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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 10:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Indeed I am growing weary of these puny-minded reviews of The Cosmos Rocks that seem to blame it for it not measuring up to their expectations.  And their reason?  That Freddie Mercury never shows up to rehearsals any more!!!  We all loved Freddie.  But he is terribly difficult to work with these days.  [img=/images/smiley/msn/teeth_smile.gif][/img]

If only there was a way that listeners could hear the album for what it is, and not for what it lacks in the way of cut-and-paste from the pre-mortem Queen catalog.  If only they could grasp that this album represents a new chapter for the Queen boys, and that ANY reference to Freddie Mercury is just plain irrelevant in that context.


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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 11:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A long time ago (when Queen was just Queen, without mathematical symbols), movies were made about a certain story, with start and finish (sometimes, with the death of the "good guy"). Then a few of them started to make millions... and their creators thought... "why not a sequel"?... It didn't matter that the sequel had the most confusing story ever with a few links to the original plot, it was done. And they were bloody awful, even if they were part of "trilogies" or whatever. Reminds us of something?


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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 11:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Actually, the new bond movie Quantum Of Solace is very good.

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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 11:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm certain your analogy just proves my point.  Because it's clear that you are so busy comparing the sequel to the initial movie that you fail to see the sequel for what it is.

I'm not foolish enough to try to argue that sequels are better than the originals.  Personally, I like Godfather III the best, but most critics vehemently disagree.  But I'm no critic, so what do I know?

I know this... If you can't make the argument about the quality of the sequel without comparisons to the original, then you have no point.


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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 19:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



GonnaUseMyPrisoners wrote:


I know this... If you can't make the argument about the quality of the sequel without comparisons to the original, then you have no point. 


And how is this done?

I didn't say Q+PR is a sequel. Well, at least this is what they are saying: it's a whole new movie. OK, it's a remake then. But are remakes done with the same actors?

BTW Bond movies aren't sequels.




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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 19:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


Forget for a moment the Queen quartet, you know, that immortal band we all love. (this is the PAST)

Let's look at the TCR album for what it is, 'cause i'm sure that's what they want us to. (this is the PRESENT)
TCR is a good rock album, from a very good, still, mortal band.
Excelent production, well played, amazingly sang.
Far from being a masterpiece.
In terms of songwriting... well, one must state that Brian and Roger have seen better days in the past.
As for Paul Rodgers... he is by far the best member of the team.

As for the FUTURE, I wonder... if Roger becomes too fat, too tired, too whatever to keep on playing and decides to join Deacon's way... if it's just Brian left of the original line-up...
... do we consider Paul, Danny, Jamie, Spike, guest drummer and Brian as Queen+Paul Rodgers?

Have a nice weekend. Cheers all.



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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 22:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



 



 



Marcos Napier wrote:



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



GonnaUseMyPrisoners wrote:



 



 



 



I know this... If you can't make the argument about the quality of the sequel without comparisons to the original, then you have no point. 



 



 



 



And how is this done?

I didn't say Q+PR is a sequel. Well, at least this is what they are saying: it's a whole new movie. OK, it's a remake then. But are remakes done with the same actors?

BTW Bond movies aren't sequels.


OK, well you used the word sequel...I'm not married to it.

How is this kind of criticism done?  It's done just as the post above by Al TurHao did.  You examine it on it's own merits, all of the instrumental elements, songwriting, arrangements, instrumentation, solos, harmonies, lyrics, virtuosity, overall composition, vocal performance, energy, etc. etc.  
 
I personally think that once you strip down to these elements, and listen to the CD closely and without a Mercury-inspired prejudice that there are few things to quibble about other than the odd song that may not be quite to your personal taste.  Personally, I don't care for Voodoo at all.  but the rest of it is strong... some of them classic.  And it seems to me that with that kind of scorecard, it's every bit as classic as any other Queen album without Paul Rodgers.  It's different, but evaluated on its own terms, it's excellent.  If you're not a fan of Paul's style, that's a valid reason not to like it, too... but that's not an evaluation of any singer's superiority over another... just a realization of your personal tastes.

Peace.








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Posted: 07 Nov 08, 23:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think I might be one of the few here that didn't like TCR but never said that what it's missing in TCR is Freddie like a lot of widows here did and will ever do. It could have been fixed if it was that that was the problem - just make Made In Heaven pt. 2 and we're set (and this is where the sequel analogy appears I guess - fans are always expecting things to be as good as the first movie).

The songs are average standard rock (I'm being nice), the lyrics are silly... it's filled with cliches, and the only song in my opinion that is a bit better is a song that is being criticized a lot because of a single sample. Just the desire of making a good album and a giant legacy doesn't make it good.

