A Day at the Races
might've been a slight letdown compared to its big predecessor, but then this one is a big letdown compared to - well, compared to anything Queen had done so far.
Yes, this is the weakest Queen album up to this point, though I wouldn't say the album is bad as such, or that the band were 'losing it'. No, that's not the point. The problem is that the band seem to lose their focus a bit here, taking it easier on their 'operatic' side.
That means Mercury no longer leads the band - perhaps the idea was to make a more democratic album - after all, there are two John Deacon songs, two Roger Taylor songs, four Brian May songs and three Freddie Mercury songs. I'm not saying that's the bad thing about the album though - the bad thing is like I say, there's less focus here - the songs all go their own separate ways, and the result is kinda messy.
To begin with, the album starts with "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions" placed back-to-back. As a commercial move, that might've been wise, but I don't it as a good opening - firstly because I've always failed to see those two songs as part of the album, and secondly because I don't like "We Will Rock You". It's well-performed for sure (for the kind of song it is), but then I don't like that kind of song - especially when it's performed by the same guys who were performing "Seaside Rendezvous" two years previously.
And although "We are the Champions" is quite good (if the lyrics and 'purpose' were scrapped, there's a darned great melody), it's close to being a power ballad, and that gives me the creeps.
by Reviewer: Fernando Canto
(blogging at Sir Mustapha's Album Reviews [Defunct]