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Projekt 52/15: Contrasts

This week’s Projekt 52 topic is “contrasts”, and I’m combining it with a convenience food report:

15: Contrasts

Topic 15: Contrasts

A “Kaiserschmarrn” from “Schwaben Speisen” in Fellbach which I recently noticed as a new offer on the supermarket’s chilled shelf1, and I thought I could give it a try. “With fruit compote and vanilla sauce” – there also was another version I didn’t remember –, to be heated in a microwave or pan; I chose the former, since it’s about convenience in such convenience foods (and the sauce can’t even be heated in the same pan as the pancake).

And this one try will be the only one. It’s to be expected, of course, that convenience food never looks as good in reality as it does on the cover, and so this contrast here – bottom left: sealed and cold (and photographed without flash and under different light conditions); center: hot, without foil; right: packaging – is no miracle. I just never came across such a thick dough, cut almost in cubic shapes, being called Kaiserschmarrn, though… but what about the most important part: the taste?

Well, while the (culinarily certainly not top-notch) Kaiserschmarrn that my local butcher’s snack bar offers every few weeks (I presented it last year) literally does deserve my rating “enjoyable”, I can call this Fellbach ready-to-serve Kaiserschmarrn at most “only just edible”, and I certainly won’t buy it again.

Rating: 1 star

  1. quite possible that the entire company is new, given that their web domain they printed on the package still shows the hoster’s default “new internet presence” []

Album review: Queen + Paul Rodgers “The Cosmos Rocks”

Cosmos Rocks cover Almost a little late, the album’s been released over 3 weeks ago already – but could I do without a review here?? ;) So how are these 13 songs (+1 reprise) in nearly one hour on the first Queen-titled studio album of the post-Freddie-Mercury era?

No doubt: It’s not what you’d expect from what’s usually called a Queen album. Of course, without Freddie. It is “only” a rock album with Brian May and his guitar and Roger Taylor and his drums plus Paul Rodgers and his voice who luckily doesn’t try to imitate Freddie, but got his own strengths; one could only criticize the use of “Queen” in the name here, but, well, it’s also a matter of popularity and marketing…

Now let’s get to the individual songs:

  1. Cosmos Rockin’
    After a short intro, the boys let – matching the album title – everything rock, from house to town to world to the cosmos – a solid rocking opener for the album.
    4 stars
  2. Time To Shine
    An encouraging little piece of rock (topic-wise), not too hard, not too balladic, with a good rhythm – and I could easily imagine it on one of the The Cross albums1 as well as by Paul alone without the Queen rest…
    4 stars
  3. Still Burnin’
    A bluesy rocker with a “Queen-ish” chorus; the latter might use even a little more power. Anyway, if you’re sitting/standing still during this song, something might be wrong with you. :)
    4½ stars
  4. Small
    Calm but powerful, this mostly acoustic song (but supported by electric guitar) with a catchy chorus. “Everyone needs a place they can hide, Hide away find a space to be alone.”
    5 stars
  5. Warboys
    Matching its title, this song got lots of snare drums (like military marches have) and offers “wild” guitar sounds (and a few war sounds) without being too hard – a quite successful combination.
    4 stars
  6. We Believe
    Add a few more singers and you got a “we need peace etc. for all” song like “We Are The World”, and accordingly overly melodramatic without shining that much in other areas; the weakest song on the album for me.
    2½ stars
  7. Call Me
    One can easily imagine the boys sitting around the campfire and playing this happy song. Alright, let’s say jam session, for you hardly take drums and electric guitar to a campfire. — “Now I’m gonna settle down, get myself a wife or two…”
    4 stars
  8. Voodoo
    A quiet but strong blues number – and the song that I could least imagine with Freddie. One of the best songs here.
    5 stars
  9. Some Things That Glitter
    A rather harmonic ballad, also considering vocals/guitar/drums – but somehow I’m missing something, though I can’t tell exactly what…
    3½ stars
  10. C-lebrity
    The comparatively hard-rocking criticism of casting shows and celebrity wannabes was already the first “real” single release2 – more than just fairly done and with interesting variations; maybe sounds a bit better (especialy in the chorus) when played a little faster live.
    4 stars
  11. Through The Night
    A slightly contemplative but beautiful ballad with Brian’s guitar (and Paul’s voice, of course).
    4½ stars
  12. Say It’s Not True
    The song about Aids already played years ago on the Nelson Mandela concert, now in the studio version with Roger and Brian starting quietly, then Paul and the music entering with power – both kinds of the song are working somehow.
    4 stars
  13. Surf’s Up… School’s Out!
    The intro is growig into a fun rocker with driving beat and low instrumentation in the verses and power outside of them – “Surf’s up, school’s out, follow that dream…
    4½ stars
  14. Small (Reprise)
    The sea noises are leading over to a short reprise of track 4, rounding off the album nicely.

Conclusion: The three old gentleman are nicely complementing one another (albeit not always 100% perfectly), and the result is a great rock album on which maybe not all songs are mega-hits, but altogether a nice selection, and anyone who likes this style of music should at least have a listen.

That also applies to the die-hard Queen fans who shout “boo” already when hearing Paul’s name and steer clear of this album just for having “Queen” on the cover but no Freddie inside – you’d miss something!

Image (album cover) from queenonline.com.

  1. Roger’s former solo project []
  2. after the rather separate Say It’s Not Truw almost one year ago []