Soundtrack: A Kind of Magic by Queen

Go to Home Page Albums by this Artist
Soundtrack: A Kind of Magic by Queen
Soundtrack: A Kind of Magic by Queen

Album Released: 1986

A Kind of Magic ::: Artwork

album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating  Info about Weighting

1.One Vision5:11
2.A Kind Of Magic4:24
3.One Year Of Love4:27
4.Pain Is So Close To Pleasure4:22
5.Friends Will Be Friends4:12
6.Who Wants To Live Forever5:16
7.Gimme The Prize4:34
8.Don't Lose Your Head4:38
9.Princes Of The Universe3:33


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.

Read more

Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: Fernando Canto (blogging at Sir Mustapha's Album Reviews [Defunct])

Here is where Queen did to the 80's what they did to the 70's - they over-did it in an awesome way. That's not to say A Kind of Magic lives up to the peak of the band's 70's work. However, it's almost as unabashedly enjoyable.

The opening "One Vision" has it all: Stadium drums, full synths, gruffy riffs, Hair Metal guitar solos, melodic bass, and an energetic Freddie Mercury singing at the top of his lungs. However, all that bigness would be for nought if the actual song weren't also catchy as hell, but as it's indeed a well-written song, all the excess only adds to the fun.

This album was the unofficial soundtrack to Highlander, with "Who Wants to Live Forever" the power-ballad to end all power-ballads. Usually overblown, such melodramatic ballads are mostly awe-inspiring failures. However, when I listen to this one, I am taken by the huge stadium drums, atmospheric synths & strings, and Mercury's operatic vocals taken to the height of their power - all in all amazing to behold. The tune is pretty catchy too.

"A Kind of Magic" has one of the coolest bass-sequences in any song I've heard. The melody itself is one of Queen's most memorable as well, but that bouncy bass provides yet another layer of catchiness. It's the sort of bass heard all-too-little in pop/rock, and it helps place the song among Queen's best singles.

Given the strengths of the songs I've discussed, I'd be tempted to call this album Queen's best of the 80's, but the hoplessly boring Adult Contemporary ballad "One Year of Love" sabotages that.

Read more

Rated: album ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum ratingalbum rating
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio (blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews)