Thursday, September 22, 2011

Power Ballad Update 9/22/11

40,000 words. That’s a lot. At the moment, I only have to write entries on 22 more songs, which means I’ll probably finish and hit my goal of 50,000 by the end of the year. In the mean time, I’m giving another snippet from the book.

Silent Lucidity by Queensrÿche
From the album Empire (1990)
Queensrÿche didn’t write many ballads, as evidenced by this being their only appearance on the list, but they did write something pretty unique. And by unique, I mean totally bizarre.

This bizarreness is probably due to the fact that Queensrÿche were the band Winger was trying to be: serious and progressive. Sure, they wrote their share of hair/glam rock, but nobody in the ‘80s tackled the concept album with more fervor than Queensrÿche did on Operation: Mindcrime. Queensrÿche is the closest anyone got to melding the progressive sounds of Rush with the NWOBHM.

So, of course, the result is the mind-bender known as Silent Lucidity, which somehow manages to combine lines from the movie Hellraiser II and the theme from Brahms’ Lullaby. And if that’s not enough, the lyrics are, well, I’m quite frankly lost. See, they could be about a relationship, but that seems too obvious, so the next thought is literally about lucid dreaming, since the title more than alludes to it.

As far as orchestration goes in Power Ballads, Silent Lucidity wins, no contest. John Williams is probably jealous of how epic sounding this song is. Perhaps that’s because Michael freaking Kamen arranged the strings. You know, that Michael Kamen, composer of scores for such little films as Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and the Band of Brothers mini-series. Yeah, so, holy shit.

I was almost worried this would get the boot for lack of power, but then I re-listened and heard Chris DeGarmo’s epic solo and punched myself in the face for even considering such nonsense.