The Cosmos Rocks. A Review
And those are reservations to be expected from any Queen fan, of which I am one. For a start, as brave and difficult as it undoubtedly was. A Queen album minus, not only Freddie Mercury, but also John Deacon, was always going to have a sense of witnessing a jigsaw with missing pieces. Mercury's contribution to the band did not just include his charisma and stage persona, but also his songwriting (Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and We Are The Champions to name but a few) and impressive vocal range. Likewise, John Deacon may have a reputation of being the shy and quiet one (a fact that has grown with his retirement and desire to avoid the limelight), but he had a razor-like precision in his contribution to Producing previous Queen albums, likewise a good songwriter (You're My Best Friend, Another One Bites the Dust, and I Want To Break Free) and now, only now is it obvious what an innovative and talented Bass Guitarist he is. Brian May and Paul Rodgers do sterling work taking over on Bass duties, but "Deaky" (as some fans know him) is missed.
But there are compensations. At their prime it was all four members of Queen who were the driving force. All four writing hit singles, all four making the major decisions that kept Queen going into the 1990s. If, in an alternative Universe, it is Brian May and Roger Taylor who are absent and and an alive Freddie Mercury and a still active John Deacon being involved instead, then other important Queen factors would be missed and fans would still be debating as to whether the show must go on!
Certainly then, there is a Queen feel to the album. Brian May's splendid guitar riffs, the vocal harmonies, and familiar musical and lyrical patterns that May and Taylor added their stamp to on previous albums, so in many ways it does feel like a Queen album, albeit, as I said earlier, with missing jigsaw pieces. But there is the saving grace in the presence of Paul Rodgers, a respected and famous musician in his own right and who was singing to stadium-like crowds before Queen became a fully fledged band.
The genius therefore, is in the assertion that Rodgers contribution is not that of a replacement where Mercury is concerned. Rather this is an ongoing collaboration, and certainly The Cosmos Rocks has moments of pure Paul Rodgers, such as with Warboys and Some Things That Glitter, only this time with Queen as a backing band. Likewise C-lebrity is pure Queen, as is Say It's Not True, only this time with the added influence of Paul Rodgers. Then you get the mixture which takes the collaboration down interesting avenues, such as with Small.
Certainly worth a listen, but best if heard as a collaboration Queen are involved with, rather than as a purely new Queen album, and to give you an idea of what I mean, below is a video of their current single, C-lebrity, from their official channel on YouTube.
But if you still yearn for Queen in their heydays, below, also from their official channel on YouTube is their 1989 hit single Scandal