better, but this also comes near something like that. What Simon & Garfunkel don't have is an aesthetic as fuck guitar solo and brain-poking hard/pop rock. The outro ends it perfectly. All in all, this is an almost flawless track, they could do a bit better with the lyrics. I like how the lyrics reference back to Play The Game ("Ain't no use in pretending you don't wanna play no more"), but they aren't mind-blowing. And the song could be a bit longer, maybe extend the first guitar solo. And it could use more depth... On second thought this is very much not a flawless track, but it's still really good.

Coming Soon There's a lot of meaningless music (of course excluding instrumentals), the vast majority of it's pretty bad. But some songs, like Coming soon, hit the nail on the head when it comes to being good meaningless music. There's nothing fancy with the lyrics here, nothing means anything, "what exactly is coming soon?", doesn't matter it's entertaining. There's a solid beat to this track, there's a solid rhythm, and most of all there's a vibe. It's a fun vibe, it's a vibe you don't wanna leave. If only there was a five-minute guitar solo.

Save Me I get it's a greatest hit and stuff, don't I don't give a shit, nothing is stimulating here. It's all the extreme, but none of the flavor of extreme that makes Queen Queen. If I wanted bombastic music with moving vocals, funky bass, great melody, and amazing guitar solos I'd listen to the huge mound of awesome stuff Queen put out, but not this. It is a solid album closer, but mainly it's Queen-flavored meaningless melodrama.

"Why did you write so little about each track" Ghost Little Timmy howled at me from beyond the grave. "Well there's not a whole lot to write about Little Timmy" I responded, "This album is shallower than anything from Queen's 70's output. It's not bad, but only truly good in the moment." At this point I realized I'm hearing and seeing shit that isn't there and should go to bed. Goodnight everyone

theCoagulater | 3/5 |

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