Queens of the Stone Age
Lullabies to Paralyze


4.0
excellent

Review

by Scythe404 USER (3 Reviews)
March 26th, 2005 | 284 replies | 37,718 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


3 of 6 thought this review was well written

Released: March 22nd, 2005 (Regular and Special Edition with DVD available)

Band Members:
Josh Homme – Vocals, Guitar, Bass Guitar
Dan Druff – Bass Guitar, Guitar, Backup Vocals
Troy Van Leeuwen – Guitar, Lap-Steel Guitar, Backup Vocals
Joey Castillo – Drums and Percussion
Mark Lanegan – Vocals (“This Lullaby"), Backup Vocals (“Burn the Witch")
Billy Gibbons – Lead Guitar (“Burn the Witch")
Brody Dalle – “Sultry" Backup Vocal (“You’ve Got a Killer Scene")
Shirley Manson - “Sultry" Backup Vocal (“You’ve Got a Killer Scene")

Something old, something new.

The fourth Album from Alternative icons Queens of the Stone Age was held to a high standard the moment the buzz around it began. Following 2002’s “Song’s For the Deaf" was no easy task, considering the mainstream breakthrough album for the band was also considered one of the best Alternative albums in recent memory.

“Lullabies to Paralyze" is a mixed bag of tricks. With Bass Player and long time cohort Nick Oliveri gone, limited appearances from fan favorite Mark Lanegan and Dave Grohl permanently replaced by Joey Castillo, things have changed, and yet some have stayed the same or gone in reverse. So with that, the question that remained was whether or not Josh Homme could effectively take the reigns on his own. He did so quite well. “Lullabies to Paralyze" draws on the Queens’ style from their “Self-Titled" album, which was that of chunky, straightforward riffage and hypnotizing vocals. What’s new is their heavier, punkier influence, which becomes more prevalent now. Also new is their experiment with Blues (“Burn The Witch"), which is pulled off extremely well, and some slightly progressive elements (“Someone’s In The Wolf").

Track by Track Review:

This Lullaby – (1:21)
Mark Lanegan starts the album off on a haunting down-note in this short, sweet, and enjoyable vocal/guitar number. Lanegan does what he does best (besides growling): sounding poetic and subtly frightening at the same time.
5/5

Medication – (1:53)
In traditional Queens fashion, this track is a complete opposite to the one before it. Homme takes Vocals again, and rips right into a punky, straightforward song reminiscent of tracks such as “Regular John" from the S/T album. The song is a little repetitive, but is short enough that it won’t bother you. It’s a fun, catchy track and sets the stage for one of the albums many faces.
4/5

Everybody Knows That You’re Insane – (4:14)
This song starts off with a fluid, half-time feeling and a traditional QotSA guitar “solo." Fans will know exactly what this means. The song flows for about a minute, before launching into another fast paced, riff-driven track, speeding up considerably. The lyrics are quite good, painting a picture of an isolated, hopeless insane person. Once again the riff, combined with Homme’s unique vocal style, makes it catchy and fun, but the track still maintains a tough edge.
4.5/5

Tangled Up In Plaid – (4:12)
A more abstract number, drawing on “No One Knows" in a sort of way, “Tangled Up In Plaid" starts with some Wind Chimes and moves into a chunky verse at a moderate tempo. The track sounds promising in the first couple of minutes, but gets a little repetitive. However, in the last minute the band catches you again with a good Guitar Solo and lovely bridge topped off by an appropriately abrupt finish.
3.5/5

Burn The Witch – (3:33)
Without a doubt the best track on the album, unless you absolutely despise any Blues influence. Lanegan backs up on vocals, and Troy Van Leeuwen plays Lap Steel Guitar. Billy Gibbons guest stars on Lead Guitar. The song is a period piece in a way, describing hypothetical events and emotions during the Witch Hunts. It quickly launches into a bluesy, shuffle riff, accompanied by great lyrics and Vocals from Homme and Lanegan. After two chorus,’ the band launches into a solo section, allowing Troy and Billy to show off a bit; fades to Black with Billy playing over the main riff. “Burn The Witch" is an addictive, well-written and great song.
5/5

