Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, has never been shy about trying new things and making new musical statements. His latest release features vocalist Kerry Ellis and is a live set filmed at the Stravinski Auditorium during the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 2013. Mostly acoustic, and much in an effort to bring awareness to animal charities, this performance is mellow, subtle, peaceful, well-executed and just plain nice. There is no sense of rock stardom here at all. It is more like having two really talented people perform for you after dinner at your house.
The track listing is surprising but, for the purpose of this release, it works. “I (Who Have Nothing)” was a hit for Ben E. King and Tom Jones…we are a long way from Queen here! The Kansas classic “Dust in the Wind” is performed, as well as the Beatles “Something.” Of course, they are given signature May/Ellis treatments, as they prefer to make them sound like themselves instead of cover tunes.
There is a cutesy original song called “Kissing Me” which, again for this type of project works well. “Born Free” is performed, as is “The Way We Were.” Brian and Kerry pull out some Queen tunes, some deep cuts and some classics. As it turns out the ‘new’ versions of these classics are quite good and, along with “Dust in the Wind,” are the best in show. “Life is Real” is poignant in this setting, while “We Will Rock You” and “Crazy Thing Called Love” rock in their own way. “39” comes across very well. One of the best received moments is “Somebody to Love,” a great song no matter what the version.
Also included in this set is the CD of “Acoustic By Candlelight” recorded live on the UK leg of their tour in autumn 2012.
This is a fun little performance that will appeal to Queen fans the most, but all classic rock fans will want to check out this other side of Mr. May.
Again, be warned, this is not a Queen concert. No big lights. No naked chicks on bicycles. No Bombastic statements. It’s soft and quiet… and nice.
1) I Who Have Nothing
2) Dust In The Wind
3) Born Free
4) Somebody To Love
5) Nothing Really Has Changed
6) Life Is Real
7) The Way We Were
10) Last Horizon
11) Love Of My Life
12) The Kissing Me Song
13) Tie Your Mother Down
14) We Will Rock You
15) No One But You
16) Crazy Little Thing Called Love
By Jeb Wright
The views of the comments below are not necessarily those of Classic Rock Revisited