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Jazz

Jazz

Over-the-top fun featuring Fat Bottom Girls and Don’t Stop Me Now !

List Price: $ 13.98

Price: $ 9.78

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3 Responses to Jazz

  • Samhot says:
    40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    4.5 stars, April 4, 2003
    By 
    Samhot (Star Land) –
    This review is from: Jazz (Audio CD)

    At this point, Queen were on the verge of another makeover: this time toward a more funk/pop phase which was slightly hinted at here, but taken up even more on the next two albums following this one: _The Game_ and _Hot Space_ (excluding the Flash Gordon soundtrack.)
    It seems that this album gets pretty mixed reviews from diehard Queen fans, and more casual ones. My opinion of the album? I tend to agree with both sides of the camp. I’m going to get to the negative stuff first, just to get it out of the way.
    While I think it’s a great album, I can’t help feeling that some of it seems a bit lackluster, uninspired and forced for Queen’s own typical high standards, particularly during the second half. First off, the album seems a bit uneven, mainly because the hard-hitting and upbeat numbers seem to play out consecutively throughout the first half, while the second half seems more subdued in dynamics and atmosphere. Listening to the transition from a (mostly) first half of upbeat numbers to a (mostly) second half of low-key numbers can be quite a tough pill to swallow for a listener. It probably would have been nicer if the track order was switched around and mixed up more, like they did on the majority of their earlier 70s albums. All of this gives the impression that Queen got a bit hasty and careless with the production of the album, as if they were on a quick deadline to release an album within a short period of time. The overall feel of the album comes across as a bit sloppily executed, when in fact Queen were one of THE bands/producers known for their precision, meticulousness and perfectionism.
    Queen fans will probably want to see me fry in hell for all of these last comments, but Queen is only my all-time favorite band, and I say all of this because Queen were a band who set high standards for themselves, and it’s hard not to notice when they’ve stepped down a bit.
    Now the goods. This is definitely a fun (and elegant) album to listen to, especially when you’re in need of a good cheer-up. Hard to not feel good after listening to the sensuous, lusty and jovial/celebratory vocals of Freddie Mercury, the hypnotic crunch of Brian’s self-made guitar, the bombastic drumming of Roger Talyor and John Deacon’s tasty basslines backing it all up. “Mustapha” is an Arabic-like number with Freddie singing mostly wordless (but hypnotic and engrossing) vocal lines which give the track an almost spiritual aura. The musicianship is intelligent and top-notch here as well. “Fat Bottomed Girls” many probably know. “Jealousy” is an excellent number featuring Brian May playing some guitar lines that sound almost eastern. Freddie’s vocals as always are convincing. “Bicycle Race” shows off the kind of perfectionism and meticulousness Queen were known for perfectly: a number with a sheer amount of complexity crammed throughout it’s short playing time. I always loved how Queen made tracks that sounded like “many songs played within a single song.” They managed to make their complex musical point in quarter time of what most classic progressive rockers did, which puts the latter to shame. The intelligent chords & progressions, the abrupt switches in dynamics and other factors give this track an almost symphonic quality, as it plays out like an almost ultra-quick symphony – and not to mention those ultra-classy vocal harmonies soaked throughout. During the second half of the track, Brian May manages to slip in some licks based on ionian scales for three different keys – all of which are in ascending mode. This also adds to the “symphonic” quality the track possesses.
    “Let Me Entertain You” and “Dead On Time” are hard-hitters in the Queen tradition. The former features some fairly risqué lyrics, with some of Freddie’s more expressive vocals, while the latter seems to return to the proto-speed metal that Queen pretty much pioneered with “Stone Cold Crazy,” particularly in Brian May’s frenzied riffing. This track is somewhat scary, as well as exciting. “In Only Seven Days” is a fairly low-key number written by bassist John Deacon. Features some wispy orchestration (nope, Queen didn’t use synths – mostly Brian’s guitar) and Freddie gives an elegant and sexy vocal performance. “Dreamer’s Ball” mixes lounge jazz and Renaissance attributes – the latter in an irreverent, inorganic fashion (reminds me a bit of Gentle Giant.) “Fun It” gives the hint of things to come on later albums, as it’s a funk/disco track. “Leaving Home Ain’t Easy” is a nice ballad with a nice use of Brian May’s gentle vocals. “Don’t Stop Me Now” is just downright exciting and sophisticated. “More Of That Jazz” is a mid-tempo rocker featuring some scorching guitar licks. There’s a part near the end of the track where you get a recap of the album, as you hear quick bits of a few tracks spliced together for an almost mind-warping remix.
    The uneven feel of the album is the only real flaw, which causes me to take off 1/2 star from the 5…

