Sunday, 7 June 2020

Queen "Innuendo" (1991)

After a patchy decade pumping out mediocrity around one or two killer songs on each album, Queen enter the 90s with a strong shift in tone to solidify a return to form that was unfortunately their last with Freddie, who's health was declining during Innuendo's creation. The group effectively roll back the years, getting past the simplified approaches to songwriting and creating more inspired pursuits of Progressive Rock that manifest wonderfully on its opening track. They sound like Queen of the 70s.

 Although other songs don't follow this dynamic the album tone lacks any of the cheese or Synthpop influence they steadily picked up over the last decade. Its a return to roots that remains a step forward with the Hard Rock edge playing out in a fun new environment. Brian May's enigmatic lead guitar style sounds less like contrasting bursts of energy interrupting a songs flow. Queen get the mood right here, over and over, his solo's making for wonderful peaks in the flow of musical indulgence.

After a string of tracks, All God's People, These Are The Days Of Our Lives and most guilty, Delilah, hits a snag with that cheesy song writing rearing its ugly head as the tone shifts into a more formulaic cast. The Hitman pulls things back on track with a roaring anthem of Heavy Metal might as its attitude laden riffs throw up a head banger of a track! It's lyrics may be a little goofy but it makes up for it that riff! May also shreds a slick, lengthy lead guitar solo as the song takes a lengthy bow out.

The albums strength is its tone and atmosphere. It feels together as one project with the soft, airy synths composed with a familiarity from track to track. Its variety seems less obvious with this consistent sound, despite there being a handful of styles and creative expressions to go around the songs. Freddie gives a really fantastic performance. Even handicapped by a limit range, he puts all his feeling and passion into whats available. A redeeming record in the Queen arch, just one record left now.

Favorite Tracks: Innuendo, Don't Try So Hard, The Hitman
Rating: 7/10