Review Summary: The beginning of the end for Queen with some of their best songs on here though, such as "I Want It All", "The Miracle", and "Scandal".
The 1980's are drawing to a close, and unfortuantely, so would Queen. 1989 saw the release of The Miracle
, the bands thirteenth album. This album came off of Brian May's divorce and also Freddie Mercury had now been diagnosed with AIDs, which was the reason that Queen would not tour for this album (or ever again, for that matter). With this album all songwriting credits would be given to Queen, no longer to who wrote the song. This more collaborative effort helped to produce a stronger album than the somewhat weaker (but commercially successful) efforts of The Works
and A Kind of a Magic
The album kicks off with Party
, a very fun rock song about just having a good night. Good layered vocals in the beginning and a solid song overall. Quite short though, but it seems to serve as a part one to Khasshoggi's Ship
, another very rock-type song. Great guitar work from Brian May on a complete song all in all. A solid chorus and a few typical Queen harmonies dipped in give this song another fun feel just like the track before it.
Up next is one of the strongest songs on the album, The Miracle
. A very Freddie Mercury driven song, it features some very interesting work on the keys and also has a great structure to it. Very strong vocals from Mercury and of course a good message in the song as well.
"The one thing we're all waiting for
Is peace on Earth - an end to war
It's a miracle we need, the miracle"
While I am not a fan of the part right before the very end where things pick up for a short bit, it quickly fades back into a fantastic ending with some great progressions and more classic singing from Freddie Mercurcy. Definitely a song to not be missed.
I Want It All
is a definite Brian May track that features a very anthematic chorus and some awesome guitar work from May. He displays some great riffing and lead work with the several solos in the song, with the fast one being my favorite. Once the synths come in a double it for a little bit at 3:15, it becomes perfect. We go right back into a quick prechorus and then one final chorus to round off a great song.
I could never get into The Invisible Man
, while it is a fun song and it also features a really catchy bassline. It seems to get old eventually, but the music video for the song is very cool and it is definitely worth checking out. An obvious 80s pop song here. But up next is another strong yet catchy song in Breakthru
. Starting things off with a very melodic intro with the typical Queen harmonies before the very catchy bass work from John Deacon for the verse. Another solid chorus from Freddie Mercury with a very good melody that reaks of a big hit, even though this song only reached #7 on the UK charts and barely charted in the US. Once the key change comes around the chorus begins to sound an awful lot like Boys of Summer
by Don Henley, but of course, thats not exactly a bad thing.
Starting with Rain Must Fall
the band seems to take turns now with the quality of songs. This is definitely a track to be skipped, as it really does not offer much, and just ends up being boring with any buildup or climax to offer.
But to make up for that song we are given Scandal
, which is my personal favorite off the album. A very synth driven song about the press between Brian May's divorce and the coming rumours of Freddie Mercury's failing health. With some very strong synth lines that are completed by a fierce vocal melody which lead into another emotional chorus. While there is no one moment of this song that is far better than all the others, I feel like the song really hits it peak at 2:27 with the Mercury vocal line and synth lines all leading right into a very powerful Brian May fill, it just fits perfectly in my opinion. Definitely an underrated song and in my opinion is one of Queen's best.
Back we go, however, to a weaker song. My Baby Does Me
is just slightly better than Rain Must Fall, with some weak lyrics and overall a boring pseudo-funk track. While Brian May does offer a small bit of lead guitar to compensate for the boring melodies and bassline, it is not enough to save this skipover.
Like always, this Queen albums ends with a bang in Was It All Worth It
. Starting with a very atmospheric intro, it leads into the best riff on the entire album. In my opinion this is where songs begin to deal with Freddie Mercury's AIDs, and how he is looking back on his life. An overall complete song and an awesome guitar solo from Brian May to round it all off. It all builds up into a fantastic ending with the opening riff and then a synth line to close up a strong album.
Overall this is a very underrated and unknown album, too. I had to add it in here a while back as it was the only Queen album that wasn't even on the site! And it is a good album too, most fans of rock in general should be able to enjoy it. With has some great songs and only two genuinely weak songs, I don't see why any Queen fan will love it.