I know, I know, if you can't say something nice...
19 April 06 from glenn mcdonald 4
Well, after listening to it a few times I'm ready to say with confidence that if this hadn't been called Operation: Mindcrime II, nobody who liked the original would be suggesting that it should have been.
7 April 06 from Simon Long 3
I approached "O:MII" with a degree of trepidation - about the only musical sequel I can think of that was worthy of the name and didn't disgrace the original was Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells II". (Although the less said about "Tubular Bells III" and "The Millennium Bell", the better. But I digress...) "O:M" is still one of my favorite rock albums of all time, but nothing Queensryche have released since "Empire" has been that interesting.
"O:MII" starts promisingly - the overture followed by "I'm American" does at least call to mind the original album, but I'm afraid that from there on it is all downhill. The absence of Chris DeGarmo as composer is painfully obvious - the lack of melody or any variation in texture, tone or rhythm means I lost interest very early on. "O:M" had light and shade, it had interesting time signatures, it had hooks that nagged at you. "O:MII" has none of the above - it's song after song of bland anonymous hard rock. Every other song has a guitar solo, and I swear they are largely identical to each other - and none of them is interesting.
One of the worst parts, though, is Pamela Moore's vocals. I had to check the sleeve notes to confirm that this was the same person who sang on the original. Her performance in "Suite Sister Mary" was light years ahead of the third-rate Meat Loaf backing singer noises she makes on this album - I was seriously shocked by just how poor her singing is on the sequel, which makes me suspect this is the first time she has actually sung professionally since "O:M".
What amazes me is the number of reviews touting "O:MII" as a return to form for Queensryche. Are these people listening to the same album as I am? To me, this is a continuation of the downward slide I last heard on "Hear In The Now Frontier", which was the point at which Queensryche lost me as a listener. If "OM:II" is an improvement over what they've released since "HITNF", thank god I didn't buy any of it...
16 February 06 from glenn mcdonald 2
Maybe this marks me as a sucker, but I came across the listing Mindcrime II in ICE and felt instant involuntary chills of anticipation. I think maybe my normal defensive cynicism about "returns to form" has been suppressed because Aerial was so great.
16 February 06 from Scott Parkerson 1
What the hey?
Queensryche is, like Hollywood, not immune from sequels, as they are about to release Operation: Mindcrime II.
Also, has it really been 18 years since the original? Yikes.