Top critical review
A Sprawling Mess ?
on 27 December 2015
Somebody needed to tighten up this indigestible, 16 track sprawling mess of an album (66:10), and exercise quality control, based around the first 8 songs. The quality dips on tracks 9-14, and then there are 2 bonus tracks, which are (marginally) better than I expected.
On what should have been the closing song, 'Long Slow Goodbye' (6:49) the track ends prematurely. In the 2 minutes remaining, there is a 'hidden track', of little significance. Is it the 'lost' or 'misplaced' tape listed in the sleeve-notes, called 'The Fun Machine' ?
On this long CD, vocally there is a lack of variety, despite appearances by Mark Lanegan & Billy Gibbons of 'ZZ Top'. Josh Homme's voice is not really strong enough to carry a whole 1 hour plus album. As I have said before, come back Nick Oliveri !
As stated, the first 8 tracks contain the best songs, such as 'Tangled Up In Plaid', the slower paced 'I Never Came', and 'In My Head', a version of which first appeared on 2003's 'Desert Sessions' (volumes 9 & 10). 'Little Sister' was granted an unlikely single release.
Although some fans have expressed a liking for the lengthy 'Someone's In The Wolf' (7:15), I remain unimpressed with this nightmarish track which has ghostly vocals, and an erratic rhythm.
I could comment on the other songs, but I couldn't really be bothered. The album is probably worth 3.5 stars, for it's better moments.