A Kind Of Magic
It’s difficult to view A Kind Of Magic as a coherent statement, since most of the songs have their origins in movie soundtracks.
The only two songs here that rate among Queen’s best are the opening group composed anthem ‘One Vision’ and May’s ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’; a gorgeous ballad where May sings the gentle first part before he is eclipsed by Mercury, a choir and huge percussion and strings. On the second tier, Taylor’s title track is one of Queen’s less intricate hits but it does feature some of May’s best guitar leads with a terrific “magic” tone. ‘Gimme The Prize (Kurgan’s Theme)’ wastes a great May riff on a song that’s thrilling but doesn’t hold up outside the context of the movie.
Elsewhere, none of the record’s particularly impressive – Mercury’s ‘Princes Of The Universe’ starts with a catchy a capella section but the rest of the song never ignites, Taylor forgets to write a melody for ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ and the three Deacon-Mercury ballads are mushy, uninspiring and among the group’s worst ever songs.
A Kind Of Magic might be the worst studio album Queen ever made, but there are still a few really great songs scattered among it, and for the worst album in a twenty year career it’s nothing to be too embarrassed about.