Monday, January 30, 2017

Queen - News Of The World

Album cover: Queen had some interesting covers that graced each of their albums throughout their stellar career.  This one though stands out from the rest and makes one think a bit more about its meaning.  The background story to this album sleeve is that its a newer rendition (done by the same artist) of his earlier illustration for a science fiction magazine titled "Astounding Science Fiction."  The original caption read, "Please...fix it Daddy?"  It's thought provoking and makes you contemplate how technology is increasingly enveloping every part of our lives. While on the one hand that's a good thing, on the other hand we can also see that its harming us in some way.  By that you could say that it's reducing our human to human interaction time for starters, where people are busier communicating on their phones rather than engaging in regular conversation(s) with others around them.  Plus, social media has in a way allowed the further rise of fake news generation, as well as hostile opinions and increased paranoia.  All of that can scar and damage a person and unlike a piece of equipment that could be repaired, refurbished and rebooted, a human being can't be handled in the same way.  It makes you wonder that this is may indeed be the current "News Of The World." 

Overall album:  News Of The World encompasses all the great elements and diversity that made Queen one of the world's greatest rock bands.  The compositions here are no less peppered with an extremely wide range of styles, sound effects, time shifts, vocal harmonies and thought provoking poetic verses.  To me, this albums stands as a great starting point for anyone new to the band and their music and wishes to know more about them. 

Songs: 

We Will Rock You: Thump. Clap. Thump. Clap.  This is without a doubt one of Queen's top five best and most memorable tunes.  It's an anthem that is recognized across the world and one of the few songs I've come across that makes the audience a big part of its flow and structure.  One of Brian's compositions, he dishes out a truly epic solo towards the end.  While there is an alternative version to this song (brilliant in its own right), it's this rendition that fans hold dear to their hearts. 

We Are The Champions: One of the greatest displays of the piano virtuoso that Freddie Mercury was.  It is considered by many to have some of the best lyrics that Queen ever penned down.  Plus, the song has the ability to raise one's spirits and it provides a deep sense of encouragement to the listener. 

Sheer Heart Attack:  A cool punk styled track that Roger Taylor handles pretty much on his own.  It's catchy, with a nice blend of raw power and varied vocal harmonies. 

All Dead, All Dead: A slow laid back tune with a simple and neat melody.  There's something about it that makes it feel like an adult nursery rhyme (if I could call it that). 

Spread Your Wings: A sweet track that has a feel good vibe to it.  Though when Freddie hits the chorus you just want to follow his words and carry out what he says you should do.  

Fight From The Inside: Funky and driven by a jingly type of riff, John Deacon and Roger demonstrate their chops and deliver an exceptional performance.  There's something about it that makes you want to turn up the volume and dance to it. 

Get Down, Make LoveA real left field track here.  Freddie delivers a tons of sexual innuendo layered lyrics but does it with real style.  Brian throws in his trademark riffs, which dance back and forth with Roger's signature drumming patterns. That aside, I feel that this one may have been one of the points of inspirations for Def Leppard's famous track "Pour Some Sugar On Me." 

Sleep Walking On The Sidewalk:  Brian just owns this track, which has a great blues feel to it.  Plus, he changes his accent here, which just adds to the overall effect of the song.  Straight out of the gate, the melody sticks in your head.   

Who Needs You:  This one has a great Spanish vibe to it. John joins Brian on guitars and together they deliver a really epic acoustic piece with plenty of twists and flamboyance from Freddie's vocal delivery. 

It's Late: The longest track on the album and one that has a great mainstream rock feel to it.  This one really has power and features some interesting shifts in soaring vocal parts to a softer verses.  

My Melancholy Blues: A typical Freddie composition that sees him combine his love for classical, opera and lounge music.  He displays some more of his piano skills and soothingly bring this solid record to a close.  

Ultimate Album Song: We Will Rock You

The Band: Freddie Mercury (Vocals/ Piano/ Cowbell), 
John Deacon (Bass/ Guitars), Brian May (Vocals/ Guitars/ Maracas), Roger Taylor (Vocals/ Drums/ Guitars/ Bass)


Image source: goliath.com

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