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Brian May|Back To The Light

Back To The Light

Brian May

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Queen guitarist Brian May's first complete attempt at a solo album, Back to the Light, focuses on the hard rock sound that Queen often abandoned in the 1980s. While obviously sounding similar to some of the work by his former band, May's path is far more hard-edged and emotionally punched than the majority of Queen's work. His vocals are sometimes weak for a singer, but they also add a certain tenderness that most hard rock frontmen seem to lack. The album succeeds best on its heaviest tracks such as the cover of "Rollin' Over" or "Resurrection," which features pounding drums courtesy of Cozy Powell and thundering guitar riffs with Queen-like multi-tracked vocals. References to Queen can also be heard in the eccentric humor of such numbers as "Love Token," which includes a back-and-forth dialogue in the middle of the song. Likewise, the low-key country song, "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head," is reminiscent of "'39" off Queen's A Night at the Opera. The ballads are not as strong or as interesting and are not helped by well-meaning but overly sentimental lyrics and light rock arrangements. Unfortunately, the instrumental, "Last Horizon," ends up sounding like Muzak. "Driven By You," the album's biggest hit, was originally written for a Ford commercial, and it shows. That said, it is great to hear May finally get a chance to rock out and while the over-the-top and eccentric stylings of the album might put off some, it is those same traits that will also attract many to this work. [Note: The CD version of the album contains a remix of "Driven By You."]
© Geoff Orens /TiVo

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Back To The Light

Brian May

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1
The Dark
00:02:20

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

2
Back To The Light
00:04:59

Maggie Ryder, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Tibbs, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Miriam Stockley, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Cozy Powell, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Gill O’Donovan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Suzie O'List, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

3
Love Token
00:05:56

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Moran, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Cozy Powell, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Neil Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

4
Resurrection
00:05:27

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Cozy Powell, Composer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Jamie Page, Composer

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

5
Too Much Love Will Kill You
00:04:28

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Elizabeth Lamers, ComposerLyricist - Frank Musker, ComposerLyricist - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

6
Driven By You
00:04:11

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - David Richards, Producer, Co-Producer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

7
Nothin' But Blue
00:03:30

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Cozy Powell, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - John Deacon, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Don Airey, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

8
I'm Scared (Justin's Mix '92)
00:04:00

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Cozy Powell, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Neil Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

9
Last Horizon
00:04:10

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Moran, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

10
Let Your Heart Rule Your Head
00:03:51

Gary Tibbs, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Geoff Dugmore, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Gill O’Donovan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Suzie O'List, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

11
Just One Life
00:03:38

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

12
Rollin' Over
00:04:34

Maggie Ryder, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Marriott, ComposerLyricist - Ronnie Lane, ComposerLyricist - Gary Tibbs, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Justin Shirley-Smith, Producer, Engineer, Co-Producer, StudioPersonnel - Miriam Stockley, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Moran, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Brian May, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Geoff Dugmore, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Thompson, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Kris Fredriksson, Editor, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 Duck Productions Ltd

Album Description

Queen guitarist Brian May's first complete attempt at a solo album, Back to the Light, focuses on the hard rock sound that Queen often abandoned in the 1980s. While obviously sounding similar to some of the work by his former band, May's path is far more hard-edged and emotionally punched than the majority of Queen's work. His vocals are sometimes weak for a singer, but they also add a certain tenderness that most hard rock frontmen seem to lack. The album succeeds best on its heaviest tracks such as the cover of "Rollin' Over" or "Resurrection," which features pounding drums courtesy of Cozy Powell and thundering guitar riffs with Queen-like multi-tracked vocals. References to Queen can also be heard in the eccentric humor of such numbers as "Love Token," which includes a back-and-forth dialogue in the middle of the song. Likewise, the low-key country song, "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head," is reminiscent of "'39" off Queen's A Night at the Opera. The ballads are not as strong or as interesting and are not helped by well-meaning but overly sentimental lyrics and light rock arrangements. Unfortunately, the instrumental, "Last Horizon," ends up sounding like Muzak. "Driven By You," the album's biggest hit, was originally written for a Ford commercial, and it shows. That said, it is great to hear May finally get a chance to rock out and while the over-the-top and eccentric stylings of the album might put off some, it is those same traits that will also attract many to this work. [Note: The CD version of the album contains a remix of "Driven By You."]
© Geoff Orens /TiVo

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