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.
I agree that Lullabies is not nearly as good as any other work by QotSA but you sound like you stole this. Very similar to Rolling Stone's review. Lullaby is probably my favorite song, if only for Lanegan's vocals. Little Sister is a miserable song and does not deserve any radio play.
Personally I'm not a fan of QOTSA so I wouldn't consider buying this. I'd like to say it's "nice" to see an album get 2 stars, if only because the majority of the albums reviewed here are reviewed by major fans, and thus almost all albums get 4 or 5 stars.
Good review, I haven't read the other one yet but I will to get a different view.
Well thats two completely different reviews to utterly confuse me. Mine should be getting delivered in a couple of days. I await it with a mixture of excitement as well as a worry that i've wasted my money.
After realising that I forgot to say what I came here to say, and noting the lack of an edit button:
This review is all well and good, but what I wanted to read was an honest appraisal of this record. Which I admit I got - but I had to search for it amongst all the rubbish about how Josh Homme can't make it without the rest of his old band. Don't get me wrong; I'm not much of a QotSA fan, and I don't have much of an opinion about whether Homme needs other people to work off. The review was confusing and unfocused. Next time, save something like this for a music magazine or an online journal - because this is a site for CD reviews, and a CD review this ain't.
the one who reviewed this. the name really suits you, u are a nimrod. this album is fantastic! I am a huge qotsa fan who has 3 of their albums and i reckon this the most energetic of them all. U call yourself a fan, u dont sound like one.
Man, some of you people are being really stupid to be honest. To the guy above me...just because you don't like an album by a band, doesn't mean you aren't necessarily a fan of the band. I think some of the stuff Bob Dylan's recorded is complete trash, and I still think he's one of the greatest recording artists of all time. I haven't got this album yet, but from what I've heard it is a bit disappointing, although I agree with people who are saying that this review wasn't really all that helpful, as it talks too much about Homme and his social group, at the expense of discussing the music. Having said that, it's nice to see two genuinely differing opinions on an album.
cheers to asheroth and Med57 for actually posting valid comments.
Yeah, I wrote this review for a music e-zine originally, so thats why its not like what you'd find around here. So in future, for this sight ill edit them to suit the needs of this site.
Final Origin, I'd like to see your review if you do it. But please don't claim that i'm not a fan because I didnt like this album. I own all four albums, therefore I am at a position to state what I this was great and what wasnt. and In this case, I loved the first three albums, but this just didnt do anything for me.
everyone else I can't be bothered to consider or acknowledge. later.
the review is fine. but it semx to have been lifted wholesale from kerrang's review of this album. Also tshi labum is more predictabel than Queens usual stuff. but if your a kyuss and early queens fan this certainly wont get on well with you if you wnann hear more msuic like that.
Yes, I must say that you did a.........Wait, you didn't do much of anything. You are a cynical little smart@ss who obviously shouldn't be allowed to speak/ think (or dress) for yourself. By all means, everyone is entitled to their own personal opinions, mine is that you have bad taste in music. Maybe you would rather bob your head to some "Simple Plan" and softly cry when the song "Perfect" comes on. Oh yeah, one more thing before I must depart, you disgust me.