A different thing is to compare live Q+PR with the "classic" Queen (and this is when Freddie might come to the subject), but in an album supposedly composed already having Paul as the singer and planned like that, it should and could have been much better, considering the talent of all of those involved, including Paul.


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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 04:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry to butt in... but I am a bit confused about the term 'classic' Queen... do you mean Queen of 'Queen II' or 'A Night at the Opera'... or are you talking 'The Miracle' and 'Flash Gordon' Queen???

I see the point the author of the thread is making.. and would rather agree to it. We should value the things for what they are and not think what they must be...

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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 10:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



 



Marcos Napier wrote:



The songs are average standard rock (I'm being nice), the lyrics are silly... it's filled with cliches, and the only song in my opinion that is a bit better is a song that is being criticized a lot because of a single sample. Just the desire of making a good album and a giant legacy doesn't make it good.


OK, firstly, one never has to justify "not liking" something.  It just means it's not to your liking and only you can and should speak for your own personal taste.  But when you summarize something in a general way it requires more in terms of examples.  To me your criticism seems certainly valid (so long as you can support what you say with examples), although I disagree with you (but you know that already).  This is interesting, though, so let's dig into the lyrics thing a little.  You can probably cite silly lyrics from the TCR, but has Queen never indulged in silly lyrics prior to this release?  Here are a few that always bugged me, though I like the songs overall:

"Now I'm here, now I'm there, think I'll stay, think I'll stay around..."
"When I'm holding you near, all I hear is your gear..."
"Back chat, back chat, you got me on the rack..." 
"We want some prime jive..." 
"Tatterdemalion and a junketer, there's a theif and a dragonfly trumpeter (he's my hero!)..."

I just think Queen have always had a sense of humor outright in their music, a touch of whimsy, and often tongue firmly planted in cheek, even if it results in odd lyrics.  Sometimes it might even have been that they could find no rhyme or other meter-filler other than what they settled on.  But sometimes there is no excuse!!! 
;-)   And I think we can continue to expect that from TCR, therefore. 

Addressing cliches:  On the other hand, on TCR, I can see why someone giving it a casual listen might cite "Rock and Roll Never Dies" (Still Burnin) as cliche... until you realize how autobiographical a line like that is for these guys whose band was pronounced dead in 1991.  (is this the one you referred to with the sample?)  It's a celebration of this new rebirth of energy and enthusiasm, and after so many years I say they deserve to do it!  When it has personal meaning, it's not a cliche; IMO it's genuine expression 'cuz they're living it.

"We Believe" is being slammed for it's lyrics, though I don't know why.  It's about as sincere and global-minded as any song they've done, to me similar to ITTWWC, just more assertive and unifying in tone (c/w the despairing tone of ITTWWC).  Try putting your own socio-political perspectives into a song and see whether it's possible to avoid sounding a bit like a politician or invoking cliches.  It's not easy.  And while on a happy Friday evening I have no use for an introspective song such as this, it's lovely when I'm in the mood. 

So there, we can sit here all day and count up examples where we disagree, but we'll be unlikely to change each others perspectives, but I think there's great value in the exchange of ideas and perceptions of the art.  Art is meant to be and should be discussed, but some "criticism" tends to stray from comparing one's impressions to calling the bandmembers names and belittling their efforts (which is just childish and rude).  (I'm not accusing anyone of this just now, btw)   I just don't believe there's any real value to a criticism based on a comparison to someone else's art because it's the old apples & oranges thing and it angers me.

Peace




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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 11:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'll try to use the bold/italic to quote stuff instead of the messed-up quote function...

"OK, firstly, one never has to justify "not liking" something."

Neither liking something! But when most of the people here (I'm not pointing at anyone either) are more interested in quiet the voices of those that dislike it with stupid comments as "you're not a real fan", it needs some explanation about our thoughts. But sometimes to a certain group of people, no matter what you say, they will never *accept* (which is different from agreeing or respectfully disagreeing) and respect your point of view.

"But when you summarize something in a general way it requires more in terms of examples.  To me your criticism seems certainly valid (so long as you can support what you say with examples)"

I think it was said many many times here in other threads, I think that the weak points (despite those that think that the weakest point of TCR is the lack of "Freddisms") were already discussed to death.

"You can probably cite silly lyrics from the TCR, but has Queen never indulged in silly lyrics prior to this release?
"

Maybe I've said silly more in the sense not of "funny" or "meaningless" words, but in terms of things done in a hurry, picking up old stuff (cliches) here and there and pasting it. Quality control, if you want.

"I just think Queen have always had a sense of humor outright in their music, a touch of whimsy, and often tongue firmly planted in cheek, even if it results in odd lyrics.  ... And I think we can continue to expect that from TCR, therefore. "

And this is gone. With Freddie? Maybe.

