Deftones – “Sextape”
Despite a gradual decline over the past ten years, Deftones began the decade with a bang. Diamond Eyes is a gorgeous, flourishing heavy rock album – featuring a phenomenal blend of screaming and atmospheric nu-metal. There are plenty of heavier songs that would also be deserving in this spot, but there’s simply no denying the lush, erotic undertones that course throughout “Sextape.” The song flows gradually, tensing and building until it reaches its cathartic release. The lyrics, while simple, manage to be poetic and transparent at the same time: “Watch you wave your powers, tempt with hours of pleasure / Take me one more time, take me one more wave, take me for one last ride…I’m out of my head tonight / The sound of the waves collide…”
It could be Deftones’ greatest ballad, and that’s thanks in part to Chino’s unreal vocal performance. He sounds like he’s gliding in and out of existence, coming in strong on the verses and then fading into those gorgeous refrains. In fact it’s hard to think of another Deftones song that does so little instrumentally yet is so striking, mesmerizing, and addictive. Sometimes a song just has an incredible core/melodic backbone, and doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. This song embodies that essential quality.
I’d argue with anyone that Diamond Eyes is at least as good as White Pony, and songs like “Sextape” only help me prove my point. It’s sprawling and dream-like, yet very tangible and impactful. For a nu-metal/heavy rock band to compose a track as ethereal and tantalizing as this takes an extra gear, and Deftones have proven themselves for years to be a band capable of sounding brilliant regardless of the particular dynamic they want to chase. Here, they’re chasing perfection.