Sunday, April 17, 2005

Queen, "Machines (or 'Back To Humans')"

By the title of this, you're probably thinking "Eighties" and you would be spot on.

This song of course about the fear of technology, which was popular during the eighties though probably more warranted today.

The introduction to the music has a bass line that has driving sixteenth notes that evoke some feeling. There is also the vocal "machine" in which the sound has been altered so it sounds like an electronic voice.

This transitions into the verse in which the bass line becomes very simple but the machine feeling is taken over by a contrast between high pitched synthesizer sounds that allow the vocalists to speak above it and loud accents in the drums and guitar that sense the contrast in machines between the constant chatter of machines and the occasional loud accents. This verse is the human speaking.

The chorus combines these two things with a driving drum beat and some of the synthesizer sound. The transition to the second verse is sung by the "machines" meaning the vocalist in the altered sound. This short phrase has a melody that is much more stagnant than the verse and chorus which serves to show the lifelessness of machines in contrast to the more varying melodies of the human.

After another verse, the chorus comes again and shows a big contrast again to the machine voices by having a melody that near the end goes into high falsetto and has many vocal ornamentations that show contrast.

The ending is quite long and just contains some random vocal interludes by both the human and machine and whatnot.

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