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4.6 out of 5 stars
52
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 March 2017
I am a fan of his (and have a copy of his guitar). Whilst not wishing to take away from the intent Brian May has put into this, I was disappointed. On this album, there are moments of really great guitar (5 stars) and then there are tracks which are a musical confusion of too much. The less is more.
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on 10 March 2017
Two top notch songs rest of the album isn't great brilliant guitarist in Brian May but his voice is too weak on its own and its a struggle for him but two great songs save it for him
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on 2 May 2017
ok
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on 11 June 2006
I only got this album a couple of months ago, and to be honest I wasn't that impressed with it at first. But after my second listen I was completely hooked on it. "Back To The Light" covers so many occurences in Brian's life at the time; including the breakdown of his marriage, the death of Freddie, and his struggle with depression. This album really is a great insight into strong and powerful emotions that can be felt by anyone in the world.

Now, many reading this would probably see my review as biased because I'm such a big fan of Brian; I honestly try not to be biased towards him. There are infact parts of the album that I really do dislike, so bear with me.

"The Dark" is an astonishly powerful album opener. It has an extreme kick to it, and is mainly made up of Brian's trademark harmonic guitar layering, that he is so famously known to use. Despite the power of the guitar, this song also has a very beautiful delicacy and is very fragile in places, with the use of a harp and other stringed instruments besides the guitar.

Following this song is "Back To The Light"; an almost gospel track using choirs, and soft backgrounds blended once again with some of Brian's trademark guitar. This is a song of hope and self discovery and really does contain some amazing emotion, as well as being a fantastic track.

"Love Token" would have to be my favourite on the album. Punchy drumming from Cozy Powell and some seriously catchy guitar; this song is a truly underrated classic. Revolving around the theme of his marriage ending, "Love Token" really is a story of disaster that focusses (in my opinion) on how the bad feeling affected his children, with such lines as "Mama's in love, Papa's in love, it's such a shame they don't love each other". This song really is a gem.

"Resurrection" is yet another classic which follows, and is a song that mainly Queen fans would be attracted to. Once again, this has strong drumming by Powell and a fantastic guitar riff that features throughout. The lyrics are punchy and full of life. This song really does bleed passion and inspiration. Probably my second favourite.

Many Queen fans would already know "Too Much Love Will Kill You", as a version sung by Freddie, but here on this album is seems to have a completely different feeling to it. Brian's voice suits the song perfectly, and the softness really is a great comparison to the previous songs I've mentioned. The guitar switches to beautiful acoustic, which in my opinion works much better than the Queen version of the track. The simplicity really is a nice change.

"Driven By You" was the first single to be released from this album. Featuring on an advert for Ford, this is probably the best known song on "Back To The Light" because of this publicity, and is a thoroughly enjoyable track. Once again; one that would probably be mostly enjoyed by Queen fans.

"Nothing But Blue" seems to have a lot of Pink Floyd influence in it. The song is slow moving and truly beautiful. The guitar flows effortlessly, and the whole track in general is a pleasure to listen to.

"I'm Scared" is probably the most experimental track on the album. Initially I never used to like it, but after having listened many, many times now I've grown to love it's originality. This song is the first on the album to have a really repetitive chorus, and is very catchy in every aspect. The guitar solo is mind blowing and classic Brian May. Everything about this song is fast moving, and I don't think anyone could not be attracted to the experimental 'talking' in the middle of the song, where at one point, Brian claims that he's scared of Steven Berkhoff - fantastic.

I'd previously only heard "Last Horizon" as a live track from the Queen & Paul Rodgers concerts, and to be honest I think I prefer it live. I'm really not into the backing of this studio version and see it as slightly tacky. It definitely could've been done better in my opinion. However, the guitar is fantastic and there are aspects I prefer to the studio version, to that played live in recent times. It definitely is a live track at heart though.

"Let Your Heart Rule Your Head" is my least favourite song on the album. The folky sound is obviously inspired by Brian's 1975 song "39", which appeared on A Night At The Opera. I don't often listen to this song because I really do find it highly irritating - then again, I don't really dig folk music so that could be why. It's just not really my thinb...despite the fact that I love "39".

"Just One Life" is another track that I rarely listen to. It doesn't have that much kick and I don't find I gain much from listening to it.

"Rollin' Over" however is pure brilliance. I can sense sheer enjoyment through recording this song everytime I hear Brian sing or play guitar. His random 'yeah' and 'wooo' exclamations throughout this song are fantastic and fit so well. This is a happy song, and a very strong one as well. I love how the ending returns to the sound of "The Dark" found at the beginning of the album. This song is another that Queen fans may appreciate.

