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Queen + Paul Rodgers The Cosmos Rocks EMI
· Produced By: Queen + Paul Rodgers

· Running Time: 58.00

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: WORLD

· Musical Style: Blues Rock

· Links: Queen
75%
Songs: 70%
Sound: 80%
I normally like to live with major releases for as long as possible to give the best and most accurate review possible. And tis album really required some work on my part to appreciate some of the songs on offer. It shouldn't be this hard, but I guess I'm still not sold on the nature of this partnership and the absolute bottom line is that the style of this album is not what I wanted to hear from the Queen name in 2008.
I think the production is unnecessarily rough and raw and from start to finish and I'm surprised and disappointed at the lack of trademark Queen-isms in the sound.
I have loved this band for years and still regard the loss of Freddie Mercury as one of the most emotional of all the musicians that have unfortunately passed away.
The decision of the band to move on is one I can absolutely accept – it is afterall, what they do in life. But the pairing with Paul Rodgers has never sat well with me.
I rate Rodgers as one of the great singers of a generation and love his voice...as a solo artist and also with Bad Company. I just don't accept his style is a good fit for Queen.
To me it doesn't matter it the CD cover says Queen; Queen + Paul Rodgers or Queen + Mickey Mouse. If it has the word Queen up on the marquee and features Brian May and Roger Taylor, then there is instantly going to be some expectation of the sound, style and quality of the music within.
This album to me is Queen + Paul Rogers, but minus much of the Queen.
Brian May's wonderful rich and warm guitar tones are missing for the most part and the layered harmony vocals of Queen of old are all but gone. In its place is a stripped back Paul Rodgers blues rock record.
And overall, when compared to the output of both Paul Rodgers the solo artist or the Bad Company singer and also the past material of Queen – this record simply isn't as dynamic or exciting.
Track By Track:
Cosmos Rockin is I guess the closest thing to a traditional Queen sound on the record, but May's guitar is well back in the mix and the song isn't the catchiest I have ever heard.
Time To Shine is a good song – albeit a good Paul Rodgers solo song – but it is a real tempo killer coming after the opening track. Sadly it sets up the tempo of the whole album.
Still Burning is another relatively slow paced blues rocker that for me just plods along with a chorus that doesn't deliver the goods.
Small is another slow track – this time an acoustic ballad. But it is a stronger track and Rodgers voice sounds immaculate. I like the chorus hook, but again, as a whole the song really is a Paul Rodgers solo track.
Warboys is a moody subdued rocker that finally gives May a little time to shine late in the track. Interesting track.
We Believe is a mid-tempo ballad that fires up a little mid-way through and finally we get to hear a little of that Queen harmony vocal magic.
Call Me is happy go lucky pop song that Queen have done before and is just a little to sugary sweet for my tastes, but showcases a mid-album passage of music containing the best songs on the record.
Voodoo is a truly boring slow blues song that goes nowhere.
Some Things That Glitter is yet another slow track that is quite stylish, but is lost amongst the congestion of slow paced songs on the album. The vocal is soulful and we do get to hear that trademark Brian May sound (a little) late in the track.
C-Lebrity was the first song released and has a more recognizable Queen/May sound. I still don't rate it as a great song…just ok. Hate the chorus.
Through The Night is yet another slow bluesy song, again showing who was really in control of this album's direction. This song would have been more favorably received if not surrounded by tracks of a similar pace. It's one of the better slow tracks on the album and features some nice guitar work late in the song.
Say It's Not True is a pretty good soft ballad that builds to a more rousing and inspired finished. Good to hear Brian's vocals in there too.
Surf's Up...School's Out is noting short of absolutely hideous. A complete waste of time and effort and a further blight on whatever it was the guys were trying to do with this album.
The Bottom Line
The Cosmos Rocks is filled with a selection of quality soul/blues Paul Rodgers solo tracks and a mix of slow bluesy numbers and quirky pop songs. It's not a comfortable mix and the style is either going to be loved or hated. Expect robust debate to surround this record.
I didn't like the live album from a year or so ago and although a fan of all parties involved, I just don't get this pairing and the resultant album of new material is to me, very flat. The album's tempo is too slow and the lack of traditional Queen elements is alarming.
I didn't expect a classic sounding Queen album, nor do I expect the guys to repeat past history, but together as a unit I just don't think they delivered quality songs or the spark that you would expect based on the talents of those involved.
Discography
· Live
· The Cosmos Rocks

Line Up:
· Paul Rodgers: Vocals
· Brian May: Guitars
· Roger Taylor: Drums
· Pino Palladino: Bass

Essential For Fans Of:
· Paul Rodgers
Track Listing
· Cosmos Rockin' *
· Time To Shine
· Still Burnin'
· Small
· Warboys
· We Believe *
· Call Me
· Voodoo
· Some Things That Glitter
· C-lebrity
· Through The Night *
· Say It's Not True
· Surf's Up . . . School's Out

