Oft compared (undeservedly) to the album before, "A Day At The Races" is the Queen album that defines them to a T.
Full of great-basic hard rockers, pop hooks, operatic arraingements, prog-rock, artistic balladry, guitar harmonics, and extravagant vocal harmonies... This album is one of the best written (And produced) from Queen.
From start to finish, This album shows the four members of Queen at their pinnacle of pop songwriting... Incorporating all of their diverse elements into a terrific, cohesive product. Each song has it's own distinct melody and feel, yet they flow seamlessly into the next with great flair and timing.
The other element that makes this album so great is the production and final mixing. On some albums, most artists play their parts terrifically, but their instruments are so muddied up and mixed wrong that you can't tell what they are doing. Not so here.. Throughout, every vocal, drum, bass, gutiar, and piano part are right upfront in the mix which gives this album a very clear and intimate feel to it.
But above all, the most outstanding part to this album has to be the vocal recordings/guitar overdubs. Every lead, background, and harmony vocal is so perfect that you can't tell it was recorded in layers. They are cheeky and fun, dark and spacey, and show the amazing diversity in Mr. Mercury's voice. Not to mention Brian May's guitar work. He shows that he is definately the best pop/rock-oriented guitarist ever through his many layerings and melodic yet crunch guitar parts.
Overall, the album is a terrific pop/rock album. It is diverse, yet every track flows well into the other... It is polished and clean, but it never loses it's rock edge and attitude... And the instrumentation and vocal work is some of the most influential ever put down on tape.
By far, this is (one) of Queens best... Their best is your own opinion, but after you listen to it you'll know exactly what I mean.
All The Best, The AndyMan!