Roger Taylor

Electric Fire

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With Electric Fire, Roger Taylor put together his strongest set of songs since 1984's Strange Frontier. Adding light touches of electronica to his highly produced rock sound, Taylor manages to sound somewhat current without bending over backwards to be hip like some artists of his generation. The former Queen drummer was also wise to stay away from writing as many ballads as he did for the less memorable Happiness?. The result is that, with "A Nation of Haircuts" and "No More Fun," Taylor wrote his best rockers in years. "Surrender," a powerful and anthemic duet about a crumbling marriage and spousal abuse, is another highlight. Meanwhile, "People on Streets" finds Taylor advancing some of his well-known populism over a subtle electronic groove. The ballad "Tonight" plays it a bit too safe, and the cover of Lennon's "Working Class Hero" was a mistake, but mid-tempo tracks like "Pressure On" and "The Whisperers" have a grand reflective air to them. Lyrically, Taylor still has his shortcomings, but when the music is as strong as most of Electric Fire is, it's not a major concern.

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