Friday, March 20, 2009

CD Review: Queen + Paul Rodgers - The Cosmos Rocks

Queen + Paul Rodgers
The Cosmos Rocks

First things first. If you are just a Queen fan aching to go on a Freddie Mercury nostalgia trip, then this album is not for you. Let’s face it already – it’s almost seventeen years since Freddie died, and we really are not going to hear anything else from him. Or like him, for that matter.

What we do hear on The Cosmos Rocks is some good ol’ classic rock, courtesy Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen (bassist John Deacon retired in 1997), and Paul Rodgers (of Bad Company and Free fame). The opening flanged riffs on the first track, ‘Cosmos Rockin’,’ are unmistakably from Brian May’s handmade Red Special. Then Paul Rodgers’ gritty voice joins in, and very soon it all turns into a boogie.

While none of the tracks really jump out and grab your attention at first listen, give it some time, and some tracks start to grow on you – especially the rockarollin’ ‘Cosmos Rockin’,’ the military marching ‘Warboys’ and the harmonised ‘Call Me.’ The underrated genius of May shines through on each single track: he unleashes his magic with intricately layered parts and ethereal leads and fills. Check out the bluesy ‘Voodoo’ for examples of the latter. And Rodgers delivers some stunning performances in the Freddy tribute ‘Some Things That Glitter’ and the trio’s first single ‘Say It’s Not True.’

Is this is a good classic rock album? Yes. Will it be a ‘classic’ album, though? Doubtful.

© Bobin James/Rolling Stone India, 2008

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