Queens of the Stone Age
Lullabies to Paralyze


4.0
excellent

Review

by Simon CONTRIBUTOR (232 Reviews)
March 17th, 2016 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A crossroads album, or the real deal?

2005's Lullabies To Paralyze is the textbook underrated gem; overshadowed by the band's first three stellar entries, Queens fourth outing is the first to be without co-founder and wild man, Nick Oliveri. Songwriting duties fell entirely on Homme, with anticipation and anxiety for the album, fans were left to ponder if the ringleader could maintain the same standard of quality without Nick. However, it's evident after listening to the album's first three tracks that this LP thwarts any worry and delivers the goods, albeit in a different way to previous efforts. Up to this point in their career, Lullabies To Paralyze is the band's most dark and atmospheric record yet: spacey and mysterious, tracks like "Everybody Knows That You're Insane" and "Little Sister" pack the groove of Songs for the Deaf with the simplicity of their debut, but bring an ominous, evil bite that separate themselves from their peers. There's some sleazy, swaggering moments on here like "You've Got A Killer Scene There, Man..." and "Broken Box," which urge the listener to sit back, chill and let the song do the rest; while the Zeppelin-esque "Someone's In The Wolf" and "Tangled Up In Plaid" bring the infectious grooves and spacey harmonies needed to bring a decent level of variety to the LP.

There's very rarely a dull moment here, and while the compositions aren't as high profile as the ones found on the first three albums, it has to be understood that Lullabies To Paralyze was never meant to be like that. This one (and the two albums after it) requires a little more time to find all its subtleties, but, put the time in and you will be rewarded by the end of it. A couple of digestible, easy listening tunes such as "In My Head", which is the album's straight forward radio-rock song, and "Medication" will prick up the attention of even the most stubborn-minded listener; while slightly more alienating tracks like "Skin On Skin" are harder to warm to, but once your head's adjusted, you'll see Homme takes his vocals to new levels. But its biggest praise is most certainly the consistent atmosphere, which captures the artwork for the album perfectly. So the best way to experience this album is to go into the darkness with your dim light, and let QOTSA guide you through it all.

Excellent.

Editions: CD, C̶D̶/̶D̶V̶D̶, V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶, M̶P̶3̶

Packaging: Standard Jewelcase.

Special Edition: The UK version of the album contains two extra tracks: "Like A Drug" and "Precious And Grace", both decent additions to the album, and are fronted by guest vocalist, ZZ TOP's, Billy Gibbons. The DVD for the special edition contains music videos and behind the scenes footage.



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other reviews of this album

Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2016


15075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As always, constructive criticism welcome, guys.

Digging: HEALTH - VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR

BHAR
March 17th 2016


231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A bit short, but I pos'd. Album is awesome

XingKing
March 17th 2016


14398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The real underrated gem is Era Vulgaris, solid review though.

PumpBoffBag
March 17th 2016


935 Comments


very nice writeup as always gonzo

Archelirion
March 17th 2016


5639 Comments


Neat little write up dude, I'll throw a pos your way. When you say 'while the compositions aren't as high profile', what is it you mean, exactly?
A Long Slow Goodbye is just a fantastic ending. Love the horn section that finishes it.

Shemson
March 17th 2016


1333 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think it's a hidden gem in every way. Most of the songs remain hidden too until multiple listens when you suddenly realise they've burrowed into your mind.



Review is short but sweet and I agree with most of what you're saying.

DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2016


19992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Intro to Someones in the Wolf is great. Everyone Knows You're Insane is a classic too. I find overall the atmosphere is a bit too much of a dirge to rank among their best

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
March 17th 2016


14990 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hey the best qotsa album

DoofusWainwright
March 17th 2016


19992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Their other albums I'd class as 'uppers' in mood, this one is more of a 'downer', so I can get why some would like it the most - it's unique in their discog

Ocean of Noise
March 17th 2016


10463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album, love the variety here.

Digging: Buckethead - Sunken Parlor

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2016


15075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"When you say 'while the compositions aren't as high profile', what is it you mean, exactly?"



As in they aren't designed to be larger than life and in-your-face; all the songs on here feel low-key. Maybe down to Nick's absence? Definitely a change of energy on any Queens album post SFTD.



Cheers guys. And you're right Xing, Era is even more underrated.





EvoHavok
March 17th 2016


7676 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, concise review! My 3rd favourite QOTSA.

Digging: Swallow the Sun - When A Shadow Is Forced Into The Light

claygurnz
March 17th 2016


5137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good stuff here, though far from best Queens.

OwlProg
March 17th 2016


2 Comments


Good review. Great album. It's not QOTSA's best (imo, it's Queens Of The Stone Age) but it is up there.

Spigot
March 17th 2016


39 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought the review was a bit unnecessary, but it was still quite good (it benefitted from being short and sweet haha). Album rules of course

bloc
March 18th 2016


54363 Comments


I always feel like this is the forgotten QOTSA album. It's definitely got a different sound but I LOVE it.

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CaptainAaarrrggghhh
March 19th 2016


425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've always felt the last 3 tracks of the album lacking but all the rest is very tight and offers a completely different vibe compared to the celebrated SFTD. Apart from maybe "In My Head" and "Little Sister" but they are catchy enough on their own to offer some earworming pleasure



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