In My Head – (3:59)
Another S/T influenced song, with a crisp, brand-new feeling. A straightforward, enjoyable riff, augmented by closely-following yet well-done leads sets this song on its course from opening to end. Homme’s lyrics and vocals are top notch again, singing a song about radio and the addictiveness of popular music. A commentary on the politics of the music world? Who knows? Good song nonetheless.
4/5

Little Sister – (2:53)
The first single off the album, “Little Sister" is a gritty, fast-paced, punk-influenced track.. The lyrics are a little vague, and I truly hope Homme isn’t singing about his real sister, but they are catchy nonetheless. Solid riffage augmented by traditionally QotSA leads is good, and the Bass makes an impression with a fuzzed, chorus-based sound. The song flows through this, and ends with a decent Solo.
3.5/5

I Never Came – (4:46)
Starting off almost like a generic rock song you’d hear on the radio, this track almost seems as such. It’s better than that, however, and has the bands trademark style in there. It’s more of a departure from their usual alternative fare, and dives into some mainstream clichés, but not without payoff. What results is a cool, solid track that functions as humour within a story of tragedy; a quick break from the scenario.
3/5

Someone’s In The Wolf – (7:13)
A slightly progressive track, “Wolf" sounds very promising at the start. A gritty, hard riff and some nice Vocal work get you into quite quick. However, this doesn’t change much, and gets repetitive very quickly. Sometimes it even gets boring hearing it again and again. However, credit is given to Homme for the effort, and the great Vocal work and great riffs. Were this song shorter or a carrier of more variety it would be one of the album’s best.
3/5

Blood is Love – (6:36)
“Blood is Love" starts with a carousel sort of riff, before launching into a dark, rough riff after about a minute. Worried by the result of “Someone’s In the Wolf," I was surprised at how well this track was pulled off. Probably the darkest song on the album, “Love" goes through a chorus, verse, chorus formula holding your attention snugly, before launching into a wicked, haunting bridge and solo in the last two minutes. Great vocal work once again, and a wonderful track.
4/5

Skin on Skin – (3:41)
Another abstract riff begins, and the song starts. Distorted, rough Vocals carry the song across another dark landscape, and the result is pleasing. The song carries this out to the mid-section, where a floppy, but interesting solo occurs, and then goes back to its main cliché’s to round it off. A decent track overall.
3/5

Broken Box – (2:59)
Finally returning to a more upbeat note, this track starts with an, oddly enough, boxy sort of riff. Fuzzy and catchy, the guitars drive the song into a nonchalant and catchy verse-chorus-verse format which is welcome after “Skin on Skin." In the second half the song gets a little deeper and the riffs better. The bridge and endpoint top off what is a surprisingly great song.
4.5/5

You’ve Got a Killer Scene There, Man… - (4:56)
Feeling like a walk through an ecstasy-fueled, smoky and exotic bar, “Killer Scene" is pulled off very well. Shirley Manson and current girlfriend of Homme, Brody Dalle, sing back up Vocals. This number is quite catchy, driven by Vocal work once again, with Homme singing on more of a down-note than usual, almost trying to sound like Mark Lanegan. He retains his own style, and does what Lanegan does well on top of it. Bluesy interjections are made by the Lead Guitar, and the track rounds out on a cool note.
4.5/5

Long Slow Goodbye – (6:48)
Starting on the same kind of tone as “I Never Came," “Long Slow Goodbye" starts out calm and almost generic, retaining what it is as a song, but slowly morphing into a more Queens styled track as it progresses. It’s a nice effort, cutting off around the four minute point, and slipping in some completely unrelated music towards the end, almost as a “secret track." A good finish to a great album.
3.5/5

A few blunders here and there fail to make this as great an album as 2002’s “Songs for the Deaf," but what comes out is a very good album which is perfect for regular fans, great for prospects and a well-written, well-done follow-up to the aforementioned album. “Lullabies to Paralyze" is more up than down, and is a must-have for any Alternative or Queens aficionado.

Overall rating: 4/5


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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
March 26th 2005



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yup, this pretty much sums up how I feel about the record. Though, it definitely feels like a 'grower'. So I may well end up liking it more than SFTD. Who knows.