--*Best Tracks


25/04/09: John K - badco2004@hotmail.com
Rating: 72
I resisted this release for a long time. On paper it would seem these guys would make some solid music together. I listened to this release religiously and I literally found myself cringing at times. I think the track "C-lebrity" shows some promise but then also exposes some of the apparent weaknesses involved. I wouldn't call it bad, but it should have been so much better than this given the talent of the guys involved. I see a few high rated scores, which did puzzle me. I did find several gems mixed in with the semi-generic styling offered on this release. Overall, it's a letdown of sorts and I'd almost call it a mediocre Paul Rodger's solo album. I'm curious to see if these guys continue forward after this semi-debacle of a studio album. Maybe it's time to let things go guys and go back to working solo or with others...

05/02/09: Dennis - susden95@aol.com
Rating: 85
The theme of the reviews is dead on. There is nothing wrong with this CD, well, except for "Surf's Up", it is the name that ruins it. This is a collaboration between gifted musicians that is tarnished by selecting the name Queen, which should be held sacred in the minds of most.

20/12/08: mark - kingnoony@hotmail.com
Rating: 83
this is not that bad of an album, but the thing that is holding it back is simply the name "queen". I personally do not have a problem with them calling it "queen + paul rodgers", however, read all the reviews here and on amazon.com and you'll see that most everyone who doesn't like it always brings up the fact that it isn't "queen". i think that they've explained this enough. they've said from the very beginning that they were not trying to be "queen" and that the original "queen" no longer exists except for the back catalog and in our memories. for the love of god, let it go people. judge it solely on the music, not the name they're using. that being said, after several listens, i'd give it a rating in the low 80%'s. it's not great, but better than a lot of the newer groups out there who are half their age.

10/12/08: Gary - gdub62@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
A wonderful rock album with a combination of great guitar playing and fantastic singing from one of the greatest. They mixed up the song styles masterfully with some rockers, some middle road, and some slower songs that made me enjoy something I usually don't, slower songs. Buy this album and play it many times. Remember though, this is a Queen and Paul Rodgers album not a Queen trying to replace Freddie album.

22/11/08: Raffaele - lellon1@alice.it
Rating: 90
It's a perfect Bad Company album, in 70 style, it's hard rock album, that Bryan May want made from a long time

04/11/08: Chris Kaiser - soundadvice2k@bresnan.net
Rating: 90
First off, this is a great CD. Second, this should not be called a Queen cd. They don't need to use that name to sell the album. In my mind, there is only one rock band called Queen. That band was 4 unique members that made very special music and this is special, as well, but it is not Queen.

19/10/08: PW - pw@undisclosed.com
Rating: 95
Draw a line under QUEEN, celebrate their legacy, love the back catalogue, all hail Freddy, but draw the line.

This is a NEW BAND. The name just happens to be a name to represent the artists, that's all.

Three talented, seasoned musicians went into the studio without any preconceived ideas and this is what came out. A wonderfully moving, soulful slice of blues rock.

No new ground broken, but boy do they do it well and sound very comfortable together.

Andrew, you were way of the mark with this one. Too much "Scandie" Rock under your belt.

Long may they continue. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen (+ Paul Rodgers).

17/10/08: Craig - cmartin34@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Remember that the project was originally a tour and live album doing mostly Queen material. It was so successful, they decided to do a studio album, but they're kind of stuck with the name.

So it's not exactly a Queen album, but it's great on its own merits. It's not reasonable to expect Paul Rodgers to write or sing like Freddie Mercury, and some of the other reviews seem to suggest that May and Taylor were only Mercury's sidemen, which wasn't the case. All the members of Queen were involved in the writing of their material.

A couple of the tracks are throwaways, but the rest are great. I particularly like the ballads "Small" and "Some Things That Glitter," which can stand alongside anything from the band's past...

05/10/08: Sava Karadzic - svemirski_modulator@yahoo.com
Rating: 63
Big disappoitment! I expected so much more!

05/10/08: innuendo - ganderlandbtinternet.com
Rating: 95
funny after 35+ years queen can still divide opinion between fans & critics with another bold decision driven on by the need to just do what they do best.for me this album goes back to news of the world my favourite queen album, with no synths or electronic drums or funky bass, this is just rich gutiars, solid drums and soaring vocals.
I decided the best way to appreciate this was to load it onto my ipod with queens other studio albums and play it back on shuffle.To me it was not the tracks on this album that seemed out of place but some of queens other unusual directions that did not seem to fit.With rodgers on vocals this was the only direction this album was going to go,with queens sound going in various directions over the years i think this album just adds another string to there already large and various repetoire,
My only complaints
naff cover
naff album title
surfs up schools out.....the only track that does not hit the mark,its a bit of a mess!
I only hope we dont have to wait so long for the next studio album? after the obligatory live CD of course.

