Picks and Pans Review: The Works
Most recently, this quartet from England scored the hero's attempts to cut Ming the Merciless down to size in the 1980 movie Flash Gordon, then returned to team with David Bowie for the hit 1982 single Under Pressure. The foursome obviously has not been languishing. But it is now on a new label, with a new combination of sounds spun off into basic middleweight-metal rock approach. The hit single Radio Ga-Ga attempts simultaneously to send up and exploit electropop and does achieve a kind of droning, hypnotic appeal, though its success may be due less to the music than the video associated with the track. Far more impressive is the tightly produced I Want to Break Free, written by Queen's John Deacon and highlighted by an eerily trenchant synthesizer solo by Fred Mandel, deftly mimicking guitar tones and inflections. There's something here for just about everyone: a wild rocker in Tear It Up, a social-consciousness raiser in Is This the World We Created?, an ode to the computer culture in Machines. The sweetness of lead singer Freddie Mercury's voice provides an attractive contrast to the band's biting style, and the LP contains enough rhythmic hooks to hang a whole disco full of coats on. (Capitol)
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