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  • Saribo says:
    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    One of Queen’s best albums…, March 15, 2008
    By 
    Saribo (New Milford, CT, USA) –
    This review is from: Jazz (Audio CD)
    Wow. Simply, wow. This album slams you from the very beginning of the first song, “Mustapha,” and keeps beating you over the head mercilessly with Queen’s absolutely masterful rocking. The entire album is one of their most cohesive, and highlights all the members’ insane musical abilities, from Brian May’s intense guitar work (“Dead On Time” is an excellent example) to Freddie Mercury’s piercing vocals. This album is just good fun and good music. Queen’s tongue-in-cheek sense of humor is rampant (“Let Me Entertain You” and “If You Can’t Beat Them”), and this album is polished and sharp in its manic pace. This album is for the listener looking for an album to just let loose and rock out to. It’s not a casual listening album, but it is guaranteed to entertain you, no pun intended! With the possibility of redundancy on my part, it’s GREAT!

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  • A. Materia "AM" says:
    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Queen Collectively Raises its Middle Finger to the Naysayers, December 20, 2011
    By 
    A. Materia “AM” (Florida, USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Queen released this album at the height of their 1970′s popularity. This album followed years of bad reviews of the band from magazines like Rolling Stone and other music critics who never really seemed to understand that Queen did not want to be Led Zeppelin (who also received lack luster reviews from Rolling Stone). Queen wanted to be different and create their own unique sound and they were not afraid of any criticism they might receive for being so daring in their musical approach. With the release of Jazz, I truly believe that Queen was finally at the point where their success amongst their fan base spoke louder to them than any writer ever could. Which is why Queen felt that their bombastic, campy, stylized and over the top approach to music was something to be celebrated regardless of what any critic might think. It was Queen’s way of saying “so you don’t like the music that so many of our fans love? We’ll then, here’s some more”.

    This is quite evident on Jazz.

    First off, they pissed off many critics because they decided to call the album Jazz even though it has nothing to do with jazz at all. Neither did the film “All That Jazz” (which was nominated for Best Picture) but that’s another issue. They then start the “Jazz” album off with Freddie Mercury’s brilliant vocals singing what amounts to some sort of Arabic prayer which suddenly erupts into a funny and strangely captivating song titled “Mustapha”. It’s silly, over the top, and something only Queen would consider. From there the album then twists and turns through different genres ranging from hard rock tunes (Let Me Entertain You / Dean on Time) to ballads (Jealousy / In Only Seven Days) to arena rock standouts (Fat Bottomed Girls / Bicycle Race) to feel good songs (If You Can’t Beat Them / Don’t Stop Me Now) all with performed with Queen’s unique and uncompromising style. The album has very few week spots and represents a diverse, fun and eclectic mix of music that only Queen would dare to attempt.

    Anyone who truly “gets” Queen will love this album and the 2011 re-master is the way to go!

    After 30 years of success, perhaps it’s time for Rolling Stone to re-review the album and give it its proper rating (like they’ve done with so many other artists that were a little bit too different or ahead of their time).

    And if they refuse, considering the fact that people are still purchasing, listening and enjoying this album today makes me feel pretty confident that Queen had the last laugh on this one.

    I can picture the four members of Queen with their middle fingers in the air saying…

    “Vontap ist ahiln avil ahiln adhim Mustapha, Aleikum Salaam hey!”

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