The Cosmos Rocks Single
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QUEEN The Cosmos Rocks (2008 Taiwanese issue 14-track CD album. dedicated to Freddie Mercury the album was recorded & mixed at Roger Taylors The Priory studio between November 2007 and August 2008 marking the first Queen studio album since 1995 and includes the single C-lebrity which is a comment on the celebrity driven times in which we live where the myriad of reality-based tv shows are producing a generation of C-lebrities featuring guest vocals by Taylor Hawkins [Foo Fighters] sealed with obi-strip)
The idea of Free/Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers taking the place of Freddie Mercury for a new Queen album is an odd one indeed. Where Mercury was flamboyant and knowing, Rodgers--who toured with Brian May and Roger Taylor in 2005--is way more weighty and grizzled. The resultant album, The Cosmos Rocks, sounds literally like Queen's gregarious musicality has been filtered through the wide-holed sieve of Bad Company's own blues-rock schtick. That said, the soundtrack brims with multi-tracked guitar riffs and foams with layered vocal harmonies, and gets off to a rockin' start with "Cosmos Rockin'", a song that seems to be more a parody of, than a tribute to, one of the UK's most celebrated glam-rock bands. As the record moves through the soaring "Time to Shine", the bluesy "Still Burnin'" and the ballad "Small", it becomes clear that this is an album monumental only in its relative lack of imagination and meaningful lyrical content. It's buoyed sporadically by captivating ditties like "Call Me If You Need My Love" (vaguely reminiscent of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love") and the Freddie tribute "Some Things That Glitter", but these rarities are not quite enough to save The Cosmos Rocks from being an exercise in dire rock cliché. --Danny McKennaSee all Product description
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I think most people are jaundiced by the preconception of what they would like to hear and I personally think there are some good tracks on here. Don't get me wrong, there are a fair few distinctly average songs too. "C-lebrity" is a nice idea and commentary on the likes of Paris Hilton & co. "Call me" has a very Queen-like intro before launching into a very Paul Rodgers type song. "Say it's not true" I'd heard once or twice before from various live albums & events and it's a nice song so good to see a cleaned up studio version. "Surf's up" has some nice guitar work and definitely catches the mood of the title, although it's not really a catchy tune as such. The version of Del Shannon's "Runaway" is clearly the guys just enjoying themselves and is a good listen.
Overall, at times I found it hard to get my brain round hearing Paul Rodgers singing in front of Brian and Roger as they both stuck out as individual artists playing together so it's hard to think of them as a collective. Both sets have very distinct sounds and I don't personally feel it was a mixture, but rather a bit of both at the same time and slightly jarring. All in all, I liked the album and I'd say it's worth a listen. Don't expect it to be the best thing you've ever heard and enjoy it fo reach individual track rather than the branding it comes with.
I would say the guys really cared about making this album and the songs are well constructed, carefully crafted and also...LOUD and ROCKING, most containing a classy (classic?) Brian May solo following Paul's great vocal delivery.
All in all the album is very enjoyable and listenable, but it has nothing like the variety of A Night At The Opera or the pop value of The Works. There is no "Seaside rendezvous" or "Millionaires Waltz" moment on here. Which is a shame, because those quirky songs really made Queen albums. Also, some of the lyrics are a bit.... well naff (60 year old men singing about School being out is just odd!). But Queen were never known as a lyric band.
It feels more like a Roger Taylor solo album, which is fine, but it doesn't feel like a Queen Album. But the playing and singing is top notch by Brian, Roger and Paul.
However, don't judge these artistes by this album. They are all very talented musicians but this album has dropped way below par.
I have only heard The Cosmos Rocks once so far and i am pleasantly surprised. Roger and Brian and are on great form and the music is very good. The lyrics are a bit patchy and sometimes pretty sub standard but overlooking that (as i have on a lot of Queen's 80's output) it more than stands up to a lot of Queen's later stuff.
Paul Rogers voice isn't anywhere near as good as Freddie Mercury's but he puts in a competent shift and gets the best out of Brian and Roger. Deacon and Mercury are missed especially as the record doesn't have the eclectic mix of styles that Queen fans are used to - Rock and Blues are the order of the day here.
In summary, if you like the musicianship of Queen (well Brian and Roger but lets not get into that here...), there is a lot here for you to enjoy. If you can't look past the often sub-standard lyrics, you probably wont enjoy this record. If you can look past the lyrics and you don't mind Mr Rogers voice, there are lot of pleasant rewards awaiting you here.
It isn't Queen but it's a chance to hear 2 members of Queen strutting their stuff together once again and doing it very well indeed.
Also the production of this record is brilliant - crystal clear but not over produced - it sounds real.
Going to listen again right now (never thought i'd say that as I feared the worst for this record...)
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