Queen

Innuendo

Song Review by

Queen began their final album together in an appropriately regal style with this track, a complex epic that harkened back to their 1970's classics like "Bohemian Rhapsody." The lyrics present a message of hope: in a world where "we live according to race, color or creed" and where leaders rule by "blind madness and pure greed," hope can still be found if one has the will to do better: "Yes, we’ll keep on trying/Tread that fine line/Oh, we’ll keep on trying/’Til the end of time." It also adds a shot of pure hope during the song’s midsection: "You can be anything you want to be/Just turn yourself into anything you think that you could ever be." The music lends this ambitious lyric the grandiosity it needs, marrying verses that make a determined ascent from minor-key depths to a rousing chorus that reaches for the sky. It also works in a fanciful, delicate bridge whose fluttery phrases add a shot of pure pop to an otherwise rock oriented song. Queen’s recording of "Innuendo" delivers their personalized mix of pomp and power in high style: the main part of the song is built on a mixture of spooky synthesizers and guitar-anchored rock but also works in an unexpected flamenco guitar instrumental break played by guest guitarist Steve Howe and a stunning bridge where cascades of synthesizers and glossy vocal harmonies give way to an electric jam. Freddie Mercury providess a lead vocal that matches power with grace and Brian May and Roger Taylor add lush harmonies that add a final layer of richness to the sound. The resulting combination of power chords and ear candy didn’t make much of a chart impression in the U.S. but became a #1 hit in the U.K. and did similarly well elsewhere in Europe. It remains a favorite with Queen fans everywhere and one of their most inspired latter day efforts.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Innuendo 1991 Hollywood 6:31