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Life is Real
on 31 July 2013
Probably their most disliked album, this was hugely controversial at the time as it is a serious departure from earlier Queen releases.
Gone are the multi-tracked instruments and operatic vocals replaced with synthesisers, leaving an album of 2 halves.
The first side (on the original vinyl release) is in what the band termed "the funk style" and it is not particularly well done and sounds like a rock band out of their comfort zone.
It is such a departure from the usual queen sound that you will either like or loathe it.
The second side is better and it sounds like the band tried to counteract the first side with some ballads and traditional rock. There are some half decent tracks here in particular "las palabras de amor" and "life is real" although "cool cat" (back to the "funk style and sung entirely in falsetto) is widely disliked
You also get the full version of the classic "Under Pressure" that doesn't include the clumsy edit seen on "Greatest Hits 2".
The album has the same dated sound quality as "The Game". This is not something I can quite put my finger and I suspect it is due to the recording equipment used in the studio. That said, the 2011 remaster improves things and is significantly better than the previous release.
The style (in particular the first side) takes you right back to the late 70's/early 80's and there is a lot of synths from that era as well. This adds to the overall dated sound of this album.
Apart from containing the B-Side "Soul Brother", the bonus disc is pretty pointless (a remix and some live tracks).
Hot Space is not a great queen album, however it certainly stands out and I quite like some of the tracks on it
Whether you think it is a bad album is down to personal taste and those who are new to queen and acquiring all their studio albums should probably make this their second to last purchase (get the Flash Gordon soundtrack last).