A Night at the Opera – Queen

The final album review of my EP’s promotion cycle is the one for “And Then There Are Those Who Choose Their Own Fate”. Writing this song, I felt that the suite was an underutilized device in music; I really liked when songs put together thematically connected disparate sections, and it felt like something gone from modern music. How did I know that that was something I liked? I’d heard it before! Here is my review of the band that always did it best, and the album containing their greatest example:

Yeah, it’s the album with “Bohemian Rhapsody” on it. I will say, I always forget how good that song is until I go back and listen to it again; every section of that song is killer. It’s funny to me that they switch between 12/8 and 6/8 in the guitar bridge; quite literally, they swing both ways. Queen always rocks hard, from this album’s opening shriek to the intense, triumphant harmonies of “God Save the Queen”, courtesy of Brian May’s hand-crafted guitar. Due to his capable, innovative engineering, May’s guitar is more powerful than any synth on the market today, and it is always fantastic, constantly turning out idyllic solos like the swing thrill that finishes “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon”. The vocals throughout the album are, of course, terrific; I could discuss the vocal harmonies of tracks like “The Prophet’s Song”, which constantly overwhelm and delight using a multi-pronged attack, but I find myself even more compelled just listening to Freddie Mercury sing his heart out. Special mention goes to “I’m In Love With My Car”, where drummer Roger Taylor takes the mic and actually manages to steal the stage from Freddie with unbridled passion and wildly lurid lyrics. This band is very good with waltz, crafting a buoyant, romantic, and danceable jam in “Sweet Lady”, and they’re always inimitably joyful when they get into 12/8. They do like their mode mixture, especially the minor iv chord in major keys, and it’s always a pleasure to hear their unexpected harmonic turns. Other highlights are the temporal epic story of “’39”, the harp ending to “Love of My Life”, and, did I mention “Bohemian Rhapsody”? I feel like I’m not being hyperbolic in the way I usually am, but that’s because you already know Queen; it’s time to listen to their back catalog and discover that they do really deserve all the hero worship.

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