Queen
Made in Heaven


5.0
classic

Review

by Brendan Schroer USER (179 Reviews)
May 31st, 2013 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: As an album, Made in Heaven is great. As a musical epitaph, it is something much greater.

XV: A Spectacular Epilogue

Ten months after the release of the 1991 album Innuendo, Freddie Mercury died of complications brought on by AIDS; he was 45. To this day, most people hold Innuendo dear to their hearts because it was such a solid finale with one of rock's greatest frontmen. After Mercury's death, the remaining members of Queen decided to make one last album with his pre-recorded vocals and a mix of new and old compositions. Thus, in 1995, Made in Heaven was released to much acclaim; this was the the record to bring closure to the band's career, and it seemed to be a bold success. However, this album is more than just a great record; it's a perfect musical epitaph.

The album's music is sort of a mix between 80s and 70s Queen, much like The Miracle or Innuendo. There are the typical synthesizers, melodic guitar lines, and powerful vocals on this record, although there's definitely an emphasis on the softer side of things. This is the sort of album that takes time to let the atmosphere build and let the listener breathe a bit. This is especially demonstrated in the vocal harmonies, which are as soothing as ever. The gospel-oriented intro to "Let Me Live" is particularly beautiful, with lovely female vocals and a nice buildup in dynamics before the drums (and verse) kick in. But it's not only the vocal harmonies; the way the music is arranged plays a big part in this album's quality. For instance, the intro track "It's a Beautiful Day" could have easily thrown the listener right into Freddie Mercury's introductory vocal melody, but instead submerges you in a sea of ambient keyboard work. As the dynamics build and more "nature"-esque samples enter the music, everything just becomes all the more beautiful. There's also a bit of a melancholic side that this record shows when songs like "Mother Love" and "You Don't Fool Me" start up. These songs especially benefit from Brian May's almost new-age guitar lines as he weaves many different melodies throughout the rest of the instrumentation. The band members feel like a cohesive unit on this album, despite the unusual way is was recorded; John Deacon and Roger Taylor are as solid as ever in the rhythm section while Brian May and Freddie Mercury (his voice recordings, to be more precise) keep the solid melodies and hooks coming. The point where all of this meets full circle is in the title track; everything about the song feels so complete, from Brian May's harmonized guitar work to the inspirational chorus. Nothing feels out of place; it's a perfect song all around.

I could spend all day giving a complete analysis of this record, but there's something more to it than that. Just think about the fact that we're listening to the last work of Freddie Mercury, his last time up to the mic for a Queen recording. That really got me thinking: this is the band embracing finality with a sense of joy and splendor. Yeah, there are melancholic moments, but they're certainly overshadowed by Freddie Mercury's strong resolve in the face of his own defeat. This album kinda acts as a reflection of the band's career and Mercury's own life in particular; that fact makes many of these songs more powerful than they otherwise would have been. The biggest example song-wise by far is the untitled track at the very end of the album. There's a reprise of "It's a Beautiful Day" at the end of the record that leads into a four-second song titled "Yeah"; the track that begins beneath Freddie's utterance of this word is a 22-minute ambient piece. This song is what the record is all about. This is one of the most bizarre Queen songs as well; there are no drums (with the exception of some cymbal and hi-hat sounds here and there), no guitar work, no bass work, nothing but keyboard work and some voice clips from Freddie. May people like to consider this song Freddie Mercury's musical "ascension into heaven" so to speak, and I'd actually agree with that. The reason is that, near the very end of the piece, there's a beautifully arranged symphonic section that gives off an indescribable feeling of joy and release. Other portions of the song are a bit more strange; around the sixteen-minute mark, there's a very depressing synth melody that really changes the overall mood. On top of that, the last thing that this song has to offer is Freddie Mercury uttering the word "Fab."

How are we supposed to respond to all of this? That's for you to decide. I see this album (and especially the last song) as an amazing example of perseverance in the face of darkness and death, but everything about this record is up for interpretation. Made in Heaven is a very intriguing way to end a band's discography, but it should be treasured for what it is: a beautiful epilogue to one of rock's finest bands and singers.

THE END



Recent reviews by this author
DragonForce Maximum OverloadPorcupine Tree Deadwing
Queen Queen IIOpeth Heritage
Metallica Master of PuppetsEd Sheeran x
user ratings (240)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
gblackman (2.5)
Coincidentally “Made in Heaven” was going to be the name of Freddie’s first ‘solo album,’ ...

Mark Stebbing (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whew, that was a very emotional review to make! Anyway, I'll ask the mods if they can flag my discog review :]

manosg
May 31st 2013


6255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a good album but I think you're quite sentimental here Brendan.

Digging: Acrimony - Tumuli Shroomaroom

zeekdavis11
May 31st 2013


21 Comments


...not a classic

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2013


19920 Comments


i didn't even realize queen had so many albums lol. nice review you did a great job on this discog so props.

Digging: Transit - Joyride

FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"but I think you're quite sentimental here Brendan."

Oh, I'm definitely not denying that at all. This album sorta holds a special place to me considering
its place in the band's history and being like a last hurrah for them. Even then, I actually do love
the music on its own too; I think it's one of their most underrated albums

Nagrarok
May 31st 2013


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Queen's discography being reviewed by a contributor... now there's something I couldn't have imagined ever happening. I congratulate you, double for the magnificent number of 111 reviews!

But yeah, album is not a 5 or even close to it.

breakingthefragile
May 31st 2013


2961 Comments


lol no way in hell.

dannyboy89
May 31st 2013


12031 Comments


I haven't read the whole discog, but I salute you for your efforts. You're obviously a big fan.

I haven't listened to enough Queen: just ANATO and some of the hits. That needs to change.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2013


19920 Comments


i've only heard one queen album in its entirety

FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Which one?

BigPleb
May 31st 2013


37123 Comments


Queen II >

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins on Io

breakingthefragile
May 31st 2013


2961 Comments


"Yeah" is the greatest Queen song of all time, yeah.

FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think I'm gonna redo my Queen II rev today... y'know, so it won't be a fucking poem, haha

BigPleb
May 31st 2013


37123 Comments


Dude, I enjoyed it!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2013


19920 Comments


"Which one?"

A Night at the Opera ;)




FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Niiiiiice. That and Queen II are this band's best

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 31st 2013


19920 Comments


Coolness. I'll have to dig into their discography some more

Gwyn.
May 31st 2013


15160 Comments


nvr heard this but judging by those ratings im guessing i wont agree with this review

gud review anyway

Dreamflight
May 31st 2013


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow a 5 Brendan? didn't see that coming. But if there's a song here that shivers me it's actually Winter's Tale, it's beyond beautiful

Awsome job on your Queen discography bro, those albums really needed an apt review.

FiveLeavesLeft
May 31st 2013


9838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, the 5 is more for what the album represents than the album's quality itself. Quality-wise, I'd give this a 4 :]



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy