Let me begin by saying that I love Queen. They were a rare example of a band where each member possessed equal talent. As the front man Freddie Mercury often times received a great deal of the credit. But look a little deeper and one will see that Queen was so successful because of the individual contributions of all of the band members.
Brian May had a huge part to play in the success of the band, and he still does as he and Roger Taylor carry on as Queen + Adam Lambert. For a time Brian May pursued a solo career. He released two fantastic solo albums, Back To The Light (1992) and Another World (1998). He even recorded a movie soundtrack for an obscure French film entitled Furia (2000). Furia contains one of the best songs of May’s career, the emotional ballad Dream Of Thee. If you have never heard this wonderful song I highly recommend that you seek it out online. Somewhere along the way Brian seemingly put his solo career on hold. I applaud his efforts to keep Queen alive over the years through various projects. However, as a fan of his solo work I have often felt a bit letdown. I waited a long time for another solo album. Eventually I faced the fact that it would seem that Brian May had put his solo career behind him.
The lack of solo albums does not mean that Brian May has been idle creatively. One of his most high profile projects has been his collaboration with singer Kerry Ellis. He has spent the last several years making new music with this immensely talented vocalist. I love the music that they have been creating together. Dangerland, Defying Gravity and Golden Days are among their best songs together. As much as I have enjoyed their work together I still want another Brian May solo album.
The announcement in late 2018 of Brian May’s brand new song New Horizons came as an incredibly huge surprise. As soon as the song was available I gleefully purchased it from iTunes. The song is a typical Brian May composition. It has been some time since he has released solo music, but he has not lost his touch. New Horizons would have fit in perfectly on Back To The Light or Another World. The song features Brian May’s passionate vocal delivery and subtle touches of his distinct guitar orchestrations. May opts for a vocally driven approach on New Horizons. The song features plenty of guitar throughout, but there is not a hooky guitar riff propelling the song. On display are Brian May’s typically tasteful and well crafted lead guitar riffs. He possesses a unique ability to always play the right notes in the right spaces.
As exciting as it has been to listen to this song over and over, I hope that there is more. It is my hope that New Horizons will lead to a new album from Brian May. That album is long overdue. For now New Horizons has been a great way to kick start the new year.