Roger Taylor

Happiness?

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Taylor's first official solo effort in ten years, Happiness? is a politically themed album that tackles various issues such as the rise of neo-Nazis ("Nazis 1994"), the plight of Third World peoples ("Revelation"), and political and religious hypocrisy ("The Key"). In large measure, Taylor has abandoned the upbeat rock that dominated his first solo efforts for a more produced record of ballads and mid-tempo tracks. And while the album sounds good, it's hard to come up with a truly memorable song here. Only "Dear Mr. Murdoch" and "Nazis 1994" have enough bile to really grab the listener's attention. The rest of the album offers professional yet rather bland material not helped by Taylor's simplistic lyrics. While Taylor's political and social sympathies are quite admirable, lyrics like "I went to the Ukraine/They don't have much to eat/No sugar on the table/But the people stay sweet," make it hard to be truly affected by his concerns.

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