What do you do if you are one of the most popular and unique rock bands in history and your popular and influential singer Freddie Mercury dies from the AIDS virus? If you are as talented as Brian May and Roger Taylor you continue to perform, and write your music. If you are new to this planet you can read about this influential rock band known as Queen here. The two remaining members of the legendary rock group Queen (original bassist John Deacon retired in the nineties) have continued to perform at fund raisers and benefits over the years. In 2004 the time came for Queen to be inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame so the two remaining members invited one of the best voices in rock music to come perform with them. The voice was Paul Rodgers. So much energy and excitement surrounded that performance that the musicians announced a world tour for the year 2005. With the success of that 2005 world tour, including dates in Japan and North America, the newly created band Queen + Paul Rodgers scheduled another tour for the spring of 2006 which included 23 dates in North America. Throughout these tours and time off from them the members continued to write and record new music. On December 1st, 2007 the first brand new song was released for World AIDS Day. The song is called “Say It’s Not True” and was written by Roger Taylor. The song was also simultaneously released as a free download through a number of the band related web sites.
In addition to “Say It’s Not True” several other songs were recorded over the course of several months until last week’s release of the album “The Cosmos Rocks” on September 15th, 2008. It was a debut album for the two entities known as Queen + Paul Rodgers but the 15th studio album for Queen, and the 20th for Paul Rodgers recording as singer for bands like Free, Bad Company, The Firm, and a few solo projects. It is the first album of new material for Queen since 1995. The album roars out with an anthem of over four minutes of traditional rock n’ roll called “Cosmos Rockin’”. The next track called “Time To Shine” is nice tune that showcases the vocal talents of Paul Rodgers. It is a typical pie in the sky; “let’s rise above the human mess we have created” type of songs that are so popular now. I find no fault with the concept but according to God’s word man will never rise above his natural tendencies to do evil without God’s direction, especially this side of the Lord’s return. The following track is “Still Burnin’” which was written by Brian May. Not only did he write it but he plays guitar, bass, and piano on the track. It contains the classical “stomp, stomp, clap” of the eternally popular “We Will Rock You”. The fourth track is called “Small”. It is a beautiful piece written by May and beautifully sung by Rodgers. I particularly like the bluesy guitar solo and the lyrics that sing:
I like to sit here in the autumn time
The trees in the fields they rustle in the wind
The church bells gently chime
Gentle on your mind
Suspended in time
And don’t it make you feel small?
The album highlights include “Cosmos Rockin’”, “Small”, “We Believe” is actually a song of hope but it is a well written and composed song, “Call Me” has that old Queen harmonizing quality, the very bluesy “Voodoo” is a cool love song, “Some Things That Glitter” was written by Paul Rodgers and reminds me of one of my favorite Bad Company songs called “Blue, Silver, and Gold”,”C-lebrity” is another rockin’ fun song about those who aspire to be famous, even for 15 minutes of reality TV fame, “Say It’s Not True” was written by Roger Taylor for an anti-AIDS campaign as you can tell:
It’s hard not to cry, it’s hard to believe
So much heartache and pain, so much reason to grieve
With the wonders of science, all the knowledge we’ve stored
Magic cocktails for lives people just can’t afford
I definitely recommend this album for any rock fan. If you are a fan of Queen you might be disappointed that Paul Rodgers doesn’t sound the least bit like Freddie Mercury. I believe that should not matter. Mercury is gone, but two other talented members of the Queen guard still remain. If you are a fan of Paul Rodgers you will thoroughly enjoy this album. His voice is never better. I enjoy the songs more each time I listen through it. I give “The Cosmos Rocks” four and a half stars out of five. Rock On Chaps!!
Check out the live video for “Cosmos Rockin’”.