Bleats

Maybe The Problem With The Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Is That All Of Queen's Music Is Awful

Freddie Mercury deserved a better band with better songs.

The reviews for the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody have been less than glowing. While lead actor Rami Malek has received plaudits for his performance as the band’s legendary frontman Freddie Mercury critics have had a field day castigating the melodramatic script, indifferent direction, the playing down of Mercury’s sexuality and the many biographical inaccuracies, ranging from the way the band formed to the reveal of Mercury’s HIV status years before even he was aware of his health status himself.

But I’d like to suggest there’s another reason why the film isn’t a triumph. Bohemian Rhapsody is filled with the music of Queen, and Queen’s music is terrible.

SPICY TAKE!

Queen are unique in that all four members – Mercury, guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon – all contributed songs to the band. They are also unique in that a band with four songwriters created a catalogue in which all the songs are awful.

This is not a reflection on the band members, all of whose musical and performance talents range from the spectacular (Mercury) to the entirely competent (Deacon). May has made genuine contributions to the world of astrophysics. Taylor has… um, nice hair.

They’re perfectly fine human beings, as best I can tell. And the only reason that they have a shell of a career now is because a generation of dads were 14 when they were on the TV and have been playing Best Ofs in their cars ever since.

Can you imagine what might have been had Mercury been in a good band? Alternatively, has there ever been a band more dependent on their frontman’s charisma? Live they could get away with a lot because audiences were going “wow, look at that guy in the catsuit!” rather than “hey, this song is pretty lousy!”

Every single song is a weird combination of absolutely meticulous studio craft and perfectionism over second-to-fourth-rate material, like a director pouring their heart and soul in capturing the absolute perfect lighting to tell the deeply personal story of this shampoo commercial.

While artists like the Beatles, the Who, the Kinks and David Bowie played around with different styles and genres through their careers, Queen similarly turned their talents to glam rock, proto-metal, neo-classical, disco, funk, doo-wop, synth pop and more, and succeeded at zero of them.

Like Men At Work their biggest power move was adopting music videos before anyone else realised what a marketing tool they were about to become, giving the band a visual identity which plastered over the musical shortcomings. Although Men At Work at least knew a good hook when they heard it.

SCRIDDILY SCRIDDLY SQUEEEEEE!

Queen are often described as a singles band, which is code for “could never do a consistently strong album”. And this is accurate: even those records generally noted as being classics, Sheer Heart Attack and A Night At The Opera, are chock-full of filler.

May even thought Taylor was taking the piss when he first presented the band ‘I’m In Love With My Car’, and who can honestly blame him?

Taylor was also responsible for ‘Radio Ga Ga’, the insipid synthesiser demonstration exercise in which not even Mercury can get make “Let’s hope you never leave old friend / Like all good things on you we depend” sound effortless.

Elsewhere we have classics like ‘Don’t Try Suicide”s powerful message of “Nobody cares… Baby when you do it all you do is get on my tits”. Or Mercury’s timeless tribute to the late Beatle, ‘Life Is Real (Song For Lennon): “Breastfeeding myself / What more can I say?”. And ‘Under Pressure’ is proof that David Bowie’s genius can’t be dimmed by third rate collaborators. Or even Vanilla Ice.

Mmm.

Even BoRhap, the song which legendarily became a hit because its epic length gave radio DJs a chance to take a dump, is a waffling garbage dump of faux-profundity over a bunch of unconnected song ideas indifferently welded together into a weak facsimile of prog rock. Admit it: when it plays in your head, it’s not carrying you to a beautiful place; it’s soundtracking that scene in Wayne’s World.

If there’s a good thing about the song it’s that popular culture realised the poison that had been released and was forced to invent punk as an antidote.

In short, Queen were a band for people that didn’t really care that much about music. Is it any shock that they inspired a biopic for people that don’t really care about film?

Freddie Mercury really deserved a far, far better band.

