Movie review: “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018)

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“How many more ‘Galileos’ do you want?!”

Since it was a foregone conclusion that any review I might attempt to write for the Queen/ Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody would consist of an opening excess of “full disclosure” statements, I suppose we might as well start. First: Freddie Mercury is my favorite singer of all time. Period, full stop. I don’t honestly even know who qualifies as runner-up. Most likely it is a ten-way tie, with the pack mired ten miles or so behind our winner. Beyond his famous flamboyance and extravagance, his room-leveling outward confidence and revolutionary, simultaneously invigorating and hypnotic stage presence, there is the undeniable fact of Mercury’s voice, a dynamic, multi-octave nuclear missile of near-unlimited range that unquestionably ranks among the very greatest in the history of recorded music. Continue reading “Movie review: “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018)”

David Bowie: An Appreciation

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To a self-trained and finely conditioned amateur musicologist like me, Greatest Hits albums have always been the music industry’s signature cop-out, a sort of mercenary placeholder designed to reward artists (or, more often, record companies) for minimal work ethic or creativity while, in effect, also encouraging and congratulating nascent fans for their insufficient curiosity or incomplete devotion. A “real” fan – went the considered reasoning, since adjusted, of an unnamed critic who, full disclosure, shamefully counts a couple dozen or more such hits compilations among the several thousand albums he owns – would surely already know, love, and possess all those songs from their original releases. Even if the record company made the artist tack one new song onto the end in order to justify the record’s purchase by completist dead-enders, it’s most likely a “hit” of substandard quality Continue reading “David Bowie: An Appreciation”