RIPJoeStrummer
March 26th 2005



33 Comments


SFTD was defintely a grower, I'm going to pick this up sometime this week. Sounds promising, great review.

supraman_2
March 27th 2005



146 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album, not quite as much as the last. I think the biggest difference is the absence of forays into metal and just crazy weirdness that Nick brought to the group. It's not bad by any means though.

benfan
March 27th 2005



4 Comments


great review

superpeer
March 28th 2005



257 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll pick this up eventually, but I'll still miss Nick.

Justanothernimrod
March 28th 2005



478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

erm, they played with blues on the last album, ala god is in the radio, was fucking million times better too.

and Someone’s In The Wolf is practically better living through chemisty.

my review:

Queens Of The Stoneage - Lullabies To Paralyse.
I’ve sat here. I’ve waited for ten minutes to write anything. Let’s start
with honesty. This record could have been easily predicted. Since ‘Songs for
the Deaf’ there has only actually been one good album from any of the
Dessert Session artists. Mondo Generator and Dessert Sessions 9 & 10 were
both average at best. The only good album was “Bubblegum” by Mark Lanegan,
ironic that the first track sounds (and probably is) a b-side from that
album. It’s a bit of a surprise to hear on brooding, acoustic opener
“Lullaby” Lanegan do what he does best, croon in a sandstorm, but, didn’t he
leave the band with Nick? Yes. But obviously he let this track be used too.
You’ll soon realise that “Lullaby” is a song to saviour, because it’s
virtually the only variation you are going to get on this album.
This album is predominately based off fairly simple, chugging guitar riffs, strange vocals, and, occasionally too well, well produced bass driven sounds. Sounds familiar I’m sure, but this most certainly isn’t Stoner Metal or Desert Rock, what ever you would like to call it, there is nothing close to the charm and song-man-ship from what Kyuss, or even early Queens of the Stone Age, sounds like.

So what is this? Not a lot actually. For the most part, this is a confused songwriter jamming with friends, and creating something bland until he figures out what he needs to be doing. Still, that isn’t to say there aren’t some great moments to be had.
‘Medication’ is a delightful romp, as it introduced the general sound the rest of the album experiences. Having a similar style to self titled opener 'Regular John', based basically around one chord, and then with some variations, but still done different enough to accept in a new way. Those who doubted this album get a few seconds of hope. And it continues to the next track. 'Everybody knows you’re insane' shows Homme’s personality and charisma perfectly. It starts of a bit slow, a lot like an old blues tune, but by the time the chorus kicks in, we have a full-throttle, sing along, full of the dry, ironic wit that Josh has famed himself for, and the fact that, this song is about the send off of Nick, well it makes it all the more perfect.

Shame that’s about all I can say about the album then isn’t it? After these first three tracks, suddenly, we’re isolated in the desert this was spawned from, and we can’t get out, because every where the listener turns, they are bound to find the same riff or slightly studio effect ridden voice of Josh Homme, or lacklustre song as a whole. I'm sure those who doubted 'Little Sister' since watching the video before this album will be happy to know that, it is actually a highlight of the album, and you feel a bit refreshed when you meet a friendly face. But ‘Little Sister’ sits, very cleverly, in the middle of the album, to keep those who were drifting off a bit more interested. But with the remaining 7 tracks, most of them your mind will wonder, and you will ask, “How long does this go on for?” And it quickly comes to mind the question, “How the hell did such a talented song writer go to this?” And of course, the answer is simple. Yes, Nick had to leave the band, there’s no question. But it seems without his input in his slightly more angry style of writing a good pop song, well, you feel the tension has gone, and that it was needed.

