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A return to form,
This review is from: The Miracle (Audio CD)
`The Miracle' is Queen's 13th studio album, and the first of two recorded while the band were under the shadow of Freddie Mercury's illness, though really the only sense that this could be a farewell album comes with the final track `Was It All Worth It': elsewhere this is an exuberant album which sees Queen recapture some of the vitality that was missing from the more soulless Mack-produced `80's albums.
If the album as a whole has a weak spot it's that of the opening three tracks: `Party' and `Khashoggi's Ship' are both enjoyable songs, but at only two and a half minutes running time each they both feel like appetisers for the album rather than fully developed songs, while title track `The Miracle' is ambitious but never quite gels into a convincing whole. From here on in though the album is stuffed full of bona fide classics, evenly divided between the hard rock of `I Want It All, `Scandal' and `Was It All Worth It' and a trio of pop songs with massive infectious bass hooks: `The Invisible Man', `Breakthru' and the calypso tinged `Rain Must Fall'. In amidst all this full-on Queen mayhem the band have the good sense to include one track that is restrained and laid back, and the funky `My Baby Does Me' lets some much needed space into the album.
It's not quite varied enough to rank alongside the bands glory years albums of the 70's, where they would change genre (and lead vocalist) every other track, but this is still a big return to form, and a good pointer for the bands further success with final album `Innuendo'. The bands last, and best, album of the `80's.
NB: Bonus tracks on some CD version include `Hang On In There' - originally the B-Side to `I Want It All' this is a worthy track to rescue from obscurity, `Chinese Torture' is a guitar solo that is frankly painful to listen to, and the 12" mix of `The Invisible Man' is fairly pointless.