Queen: ‘A Day at the Races’

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61xUWYWn9JLTo an even greater extent than the songs on last year’s A Night at the Opera, the tunes here fit neatly into two categories: the Led Zeppelin–like hard rockers and the layered, frequently a cappella vocal extravaganzas. The latter numbers, including “You Take My Breath Away” and “Somebody to Love,” continue to mark Queen as a likable and distinctive band. Such perfunctory rockers as “Tie Your Mother Down,” on the other hand, will disappoint most anyone who remembers the first album’s “Liar” and “Keep Yourself Alive.” Conclusion: Queen is going downhill even as it improves, but this fifth LP showcases sufficient strength to keep me cheering.

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