Yes, Josh and Nick were at their throats. It wouldn’t be the first time. Back in Kyuss it happened, and then after Nick finally went, Josh and John Garcia, went on to define Desert Rock. But you see there is the difference. Josh AND John. This time, there is no other personality to challenge Homme’s ego; there are no other core members to belt anger out through music anymore. It’s just Josh and some friends who can play for him. And in the end, all it does is exposes Homme’s fragility. Yes, in the 15 plus years he has been making rock music, he has always had someone to do with him, now he’s on his own, he just sounds a bit scared and uninspired. So, Josh can bring in as many guest appearances as he likes, but as long as he knows that he’s in total control and he doesn’t want to change that, he may as well call it a day now. Brody Dalle and Shirley Manson’s input is so pointless that it doesn’t matter, by the time you get to 'You Got A Killer Scene' the penultimate track, you are past caring. The only slight redemption Homme makes is on the final track 'Long Slow Goodbye' another, apparently, Nick inspired song. So by the end of the first listen, you just feel a bit empty. No, we weren’t looking for another 'Songs for the Deaf' or 'Rated R' but we were looking for something a bit more challenging. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Give it a few more listens, and you do notice a few nice moments on this record, but from a man who within the last five years has orchestrated two of the most important rock albums written, it seems a bit disheartening listening to this. And you also realise after a couple of listens that, all the best songs on this album, are written about or with the other core, ex, members of the band. Hint, hint Mr.Homme.

Adam Turner-Heffer


andru223
March 28th 2005



1 Comments


Shutup you fool and get a job.

Rudd13
March 28th 2005



952 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry, you guys up there, but this album completely OWNS it's predecessor. Its about ten times better than SFTD in my opinion. Burn the witch and someones in the wolf are the songs that did it for me. great review, man. I went out and bought it yesterday.

DBL BASS HAMMA
March 29th 2005



11 Comments


Going to go and get that now.

doggonit
March 30th 2005



3 Comments


both reviews are true in a way. this album is considerably darker than the previous, having the "void" in all songs that u (or I) can feel in songs like No One Knows and God Is Un The Radio. Things is, i never really liked Sky Is Fallin, where some of the songs here like I Never Came and Someone's In THe Wolf are. REPETITIVE. After a few listens, most of the tracks turn out great. It is, nevertheless, recommended.

mranti
March 30th 2005



50 Comments


good review

Little Man being Erased
March 30th 2005



87 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review. I agree with Iai, in that I think this album is definitiely a 'grower.' And I agree that "Burn The Witch" is definitely the best song on the album.

Two thumbs up!

Dancin' Man
March 30th 2005



719 Comments


Ehh, I really don't like this album. Rated R and SFTD were great. Easy to enjoy but also interesting and varied. This all sounds the same to me aside from Lullaby. Homme needs to sharpen up his songwriting skills to what they were because so much of this album is about repetition. In songs like Someone's in the Wolf it's repetition of something good but in general, he is not up to his old ways. Maybe it really is because of the departure of Nick, but whatever it is that makes LtP so lack lustre, it needs to go away/comeback

Final Origin
April 19th 2005



344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is good review, much more straight forward then that crap next door. Very well done.

Jawaharal
June 10th 2005



1832 Comments


I've been meaning to pick this up for a while. I loved SFTD so I hope this will be good.

Final Origin
July 27th 2005



344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album had grown on me on the third listen since i got it, I think it is a great album, this to me is on par to SFTD and this album is more electrifying and has a faster pace then SFTD. Everybody Knows That Your Insane is a classic QOTSA song.

marshmellow
August 22nd 2005



17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like this album. To me the whole album has this "apocalypse feeling" in every song, which I find really interesting and attracting somehow.

I agree with most things you've said. Although my favourite tracks would be "You've Got A Killer Scene..", "In My Head" and then "Burn The Witch".

And I disagree with your interpretation of "In My Head". You say it's all about radio and popular music. My opinion would be it's about a girl that left him or is gone for a while and he can't get out of his head. And because he thinks of her all the time, he plays their favourite song, which makes him even more think about her. But that's everything he has got of her. But that's just my opinion...This Message Edited On 08.22.05

Zmev
August 23rd 2005



983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Long Slow Goodbye is the best song this year.

Storm In A Teacup
September 4th 2005



12687 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great Review to Scythe 404
And to Just Another Nimrod, you're not supposed to write reviews within other peoples review.
Okay album not as good as their others though. It gets a 3/5 from me.


Jawaharal
September 4th 2005



1832 Comments


actually you can write reviews in others



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