Unless you've been living in a cave for the past several years, you know that Queen has been teaming up with veteran vocalist Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, The Firm and many others) for concerts and a few recordings. So let's get one thing out of our systems now: Rodgers is not Freddie Mercury and never will be; and Queen+Paul Rodgers does not equal Queen of old. So now we have their first full length collaboration together on 'The Cosmos Rocks.' What are we to make of it? How should I describe it? Allow a few words and phrases: interesting, mildly entertaining, mundane, safe, ordinary and, conversely, more Paul Rodgers+Queen than anything else.
I think that last phrase best defines this work. 'The Cosmos Rocks' could have easily been a Paul Rodgers album with Queen as his studio/touring band. His stamp of blues-based, soulful, hard rock music and vocals is stamped all over this work. For proof listen to 'Through The Night,' 'Voodoo,' or 'Time To Shine' as good examples. If there are hints of the Queen progressive rock creativity here, they are buried so deep to be obscure to even most careful listener.
As for the other adjectives, safe, ordinary, and mundane my best describe the temperament of the music throughout 'The Cosmos Rocks.' With the exception of the title track and maybe 'Warboys' or 'Call Me' (and these are suspect), there is very little rocking going on here, at least not until you get to the end on 'Surf's Up, School's Out.' Everything seems pleasant and without the adventurousness that characterized Queen of yesteryear. That's not to say that there are not some interesting and noteworthy songs on 'The Cosmos Rocks.' But I already mentioned them. Actually, I didn't like 'Through The Night,' 'Voodoo,' 'Time To Shine,' or Call Me; and certainly not the pretentious grandstanding political moralism of 'We Believe.' Other than these caveats, Paul Rodgers+Queen's 'The Cosmos Rocks' is interesting.
- Craig Hartranft
Queen+Paul Rodgers's first full-length collorabation is here in 'The Cosmos Rocks.' How should I describe it? Allow a few words and phrases: interesting, mildly entertaining, mundane, safe, ordinary and, conversely, more Paul Rodgers+Queen than anything else. 'The Cosmos Rocks' could have easily been a Paul Rodgers album with Queen as his backup band.
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