Queensr che
"Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensr├┐che"

(Capitol Records 2007)Queensr che - Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensr├┐che

For a lot of people, Queensrÿche will forever be regarded as Iron Maiden LiteTM. Fair or not, the comparison is not without its merit, at least in regards to Queensrÿche's early output. The band's initial sound bore more than a passing resemblance to the NWOBHM giants with more soaring vocals, twin guitar harmonies, and galloping riffs than you could shake a Flying V at. The band would eventually take a more progressive approach to the Brit-metal mold, perhaps best exemplified by "Operation: Mindcrime," the concept album which included elements played by a full orchestra. Queensrÿche has continued to make music to this day, with "Operation: Mindcrime II" being their last release of original material.

And lest we forget any of that, Queensrÿche has dropped yet another best-of album on us, the latest in a seemingly endless parade of best-ofs, live albums, and most recently, a cover album. "Sign of the Times" isn't the most comprehensive roadmap of the band's career, with a heavy emphasis placed on the band's earlier albums. In fact, there isn't a whole lot to distinguish "Sign of the Times" from any other greatest hits Queensrÿche has put out in recent years. There is apparently a second disc full of B-sides, rarities, live tracks and whatnot, but the chaps at Capitol only hooked us up with the single disc version.

So having said all of that, the question is: What exactly is the target market for yet another best-of album from Queensrÿche? We're not exactly talking about Judas Priest here, who will continue to sell endless best-ofs to people playing "Breaking the Law" and "You've Got Another Thing Coming" on a perpetual loop. I don't think anyone is going to be knocking their grandmom out of the way so they can buy another CD with "Silent Lucidity" on it. Any real fan of the band is going to have all of this anyway, again discounting the mythical second disc, and most casual listeners probably already have one of the thousands of other Queensrÿche greatest hits albums. Sure, the music on "Sign of the Times" is good, but this latest ransacking of Queensrÿche's back catalog is mildly to moderately useless.


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