2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good for when the mood strikes,
This review is from: The Works (Audio CD)
I find it a sin to say anything negative about Queen, and fortunately, one rarely must do so. And although The Works is not the pinnacle of Queen's music, it is a great album. I do, however, find that this isn't the album you get the urge to listen to every week, or even maybe every month. I can't describe what sort of mood you need to be in, but as with most of their albums, this one has a certain unique characteristic representative of the time. That in turn, for better or worse, impacts the degree of attractiveness for said album.
Maybe because there's nothing about Freddie's later bout with AIDS on this 1984 release (doesn't life just love a tragedy), maybe because there's quite a bit of reliance on HEAVY 80's production (which never bothers me too much), but "The Works" is no desert island disc. It's one of those that you buy in the middle of your collection assembly, to represent a phase of their career and fulfill the occasional listening urge.
My above comments primarily come from reacting to songs such as "Tear it Up" or "Machines". In other words, it's one of those cases where the hits are very strong, and the other tunes, while far from filler, are nowhere near the epic proportions like the masterpieces you'll find on "A Day at the Races," or even "The Miracle" (their strongest 80's recording). It's difficult to put one's finger on the issue.
Meanwhile, I have nothing but praise for one of the ultimate rockers and all around perfect song, "Hammer to Fall," and the mega-textured "Radio Ga Ga." The latter is the most well known from this album. "Is This the World We Created" is beautiful, poignant, and nothing short of brilliant, other than the fact that it's too short. "Man on the Prowl" is a really good boogie-woogie followup to "Crazy Little thing Called Love," though I was bummed to read that Freddie wasn't the one playing piano on it. "I Want to Break Free" has really grown on me, and although that too seems too short, it's an all around great song. Thus, I wouldn't conclude the songwriting fell much on this album, if at all. Just not quite top notch.
Don't omit this from your collection, but get grounded with "A Night at the Opera" and "Innuendo" first, so this isn't your first impression of what Queen is and was. This is one of those albums that for some unknown reason, isn't quite a masterpiece - it hovers mysteriously somewhere between good and great.