Roger Taylor

Fun in Space

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Queen drummer Roger Taylor's first solo album is a fairly strong set of up-tempo rockers and well-written ballads featuring Taylor's rough voice and effective croon. Much of the material is reminiscent of Taylor's work for Queen -- more guitar-based and less bombastic than the work of his cohorts in that band. That's not to say Taylor doesn't get over-dramatic. On "Future Management" and "Magic Is Loose," Taylor's vocals are quite over the top. However, "No Violins" and "Let's Get Crazy" balance things out with some fairly straightforward rock numbers that show the influence of 1950s rock & roll. Surprisingly, Taylor, who rarely wrote a ballad with Queen, shows himself quite adept at writing slower pieces on the lovely "Laugh or Cry." The interesting sci-fi ballad "Fun Is Space" is a striking and beautiful mix of classic rock and futuristic keyboard backdrops. The true highlight of the album though is the marvelous "My Country Parts 1 & 2." A powerful anthem of disillusionment with politics and war, the middle of the song picks up in intensity with some fine drumming from Taylor. Not all the material here is as strong or as memorable, but the album is a fine addition to the collection of any fan of classic rock or Queen.

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