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Queen: Innuendo [Remastered]

Queen
Innuendo [Remastered]
(Island UK)

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With the release of 1991’s Innuendo, Queen found themselves in the unfortunate position of trying to write an album with one of the greatest front men of all time–who happened to be dying. (Made In Heaven, released in 1995, was an album written with said front man having already passed on and leaving behind several recordings.) So knowing that the voice on this album is that of a more frail, ailing Freddie Mercury just goes to show what a naturally amazing talent he was. There is no shortage of octaves or power from Mercury and although, as a whole, this isn’t Queen’s finest effort, you can’t help but be astounded by the passion and energy throughout this album.

Things kick off with the title track, an obvious and intentional nod to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” Even with the familiar feel, the opener is still a great tune especially halfway through where the similarities end and what can only be described as a flamenco/power metal break kicks in. This is yet another excellent example of Queen’s tremendous versatility. “I’m Going Slightly Mad” shows a dark sense of humor from Mercury where he seems to mix genuine feelings of anxiety and mental instability with an absurdity that makes listeners wonder how serious his words are. “Headlong” is a ripping hard rocker that would have played well with a stadium crowd had Mercury had the chance to lead the way. The ballad “Don’t Try So Hard,” in my humble opinion, is one of the most beautiful and underrated Queen songs of all time. And the album closer, “The Show Must Go On,” is such a powerfully sad and thunderous goodbye from Mercury that I can’t imagine what recording a song like that must have felt like for his bandmates.

This remastered version features a handful of bonus tracks that don’t do much to enhance the experience, but the main album sounds better than ever. Although Innuendo doesn’t stand up to some of Queen’s classic albums, it is a worthy entry in a remarkable career and Mercury clearly means it when he belts out “I’ve never given in. On with the show!Even at the end, he never held back the power and beauty of what is quite possibly the best rock ‘n’ roll voice our ears have ever known.

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