New Queen + Paul Rodgers

November 21, 2008 | By | Reply More

Well, I don’t love “The Cosmos Rocks.” I wanted to be hit over the head by Brian May’s royal chords and sweet lines (WoodyTone being a given), interesting song structures and chord patterns, and Paul Rodgers’ soulful vocals over the whole amazing thing. But except in a couple of cases, I didn’t get what I hoped for.

Yes, Brian of course has pockets of genius or greatness or whatever you want to call it, but overall I think the the song structures (chordally) don’t really allow him to shine. The disc overall also is pretty mellow. But let’s take it track by track.

1. Cosmos Rockin’ — A fast I, IV, V blues tune with shockingly-’80s yelling. Brian does some Chuck Berry, but not much else.

2. Time to Shine — Don’t really know how to describe this one. I think one way might be to say that it’s what REO Speedwagon wished they would be able to sound like.

3. Still Burnin’ — Slower, but not, slow blues with some cool guitar enhancements from Brian. He also plays a slide/wah lead, which is cool. The We Will Rock You beat makes a brief appearance which helps it sound like Queen.

4. Small — A ballad, and not in the Love of My Life sense. Brian gets a cool phased clean tone at one point — that’s the best thing about the song. I’m not a big ballad fan.

5. Warboys — E, C-D-E is a well-worn rock pattern, and this for sure is a rock song. Big guitars. This tune sounds a little War Pigs-ish in spots, which is strange.

6. We Believe — To me this sounds like a Celine Dion tune, and since I don’t really know any of her music I can’t explain why I have that impression. I don’t like it, but Paul sings it very well, the uniquely Queen “layers” build up near the end. I am left feeling that with one or two interesting chordal changes in the song, this could’ve been great.

7. Call Me — Country-ish tune, sort of Traveling Wilburys featuring Brian May. Brian starts the guitar orchestra lines at about 1:45, and as always, it’s cool.

8. Voodoo — Mellow blues tune. Paul can certainly sing the blues, and there are a few Bad Company moments in this one. Brian never really lets loose.

9. Some Things That Glitter — Piano ballad. The best part is 2:35-3:05, when Brian tastefully solos over a different chord progression.

10. C-lebrity — The hardest-rockin’ tune on the disc, and in my opinion the best. Brian’s harmony fills at the end are cool.

11. Through the Night — Another ballad, this one in a minor key.

12. Say It’s Not True — Another ballad. Roger Taylor wrote it and sings the first part.

13. Surf’s Up… School’s Out! — This is a cool tune, one of the best on the disc.

14. Small reprise — As the title notes, not really a song.

So here’s the summary:
> It does NOT sound like old queen (bassist John Deacon is not in the band and is not on this disc).
> Too many ballads for my taste.
> Too many standard-type blues tunes for my taste.
> The good stuff is good, just like you would expect it to be.

The band produced this disc. Most times when that happens, the songs tend to be slower, mellower and less “out of the box.” Did it happen here? Maybe. Bottom line is if you buy C-lebrity and Surf’s Up on iTunes, you should be good to go.

Category: Brian May/Queen, mp3/CD/DVD

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