04/10/08: Ross S. - restorey2001@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
This is a great album. Paul Rodgers sings wonderfully, especially on the slower tunes. Brian May's parts are nice, although I missed him not doing more multi-tracked guitars. Roger Taylor is phenomenal on "Say It's Not True." And Andrew really missed the boat on the final track. It's sort of good-time pastiche with the sense of humor Queen was known for, but a completely different sound. The "Ozzy-like" scream sample makes me chuckle ever time, but the music in that song is exciting as well.

01/10/08: Antonio Moreno - Buho853@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Maybe because i'm not a huge fan of old queen, i'm digging this album a lot. Freddi is gone, we all have to accept it. And he took with him the cabaret sound and the theatricall way of understand music.
For me, this is a brand new band. I don't care at all if it's sounds like the old queen or not. This is a very good album, full with plenty of solids songs. It has a mature, stripped down feeling, but it works for me.
It's a good sound track for those moments when you want to be alone.

01/10/08: Alex - aerohalen1@juno.com
Rating: 90
It's so funny to read the inherent bias in all of Andrew's reviews. Everything he does can be boiled down to this: Slick, over produced, drenched in keyboards, stacked vocals and all manner of studio cheese = good. Raw, bluesy, soulful, and gritty = bad. Ever notice how any time there is a slow blues on a record he call is 'boring'? 'Voodoo' is one of the standout tracks on the album. NEWS FLASH!!! FREDDIE MERCURY IS DEAD!!! For the millionth time, this is NOT Queen. This is Queen + Paul Rodgers. This is a fantastic album that shows off the the talents of all 3 of these great musicians. Paul Rodgers voice is IMMACULATE (has this guy ever sung anything less than perfectly?!) and it's nice to hear May in a rawer, more bluesy setting. What people, including Mr. McNeice, don't seem to understand is that this is a NEW BAND. This is not Queen-kareoke with Paul Rodgers on vocals. This is Brian, Roger, and Paul in a full band collaboration. Andrew jabs at the songs, calling them "Paul Rodgers solo songs." Read your liner notes my friend, "all tracks written by Queen and Paul Rodgers." People who can't get over that Freddie has passed on and want a Queen album that sounds just like Queen albums from the 70s (as Andrew obviously does) are going to be disappointed. People who are capable of listening with an open mind and just want to hear an excellent, high-quality rock and roll record made by great musicians, "The Cosmos Rocks" is for you.

01/10/08: Harv - batman_kmml@yahoo.com
Rating: 75
Would this rate higher if it wasn't supposed to be Queen? I enjoyed the CD, but it did not sound like a Queen album. It reminds me of Van Halen III. When Sammy Hagar took over the vocals in Van Halen, it still sounded like Van Halen. Gary Cherone made it sound like Eddie Van Halen joined Extreme. This sounds more Paul Rodgers than Queen. I like it, but it is not Queen.

01/10/08: Paul Melling - mellingp@hotmail.com
Rating: 65
I waited a while before i finally bought this album. Queen were my favourite band during my younger years when i was just blown away by their sound and genius.
I was hoping that here on "Cosmos" that Brian May´s guitar harmonies and solos would be everywhere..but they are not. Brian is far more in eveidence when he guests on other artist´s albums..for example Meatloaf´s "Bad For Good".

Brian´s guitar work and Freddie´s vocals were essentially what made Queen so unique in my opinion. Without Freddie, all that remains of what made Queen so bloody good is Brian (sorry Roger), and Dr May is not enough in eveidence here on this album.

Songwise,there are about 5 decent tunes here that probably still wouldn´t have made a heyday Queen album final cut.

Don´t get me wrong now all you Paul Rogers fans..he delivers some excellent vocals on this album..probably the best i have heard from him. In fact,this album sounds like it is made by Paul Rogers and his backing band.

Not enough Queen,probably too much Paul Rogers i´m afraid. That was why i delayed buying the album..and my fears have been confirmed..sadly.

01/10/08: cesar agudelo - cesaragudeloo@gmail.com
Rating: 2
if the cover didnt say QUEEN anywhere, i couldnt write this review. this is not queen. i respect the will of taylor and may to keep their project running, but they can call the band anything except quen, and it will be ok. The greatness of mercury gave queen a big success, and now it's time to pay back:without him, queen doesnt exist anymore.
plus, the miss of john deacon leaves queen without not only spectacular bass arrangements, but a songwriter in his own!

call it anything but queen, thats all!

01/10/08: Enmascarado - pavoec@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Excellent record. More Paul Rodgers than Queen but what beautiful songs are in. I love Paul's voice and simple but effective melodies. Recommended to Hard rock, blues based lovers and really Queen fans.


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