Deftones
Koi No Yokan


3.0
good

Review

by Mike Denison USER (20 Reviews)
November 22nd, 2012 | 103 replies | 3,647 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Beauty that assaults your ears for an hour, begging you to tell her she's pretty the whole time.

I never got into classical music all that much. Oh, sure, I've got plenty of friends that can listen to any piece for half a second and tell me not only who wrote it and what it's called, but probably when it was written, what category it falls into, and where it ranks on their personal list of favorite pieces. But it was never quite my thing -- I just don't listen to Bach or Mozart on a daily basis. Yet, if I ever find myself listening to it, it's hard not to appreciate it on some level as a work of great art and a display of prodigious talent.

My views on Deftones are much the same. I'm late to the band's party, despite spending many years listening to a lot of bands for whom Deftones appeared in the "Recommended" section. I've had plenty of people tell me why I should listen to them. And for Koi No Yokan, I bought into the hype. The teaser of "Leathers" had me convinced that this was going to make a mark on me, that this would finally convince me to appreciate this wondrous band that everyone told me I should love. So I listened, and listened, and listened, and finally convinced myself that for all its artsy trappings, there was really nothing special about it.

Okay, maybe one thing. The production is spectacular. Most of the atmospheres that pervade this album simply would not succeed with a lesser producer. The drums and bass are clearly audible; the guitars are aggressive without losing clarity, and Chino Moreno's voice is just clear enough to grab the listener's attention. And no song showcases this better than the album's highlight, "Leathers," as it alternates between a punchy, chug-laden verse and a bombastic, soaring chorus.

But as the album progresses, it becomes clear that Deftones have dug themselves a hole: when every song's success hinges on the hugeness of the chorus, the impact of each huge chorus is lessened. Take "Poltergeist" -- structurally, it's identical to most of the songs on the album, but the chorus, while better than most in the genre, has the misfortune to come right after "Leathers", and it can't measure up. The much-hyped "Tempest" absolutely demands a massive chorus, befitting its lengthy, slow introduction, but instead the listeners are given a disappointingly average stanza that goes nowhere.

Some of these missteps would be forgiven if a few songs tried to deviate from that formula...and a few do, to some extent. Unfortunately they don't fare much better. "Entombed" tries to be sparser and more delicate, but its 5:00 runtime feels excruciatingly long thanks to a frustrating amount of repetition (hope you like arpeggios!). "Graphic Nature" turns the formula on its head, with Abe Cunningham's grooves fueling serpentine, hypnotic verses, but the droning chorus is a buzzkill. "What Happened To You?" ends the album not with a grand finale, but an enigmatic, puzzlingly simple whisper that might have better served the album somewhere else in the tracklist.

Of course, there are a handful of moments when everything does come together. "Swerve City" might have the simplest riff of any song on here, but it's nothing if not catchy. "Gauze" doesn't save the huge sound for the chorus; the verses are laden with barely restrained intensity that erupts into possibly the album's most beautiful chorus, largely thanks to an impressive vocal performance by Moreno.

Koi No Yokan ultimately feels like Deftones are trying too hard. Chino and company are trying to elevate relatively simple songs by sheer force of will, hoping that with enough big choruses, their album will be made into something more than what it is. And while that effort yields a few gems, it can't quite hide the notable flaws. As a technical achievement, this is hard to ignore. But all the pretty sounds and polish don't necessarily make a song enjoyable.

I probably won't be listening to this on a daily basis. But that means they're in pretty good company.



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user ratings (2047)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • wwba (2)
    Extremely mediocre (I can't see why so many people overrate it) but it has a few decent mo...

    Bwgrotha1s (4.5)
    Just another great CD you can have in your collection from the Deftones...

    Joe Denby (2)
    Painful in my indifference....

    stalinrules (2)
    Introducing: 2012's most overrated album....

  • NagasakiBomber (4)
    Many bands wish they were able to release an album as consistently jaw dropping as this on...

    Eli EMERITUS (2.5)
    Incredibly tepid and uncharacteristically dull, "Koi No Yokan" sees Deftones forget what h...

    Greg Fisher STAFF (4.4)
    A remarkably consistent effort from the band that triumphs without altering its style....

    someguest (5)
    Love....

  • MezoIsMusic (4.5)
    “Koi No Yokan” is a truly beautiful Japanese concept that is untranslatable. It is the...

    pbass0 (4.5)
    Continuing to blend beauty and primal aggression like no band before or after, Deftones re...

    GiantMan (3.5)
    Deftones remain at the top of their game, but still with room to grow....

    Deadwing42 (4.5)
    Colors explode across the spectrum of a new Deftones sound that explores beauty, brutality...

  • Adam Edwards (5)
    Deftones shed their superficial skin as an Alt-Metal band and finally show their textures ...

    Jeremy Bentham (4.5)
    Bursting at the seams with energy, aggression, and emotion, Koi No Yokan sits comfortably ...

    Chinomaster182 (4)
    Deftones in their new record have managed to navigate the close gap between staying true t...

    Spagett (3.5)
    Maybe they're getting tired....

  • fiendish (4.5)
    Yeah, it’s a Deftones release, but it ain’t just another Deftones release. They’ve o...


Comments:Add a Comment 
ProjectFreak
November 22nd 2012


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

inb4 "ugh another koi no yokan review"


sixdegrees
November 22nd 2012


17019 Comments


ugh another koi no yokan review

Digging: nano.RIPE - Namida no Ochiru Sokudo

CK
November 22nd 2012


4912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review ugh another koi no yokan review

sixdegrees
November 22nd 2012


17019 Comments


agreed

ProjectFreak
November 22nd 2012


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

and this is where mike learned to never feed the trolls

Captain North
November 22nd 2012


6787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Even though I totally disagree, I had to pos because this is probably the best written review yet posted, so huge round of applause there

ProjectFreak
November 22nd 2012


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

thanks bro means a lot

sixdegrees
November 22nd 2012


17019 Comments


yea I pos'd good review okay jeez

4N4LB34D5
November 22nd 2012


284 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review man. You get your point across really well and it's a very smooth, easy read. Anyone who negs this is a troll. Pos!

ProjectFreak
November 22nd 2012


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

speak of the devil...

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


14305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This needed another review so bad.

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstrung

someguest
November 22nd 2012


20525 Comments


We needed this review like we needed another user with a preschool animation fascination.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
November 22nd 2012


14305 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yes.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 22nd 2012


10593 Comments


This was a really great read, man. I agree with many of your points and that summary is perfect. The intro paragraph is a little long winded for barely linking to the rest of the review, but overall it works decently and shows off some personality. Good job, pos.

Puzzles
November 22nd 2012


3065 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

"Even though I totally disagree, I had to pos because this is probably the best written review yet posted, so huge round of applause there"

bahah not even close. Xenophanes' review kills this

Captain North
November 22nd 2012


6787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Eh, maybe I only read an the first version and he's changed it since, but a lot of Eli's wording was clunky and it seemed rushed.

Youtellme
November 22nd 2012


1351 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Pos'd for writing but you're wrong because of reasons so fuk u.

FrozenVain
November 22nd 2012


2430 Comments


Oh my damn, youtellme. I'm sorry, but I will have to neg that comment.

Minus.
November 22nd 2012


2680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, but I disagree completely. And the part where you said "Deftones have dug themselves into a hole" was really fucking stupid.

renegadestrings
November 22nd 2012


1442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think i'm the only person on sputnik who loves Poltergeist. this album is still in the air for me, not sure where it stands yet



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