Queens of the Stone Age are a decent band who have made albums which tied the softness of rock with the heaviness of metal. Songs For the Deaf and Lullabies To Paralyze showed what this band did with their success, make some tracks that rise and some tracks that fall which balance each other out. But where did their success come from? The answer is in the album Rated R. R usually means Restricted, but this album doesn't have a Parental Advisory warning on it compared to the other two, despite it's suggestive themes. I think the R also stands for Repetitive, but even though Rated R seems that way, there's some amazing instrumentation on every track and now I will go through every track on this review. The tracklisting on the back of the album is a little screwed up, but this review will fix that.
01. Feel Good Hit of the Summer
Queens of the Stone Age picked a really funny way to start the album off. The bass pumps this track up, the drums kick in after awhile, then Josh Homme chants the lyrics, which are the seven deadly drugs ("Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol. Co-co-co-co-co-cocaine."). By the time Josh says the last drug, he shouts it, the guitar brings in some heavy riffs, and the rest of the song is Josh Homme whispering then shouting the first six drug names before going back to shouting "Co-co-co-co-co-cocaine". This was a great pick for a single and at the end everything freezes except for the drums, which hit towards the next song.
02. The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret
A very interesting song title and the only other single Rated R had. QOTSA get to what they originally sound like and while they do, everything in this track is brilliant. The beat of the drums is catchy and the guitar is filled with amazing riffs throughout. Josh Homme shows brilliant secret keeping lyrics and the only part of the song that's repetitve lyrically is the chorus ("Whatever you do, don't tell anyone."). I definitely recommend this song if you haven't heard it already.
03. Leg of Lamb
The way the guitar and drums are set up makes this a song more catchy than "The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret". The words to this song are about a really crazy relationship and Josh's voice still sings the same as the previous track, but slower. The background vocals make this track weirder, but I like them being there. The only thing I don't like about this song is that they should have made it longer. The song just ends in a very unexpected place and Queens of the Stone Age could've done better.
04. Auto Pilot
The instrumentation sounds like it's on auto pilot here. The bass, guitar, and drums seem to be looped over and over again most of the time. Josh Homme sings some astounding lyrics on getting drunk on a jet plane, but the chorus gets sung too much. What really saves the song though is the bridge, in which the music escapes its loop for a little bit while Josh sings slowly. Just like "Leg of Lamb", it's a decent track that I don't skip.
05. Better Living Through Chemistry
The song length is 5:48 and every bit of it is amazing. The track starts of with a beat made by bongo drums and then some beautiful guitar comes in. The song's about plotting revenge, yet Josh never gets angry throughout the whole song. You'd think that the track would get repetitive once the first verse comes on, but then the sound of the guitar gets scattered everywhere throughout the track and the drums hit harder than before while Josh sings some oh's harmonically. After that turning point, you'll feel like you've travelled through different dimensions in the world of rock/metal music. One of Rated R's best moments.
06. Monsters In the Parasol
The way the guitar sounds will definitely get you rocking. The lyrics get stale compared to the previous five tracks here, but "Monsters In the Parasol" is a pretty catchy song. Not sure what the words are about, but I think this is a song on paranoia. Not one of my favourites here, but it's another track that never gets skipped.
07. Quick and To the Pointless
Some people think this song's filler, but the song title shows that it's a song that makes fun of what the basic filler track is like. Josh shouts some Dutch and some words of lust to a girl younger than him on this song and the instrumentation's pretty amazing throughout. The whole track clocks in at 1:42 and it shows that QOTSA make good filler.
08. In the Fade
QOTSA at their softest. It starts off with some strange bass sound, but it goes into some smooth guitar. This is my least favourite track here, because nothing seems to stand out, but this is an alright song. Some nice lyrics are strung up in the song on life and I like the chorus ("Live 'til you die, I know."). There's an awesome guitar solo after the second time the chorus is sung, but in the middle of the solo, it gets cut off. Just like "Leg of Lamb", if they put more into this track, it would've been better.
09. Feel Good Hit of the Summer (Reprise)
The "end" of "In the Fade" leads into a hidden track, a thirty second reprise of "Feel Good Hit of the Summer". This isn't mentioned in the tracklisting, making the track numbers after that messed up. Other than that, this reprise warms you up for the next song.
10. Tension Head
This starts with the sound of smoking and leads into the heaviest song you'd find on the whole album. Just like in "Quick and To the Pointless", Josh Homme shouts and screams throughout the entire song, but this time he's telling about the sickness drugs can cause during your life. The guitar, bass, and drums are looped like in "Auto Pilot", but all the instruments do some crazy stuff here. A good track to head bang to and the only one on the album that manages to drop the f-bomb.
11. Lightning Song
Not really a song, but a beautiful instrumental to relax to. The bongo drums and guitar blend well together and it really makes you look back at the ten tracks you listened to before.
12. I Think I Lost My Headache
This is the longest song on Rated R, clocking in at 8:40. The guitar gets a little heavier compared to "Lightning Song", the drums are okay, and Josh ends the album nicely with words on getting better after suffering from a headache. After the first few minutes of the track, the bass, drums, and guitar go into a really catchy loop, but it drags on for so long and eventually some horns come in. The horns and the other instruments do a good job mixing in with one another at first, but then the track ends with just the horns, which is kinda annoying. Queens of the Stone Age could've picked a better way to end this spectacular album, but it's an okay way to finish it off.
Track By Track Rating:
N/A = Not Applicable
1 = Awful
1.5 = Very Poor
2 = Poor
2.5 = Average
3 = Good
3.5 = Great
4 = Excellent
4.5 = Superb
5 = A Classic
01. Feel Good Hit of the Summer 
02. The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret 
03. Leg of Lamb [4.5]
04. Auto Pilot 
05. Better Living Through Chemistry [4.5]
06. Monsters In the Parasol 
07. Quick and To the Pointless [4.5]
08. In the Fade 
09. Feel Good Hit of the Summer (Reprise) [N/A]
10. Tension Head [4.5]
11. Lightning Song 
12. I Think I Lost My Headache 
Content Rating: R (Contains themes on sex and drugs and one f-bomb)