"Addressing cliches:  On the other hand, on TCR, I can see why someone giving it a casual listen might cite "Rock and Roll Never Dies" (Still Burnin) as cliche... until you realize how autobiographical a line like that is for these guys whose band was pronounced dead in 1991.  (is this the one you referred to with the sample?) "

This is exactly the song I said that uses less cliches and sounds more authentic to me, despite being considered by some as some sort of "WWRY... revisited". Just because of a single sample, that isn't there just because they couldn't create a new drum riff or something, but because it should be cited to compliment the meaning of the song.

"Try putting your own socio-political perspectives into a song and see whether it's possible to avoid sounding a bit like a politician or invoking cliches.  It's not easy.  And while on a happy Friday evening I have no use for an introspective song such as this, it's lovely when I'm in the mood. "

And this goes a bit against what Queen (or at least Queen v. 1.0) was about, as you've said before. Sometimes bands tend to go to certain "realms" (because it's the latest trend) and they get lost there and sound... strange (I'd say ridiculous, but it's a bit rude in this specific situation).

"So there, we can sit here all day and count up examples where we disagree, but we'll be unlikely to change each others perspectives, but I think there's great value in the exchange of ideas and perceptions of the art.  Art is meant to be and should be discussed, but some "criticism" tends to stray from comparing one's impressions to calling the bandmembers names and belittling their efforts (which is just childish and rude).

This is what annoys me with most of the comments here about it. Or you like it no matter what, or you hate it no matter what... It's hard to call people's names, and we will never know whose "fault" is it. We will never know if Freddie said "please go on with Paul", if this is done for the money, for the music and so on... and it doesn't matter, really. To me, what matters is that I am disappointed with the final results, and it's not just because of a single thing like "Freddie's not in it".

It's a bit different to compare this "new Queen" with say a painter that now does a different style. Yes it's a different band (is it?), but they haven't changed what they do - they still play rock'n'roll, it's not like if they are trying to make an album of russian music or samba or whatever. Maybe the rock'n'roll as we knew 20 years ago doesn't exist anymore (some people say similar things about jazz - new jazzists seem to be rehashing things forever and will never sound like the "classic" ones). The freshness seems to have gone, and I can't find any good excuse for that other than quoting what everybody has said already about TCR. Rust never sleeps, said Neil Young.


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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 11:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"I just don't believe there's any real value to a criticism based on a comparison to someone else's art because it's the old apples & oranges thing and it angers me."

You just forget (or ignore) the tiny little fact that the album  "The Cosmos  Rocks" has the name

QUEEN

on its sleeve. You cannot claim that this is "somebody else's art". The moment Brian and Roger decided to use the name (and I have no problem with that, mind you) they invited any critic to compare this album with other Queen albums. You would not seriously say that we cannot compare a Rolling Stones album with previous Rolling Stones albums because Brian Jones is dead and Bill Wyman retired. When I call a Rolling Stones album uninspired and when I call the Stones boring and repetitive  - that does not make me a Brian Jones worshipper or something.

You cannot have it both ways: when you use the name and profit from its fame you cannot claim at the same time that the "artists" are someone else. You just have to allow people to compare this Queen album to other Queen albums like in the past - when Hot Space, for example, was mainly discarded by many people because it had so few  guitar parts and so much snythesizer.


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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 11:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



YourValentine wrote:

You just forget (or ignore) the tiny little fact that the album  "The Cosmos  Rocks" has the name

QUEEN

on its sleeve.


Actually, no, it bears the name Queen + Paul Rodgers.







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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 13:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This is not about semantics. Of course "Queens of the stone age" isn't Queen. Neither is Queen Latifah. Considering this point of view, Q+PR should be considered sort of one of these duet albums, Pavarotti & friends or something. But it isn't, it is more (commercially) a Queen album featuring someone other than FM than anything else, I guess in the same way as Under Pressure is a Queen song featuring Bowie (which has a succesful career on his own like Paul) than the other way.

Now tell me that "Doors of the 21st Century" is a new band? It is (is it?), but what is it based on? If I had a couple of friends in a band and decided to call ourselves that, I would be ignored, as it is much more a generic name than Q+PR is.

One thing I can't understand is the explanations that Brian and Roger are doing this *just* for the music. It isn't, there's something else that I still don't know what it is. If they had retired like John did and had never touched their instruments again after Freddie died, it could be different and I'd agree that they missed making music again. But no, they still had their solo albums and concerts and life goes on. Maybe they felt that on their own they couldn't replicate these magic moments as a band, and they decided to try it once again to see if the magic is still there. It isn't. Not *that* kind of magic, at least.


