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Reviews > Queen Music Reviews > 06-25-1989 - The Miracle - Newsday (Melville, NY)

Led by Freddie Mercury's raunchy vocals and Brian May's guitar slinging, the Queen machine rolls on with "The Miracle."

Queen, with a lineup that is, remarkably, unchanged since 1971, emerged into pop and popularity with such unremarkable tunes as "Keep Yourself Alive" and "Killer Queen." But for a band that wasn't much different from dozens of others in the early '70s, Mercury, May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor erupted into brilliant nonconformity mid-way through the decade with the complex textures of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and two mega-hit albums, "A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races."

Queen's been living on their live laurels lately, and each member has had a solo career, with Mercury's the most eclectic: He joined Montserrat Cabelle to sing Spanish opera in a collaboration called "Barcelona."

On "The Miracle," Mercury's voice is steady and solid, May's runs are as flashy and supple as ever. Most of the 10 songs, written collaboratively by the four members, stick pretty much to the band's formula of mini-suites: edgy pop with tempos that change half-way into the number and some delicious hooks.

The best of "The Miracle" are the single, "I Want It All," colored by May's rocking guitar rolls and Mercury's rough-boys vocals, and the closer, "Was It All Worth It," in which the band questions, "Was it all worth it . . . staying up all night . . . living, breathing rock and roll, a godforsaken life." Mercury answers a hearty yes while the synthesizers swell. You might laugh, but I could swear that a melody in this song is a rip-off of the theme from that '60s movie, "The Guns of Navarone."