Far from the glory of their enigmatic origins, Queen keep stylistically challenging themselves with each project. Despite being on a dip in form, these records still throw up a classic song or two. I never thought I'd be radiating in the tone of Radio Ga Ga again. It's a childhood song now heard through adult ears with a birthed appreciation for its spacey keys, subtly Industrial drum beat and robotic baselines. The coldness between its gently simmering synths and Freddie's stunning voice when they drop out hits the reset button on its atmosphere perfectly each time, such a unique song.
It sets a mechanical undertone for whats to come in a small dose. Tear It Up retains the bold crashing drums of Arena Rock yet executed with a Industrial rigidity that will reoccur however its a moment where Brian May's roaring electric guitar riffs find unison with this mechanized experimental theme the band seem to be leaning into. Once again however, its only fully realized on Machines, a track with gittery synths and digital electronic tones in the vein of a Kraftwork b-side. The reset of the record tends to fall into the typical established styles that Queen like to dabble with.
Man On The Prowl simply sounds like a glossy piano led version of Rockabily track Crazy Little Thing Called Love. To be fair though these other songs bring the energy, Hammer To Fall resurrects the classic Queen sound with a touch of class as once again Brian May's electricity just lands well with his band mates, unlike on Hot Space. It seems that something was brewing among the drumming and robotic use of electronics on this album but it falls into the eclecticism of styles the band hinge on, leaving it short of something defining. It feels routine, despite being really enjoyable.
Favorite Tracks: Radio Ga Ga, Tear It Up, Keep Passing The Open Window, Hammer To Fall