Police Attempt To Defuse Bomb Which Turns Out To Be A Journey Cassette Filled With The Explosive Power Of Classic Rock

"Suspect is on a midnight train going anywhere."

Given the state of the world at the moment the idea that a suspicious package turning up in a mailroom would be kind of hilarious seems unlikely, so let’s clutch at this moment of levity like the welcome straw it is.

For it transpires that Duke Energy – which is, disappointingly, the name of an electricity company and not the world’s most dynamic motivational speaker – received a suspicious out-of-state package at their office in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, local time.

And given the somewhat high-strung state of affairs in the United States at the moment, not least the mailing of pipe bombs to public figures and media outlets, the company could be forgiven for immediately calling in the authorities.

Pictured: not the authorities.

The Duke Energy building was evacuated, the roads around it were closed, bomb squad and K-9 units were deployed, and their expertise established that the package contained a cassette by Journey.

And to be fair, any album featuring guitarist Neil Schon will boast explosive riffs and incendiary fretwork.

A band, a warehouse, invisible instruments. Music videos used to be a lot more straightforward.

It’s not clear which Journey cassette it was and therefore impossible to speculate upon what intended message the package contained.

Was the sender attempting to encourage Duke Energy to phase out coal by sending them a plea to Look Into The Future (1976)? Was it 1996’s Trial By Fire, perhaps signifying the crucible the nation was currently experiencing? Or was it 1981’s Escape because that has ‘Don’t Stop Believin” on it and it’s a goddamn jam? Sadly, we just don’t know.

Reports that authorities were looking for a small town girl living in a lonely world could not be confirmed at press time.

It’s Friday So Let's Waste Time Using An Online Plagiarism Tool To Change Song Lyrics

These sorts of tools are terrible for writing essays, but a brilliant way to improve Taylor Swift songs.

Spinbot is an online tool designed to help terrible students plagiarise by taking already-written text and substitute synonyms to make one’s theft less obvious.

The downside is, as with all machine learning, it tends to spit out baffling nonsense. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a situation where editing a piece to make a lick of sense would be quicker than just writing your essay in the first place.

And while it’s a terrible way to write cogent articles, it’s unbelievably addictive as a place to enter classic text and see what Spinbot makes of it.

To that end, we asked ourselves “hey, would it be amusing to put song lyrics in?” And the answer is yes.

Yes, it would be.

“Stop, work together and tune in. Ice is back with a fresh out of the plastic new innovation.”

Vanilla Ice, ‘Ice Ice Baby’

“Recently the entirety of my inconveniences were so far away, now it looks just as they’re digging in for the long haul. Gracious, I have confidence in yesterday.”

The Beatles, ‘Yesterday’

“Never going to surrender you, never going to disappoint you, never going to circled and desert you. Never going to make you cry, never going to state farewell, never going to disclose to you deceives hurt you.”

Rick Astley, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’

 

Catchy!

“I’ll never think twice, I’m lightning on my feet. Furthermore, that is the thing that they don’t see mmm, that is the thing that they don’t see, mmm.

I’m moving without anyone else (moving individually), I’ll influence the moves to up as I go (climbs as I go).

What’s more, that is the thing that they don’t know mmm, that is the thing that they don’t know, mmm.”

Taylor Swift, ‘Shake It Off’

“There’s a woman who’s certain everything that sparkles is gold. Furthermore, she’s purchasing a stairway to paradise.

When she arrives she knows, whether the stores are altogether shut, with a word she can get what she desired.

Ooh, ooh, and she’s purchasing a stairway to paradise.”

Led Zeppelin, ‘Stairway To Heaven’

…and so on.  And let’s be honest, nothing makes you appreciate the nuances of language like enjoying classics like Bryan Adams’ ‘Late Spring Of 69’, Adele’s ‘Coming In The Profound’ and Kanye West’s ‘The Majority of the Lights’. And, of course, ‘Infant Shark’.

And send us your best ones. We’ve got time to waste too.

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