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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 14:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There are other musicians who may have been better at creating something closer to Queen, as we knew them, but to try and recreate that would have seemed contrived.
They felt some connection with Paul Rodgers when they played with him at an awards show and they were fans(I'm still not sold on Freddie being a fan) While it doesn't sound like the Queen music we know from Freddie, Brian, John and Roger it is at least more honest than using a Freddie clone singer from a tribute band.
I like some of the songs on TCR for what they are. I don't listen expecting March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody etc.
IMO I think Brian and Roger chose to follow Paul's stylistic inclinations and if anything were more inclined to recreate Free/Bad Company than Queen.
That there are some Queen like  moments is a testament to the fact that these guys were a part of what made Queen what it was.

To be honest I was hoping back in '04 before I heard anything about Q+PR that Brian, Roger and John might consider doing a "Queen" CD of new material featuring guest collaborations with some people like Chis Cornell, Martha or Rufus Wainwright and so on. It would have allowed for some greater variety and could have been truly inspired but would have been hard to tour/promote.


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Posted: 08 Nov 08, 21:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Teleman, I agree.  Except I do take Brian and Roger at their word that Freddie appreciated Paul's work.  Not quite that cynical.

It's so simple.  Queen + Paul Rodgers means you're going to get musical input from Roger, Brian, and Paul.  The end result will necessarily be different than that from Freddie, Roger, Brian, John = Queen.  Q+PR is a new band, albeit with striking similarities to Queen, no doubt due to these 2 groups sharing two common members.  If someone (like you Marcos), or even the majority, doesn't like the end result, TCR, that's fine so long as you've made that decision based on what the music IS, not who didn't show up to rehearsals.  Those critics who try to justify slamming the album by implying that Paul is somehow inferior to Freddie and that Brian and Roger should have just hung it up in the 1990s are out of line and sadly missing the point.  It's their loss.


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Posted: 09 Nov 08, 11:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Back to 1988...

Something strange happened with me when I first heard The Miracle. I was already suspecting that something was wrong with Freddie (I think I had seen some pics somewhere - remember, it was pre-Internet days) and I wasn't really expecting a new album, let alone 2. Then it was released and I bought it ASAP as usual. In the first listenings, I was very frustrated, maybe more than with Hot Space - when HS was released, there was all that "Queen Mania" because of the 81 concerts, so the feeling that it wasn't that good (it has its merits though) wasn't as important as the fact of having a new Queen album to listen to. I thought TM (The Miracle, not that member of the forum) was very... weak, average, boring, ... not sure what is the word to describe it - but the feeling was very similar to TCR. I felt that the band was over, sort of, and ignored it.

After a few years (and after Freddie), I've "rediscovered" it, and started listening to it again - not as much as I listen to the "masterpieces", but at least I wasn't skipping songs after 20 seconds like when the time I bought it. I am not sure, but I think it was because it was the only thing to do now - there wouldn't be another album, so that was all that was left I think. Maybe some people are so attached to TCR for the same reasons that they forget to (or don't want to) analyse it technically/musically or whatever. This is why I've used the word "denial" sometimes in other comments I've made about it. If you leave the sentimental/fan part aside, it's a very poor album.

Another strange thing: although the fact of it being an "average" rock album quality-wise (with all the meanings "average" can have, and in my opinion) doesn't justify per se the quality or the poor ranks in charts, I think. AC/DC is #1, doing the same album they have been doing for about 25 years. But TCR being so low in the charts is not some kind of persecution or conspiracy by the musical press as some insist on saying, neither a joke by the publishers of charts. They could easily have ignored AC/DC too... what's the difference between these 2 average albums? Paul Rodgers? Bon Scott? Freddie? No.


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Posted: 10 Nov 08, 07:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



GonnaUseMyPrisoners wrote:



 



YourValentine wrote:



You just forget (or ignore) the tiny little fact that the album  "The Cosmos  Rocks" has the name

QUEEN

on its sleeve.



Actually, no, it bears the name Queen + Paul Rodgers.



That, is the whole point right there...  I wish people would read that for what it is, not Queen, but Queen + Paul, it's a new partnership between two artists, and therefore will have familiar elements but will also be a new direction.

Ladies and Gentlemen this is NOT  Queen, it's something else, something new that is part of an evolving process, you may not like it? you may love it?  but that's what it is.













"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
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Posted: 10 Nov 08, 10:13 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That, is the whole point right there...  I wish people would read that for what it is, not Queen, but Queen + Paul, it's a new partnership between two artists, and therefore will have familiar elements but will also be a new direction.


I see. It's the same as Page + Plant, which was the best Zep concert I've ever seen (or that I could see anyway).