RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Roger Taylor – Strange Frontiers
Omnivore Recordings
http://omnivorerecordings.com/music/strange-frontier/

Rating: B

Roger Taylor’s solo career just never really took off, damn day job musta kept him too preoccupied.  You know, his job in the band Queen, they just seemed to keep selling records and playing sold out stadiums around the globe.  It’s a shame, really…well, not really, I mean the guy is rich beyond his wildest dreams.  But, it’s a shame when it comes to this, his second solo release, as Taylor proves he’s more than just a pretty face with a drum kit. 

Taylor opens the album off with a song that should have been a huge hit in the time it was released in the title track.  “Strange Frontier” is just a great song and how this was not nabbed by Queen is amazing.  Truth be told I would have much rather heard Queen play this song than the one they recoded while Taylor was also recording this one… that damn “Radio Ga Ga.”  “Strange Frontier” kicks its ass. 

“Beautiful Dreamer” is another strong track.  This is like Taylor channeling John Lennon at his most emotional!  When you’re Roger Taylor, a member of one of the best bands in the land, then you don’t get intimidated remaking songs by Dylan and Bruce Springsteen either.  Dylan’s “Master of War” continues in a long line of Bob’s songs where another artist makes a superb rendition of his song and Taylor does The Bosses “Racing in the Street” justice. Being that this was the mid ‘80s there are few songs that sound dated, the worst of which is “Man on Fire,” although, it is still a pretty punchy song that makes the toes start a tapping. 

The album is getting a reissue on red vinyl for record collectors and the CD will be housed in a digipak and include five bones tracks: remixes of the album’s singles “Man On Fire,” “I Cry For You (Love, Hope And Confusion),” and “Strange Frontier.” It also contains the b-side to the title cut, “Two Sharp Pencils (Get Bad).”

Roger is a talented artist and if he were not in Queen he may have a made a huge splash in the world of rock.  He could sing, play, write and perform…too bad he had to take a back seat to that guy in Queen…oh you know the singer…what was his name? I’m sure you’ve heard of him…Either way, if you like digging through the past and sifting out albums that shudda, couldda, wudda but didn’t, then you are going to so love this. 

CD/LP Track List:
1. STRANGE FRONTIER
2. BEAUTIFUL DREAMS
3. MAN ON FIRE
4. RACING IN THE STREET
5. MASTERS OF WAR
6. KILLING TIME
7. ABANDONFIRE
8. YOUNG LOVE
9. IT’S AN ILLUSION
10. I CRY FOR YOU

CD Bonus Tracks:
11. MAN ON FIRE (Extended Version)
12. I CRY FOR YOU (Single Remix)
13. STRANGE FRONTIER (Extended Remix)
14. I CRY FOR YOU (Extended Remix)
15. TWO SHARP PENCILS (GET BAD)
 

By Jeb Wright

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