This is a soundtrack, to the movie Highlander
. I've never seen the movie, but I must tell you this is Queen's worst album up to this point. Oh, who am I kidding, this is Queen's worst album ever - not 'worst' in an 'awful' sense, but in it being their 'least good' album.
If you don't own this album, you're not missing much, it hardly sounds like Queen. For one thing, the production values here are different. No more 1982 airy 'pissh pissh' sounds, this is 1986, with glossy-sounding crystal clear production. In other words, the same production values everyone else was using at the time. So yeah, if you like things overproduced into oblivion, this will be a positive point to you. Me? I don't care. If I want to analyse production values, I'll listen to Brian Eno, or U2 and Talking Heads produced by Brian Eno, or anything Eno-related.
I like Queen because of their music. And the music here? Weak, weak, weak. The Works
might be simplistic as hell, but it 'works' because it's clever and well-written. This? This music is generic and un-Queen sounding. It's just your everyday FM pop sung by some guys or other, I can hardly identify any Queen flavour.
Anyway, the 'highlights' of A Kind of Magic
are only highlights because they're really good songs, but otherwise they could've been written by anyone. "Friends Will Be Friends" will always be a darned beautiful ballad that balances its emotional elements with clever musicianship, such as not to sound overblown. Queen trying not to sound overblown is something rare I admit, but it works here. "Who Wants To Live Forever" is also beautiful, and atmospherically right as prime movie music. It is
overblown, but then that was the point. So that's another great song.
by Reviewer: Fernando Canto
(blogging at Sir Mustapha's Album Reviews [Defunct]