So overall, Brian is not a strong singer, but he really does some amazing things on this album. Some may be tempted to comment and say that "Freddie could've done better", but in my opinion it would have meant very little for Freddie to perform songs so close to Brian's heart. This is an album full of grief, hope and survival and has been a great inspiration to me as a person. If you love Brian, Queen or generally some absolutely astonishing guitar this is an album that you should almost definitely listen to. You're missing out!
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on 4 June 2017
Best guitarist in the world
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2002
Brian steps out of Queen's shadow to deliver a powerful album full of quality and no fillers. Highlights include "Back to the Light", "Resurrection" and "Driven by You".
Despite this being Brian's first solo vehicle (unless you include his "Starfleet" EP) this album is the closest thing you'll ever get to a Queen album in all but the name as you realise how much influence Brian had in Queen. The guitar work (naturally), the lyrics, the vocal harmonies and the diverse rock-pop tunes are all here in great quantities and this album fits comfortably between "The Miracle" and "Innuendo" (despite its 1992 release) and arguably better than some Queen albums anyway!
"Resurrection" is a treat for Queen fans, as is "Driven By You" (the one from the "Ford" ad) whilst "Just One Life" is a gentle acoustic number with a nod to some of Brian's earlier Queen compositions.
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on 2 October 2001
You wouldn't think it now, but back in the early nineties, Brian was a pretty successful solo artist.
'Back To The Light' was the eagerly anticipated solo album, and rightly so. Of course, there are the vital Queen-isms sprinkled throughout the album. It's Brian May - he was the 'sound'!
From start to finish, this album is vibrant, immaculately played by a great band (including the late Cozy Powell on drums), and tracks such as the title track, "Resurrection", "Nothin' But Blue" (featuring Queen bass player John Deacon), and a great cover of The Small Faces' "Rollin' Over" prove that he can survive without Queen.
This is better than his second effort, "Another World", and, like a good action movie, keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. Just listen to his startling guitar solo on "Resurrection", or his eerie, eerie opening harmonies on "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (I'm sure that's Freddie in there somewhere!)
This album is superb - musically brilliant, lyrically moving, and definitely one to have in your collection! Brian May rocks. (And, at least on this album, he can sing!)
Long live BM.
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on 6 June 2012
I first acquired this album on CD as a Christmas present from my ex (and sadly now late) wife back in 1992.

First thing that struck me was how utterly 'Queen' it sounded.

This isn't a criticism-far from it.

It goes to show how much Brian contributed to the unique Queen sound.

Overall, I'm almost as impressed with this album as I was almost 20 years ago.

There is a bit of something for almost everyone here

And there is a roller-coaster of emotions here as well from the aggressive and domestic scrap laden 'Love Token' to the more docile and melancholic 'Nothin But Blue'-the latter track benefiting from an extremely rare post Queen contribution from John Deacon.Then the '39 style 'Let Your Heart Rule Your Head', the almost bluesy then vintage heavy instrumental 'Last Horizon'

The only let-down performance wise is perhaps the need for a stronger vocalist on some of the rockier numbers such as 'Resurrection'.

Even so Brian's vocals are more than good enough everywhere else.

But there is more than enough here to justify a remastered edition.

Remastered sound, unpublished photos, additional sleeve notes and maybe even a bonus track or two?

Who apart from Brian knows?

Done properly this could just French Polish a piece of furniture which has been tucked away in some corner and undeservedly forgotten about.

20 years or so ago I would have certainly given this album Five Stars.

But as it stands Five Stars for material and performance,and Three stars for Sound Quality-so Four Stars it is!

But we do really need a revamp.

And a better one than what Universal have chucked at us with the 2011 Queen remasters.
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on 17 December 2004
This is a brilliant album. The legendary Brian May sound and muli-layered harmonies are ued to brilliant effect throughout an equally brilliant album. My favourite tracks are 'Too Much Love Will Kill You' and 'Driven By You', although I prefer the Freddie Mercury version of 'TMLWKY'. What made me want to listen to this album was the sound of Brian May's guitar. While he may not be the greatest guitarist in the world, I think the sound and style he produces from his it could match anyone else. If you are also a fan of Brian May's guitar's playing, then I would definitely recommend that you buy this album. I would give this album five stars on the quality of the songs themselves, but I just feel that on some of the tracks BM's voice isn't powerful enough and he needs Freddie's voice to strengthen them. However, this is still a brilliant, underrated album.
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on 5 July 2011
Having been a massive Queen fan (and Brian May fan in particular), Freddie Mercury's death in 1991 marked a huge musical watershed for me. Life being what it is, I got involved in other things and the various post-Queen activities happened without me really noticing. I was vaguely aware of this album when it was first released, but it somehow 'slipped out of the light'.... !

Recently I've been putting things straight, and filling in the gaps in my collection, so after nearly 20 years, I am listening to this music for the first time. Well, what can I say that hasn't already been said more eloquently by other reviewers, but I just had to add my voice and say that this is a wonderful album, although in places it feels so personal, and one or two tracks are quite difficult to listen to. It really does feel as though Brian was working through the events of the preceding few years, and all the attendant grief and insecurity about life. It is immensely moving, and I think a very brave thing to bare his soul in this way. The more I listen, it becomes apparent just how influential Brian was in establishing the Queen 'sound', especially in those early (and I think, best, years). Yes, it has to be said that he doesn't have a lead singer's voice, and there are some areas where it sounds a little weak, but a great voice nonetheless. (By the way, I'm sure I can hear Freddie's vocals at the very beginning of "Too Much Love will Kill You", which is a nice touch, although there is no mention of this on the sleeve notes). And, joy of joys, there are some absolutely CRACKING tracks on this album! I've played "Resurrection" and "Love Token" so many times, that portion of the CD will no doubt wear out long before the rest of it.

So, a fab album from a truly great guitarist. Brian, you will always Rock!
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