The Cosmos Rocks (2008)

1. Cosmos Rockin' 2. Time to Shine 3. Still Burnin' 4. Small 5. Warboys 6. We Believe 7. Call Me 8. Voodoo 9. Some Things That Glitter 10.C-Lebrity 11.Through the Night 12.Say It's Not True 13.Surf's Up...School's Out! 14.Small Reprise


I've heard the "group" or "artist" identified with this album listed as no less than 4 names. I've heard "Queen", "Queen +", Queen + Paul Rodgers" and "Paul Rodgers". What's plastered on the front cover is the third one, so I'll go ahead and include a review here even though many, maybe even myself, may wish I had not.

Understandably, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor still wanted to work. Smartly knowing that they can remain in the spotlight a bit brighter if they call themselves "Queen", they're not ready to give up the moniker just yet. What's not particularly understandable is their choice to replace Freddie Mercury in the likes of Paul Rodgers, who even though has made a well-deserved name for himself, really fits into this band like a bad old suit. This was very apparent on the ridiculous live album Return of the Champions.

So when you listen to the album, it really does help to simply pretend that your not listening to Queen at all, yet a brand new incarnation of a different band. Doing so, really does help the overall sound. There are times when I listen to this album that I close my eyes and try to imagine what this album would sound like had Freddie still been here, and I confess at times that this did, in fact, work out quite well. This sort of helps the "Queen" brand somewhat. The overall problem, though, is with Paul Rodgers fronting the band, the band is to one-sided. They're all rock and not anything else. Rock was a huge part of Queen's repertoire, but the thing that made the band so endearing was that they were able to tackle so many other styles -from R&B Funk to Opera. You won't get any of that here. Nor would you probably expect to hear it.

There's a lot of Brian May here, which is probably the only thing that deserves the Queen moniker, but everything else is straight-ahead rock and roll. Although a lot of it is very good, it's simply not the Queen we all know and love. Fortunately, with the 21st century making all of this information widely known before anyone shells out hard earned money for such product, you can't claim they were trying to sneak one in on us.

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