on 25 March 2005
The rush of lengthy reviews for this album are a little tiresome, as is the ridiculous snobery of the reviewer who assumes that a fellow reviewer hasn't listened to QOTSA albums before 'Songs for the Deaf'simply because he alludes to the absence of Dave Grohl- get over yourself man!! The politics aside, this album is a joy. Guitar heaven from start to finish; highlights are the lush 'I never came' which does not 'drag on' as stated by a previous reviewer, but highlights the versatility of Nick's voice, and in placing this track straight after the excellent lead single 'Little Sister' ensures maximum impact. Other high points include CD opener 'This Lullaby' and the fantastic 'Broken Box'. As a whole, the album flows beautifully, yet is more experimental than 'Rated R' and 'SFTD'. Personally speaking I would say 'Lullabies To Paralyze' is the most complete QOTSA album. Bring on Carling Leeds 2005....
on 15 April 2005
Initial signs for this album weren't promising. The sudden departure of Nick Olivieri marked the departure of the only constant member of Josh Homme's ever-changing QOTSA line-up, and Olivieri seemed as essential to the band as Homme himself. Things could've gone so easily awry for album number 4.
However Josh Homme's track record with other projects (notably Desert Sessions) should've been enough to confirm that he is more than capable of going it alone. Lullabies to Paralyze is a testament to this.
Impressively, the first two songs are knocked off within little more than 3 minutes. The gentle acoustics and tortured-larynx Mark Lanegan vocals of This Lullaby give way to the chugging, razor-sharp Medication, which sounds like a two-minute statement of intent.
The following track is arguably the album's highlight. Everybody Knows That You're Insane starts up as a wailing rock dirge, before a neat shift in tempo takes you into the simple and insanely catchy chorus. Tangled Up In Plaid and Burn The Witch are also superb, both stomp-along anthems of the highest order, before the album's most accessible poppy moment, In Your Head (which also appeared in the Desert Sessions).
Little Sister is fine, if somewhat underwhelming as a lead-off single, whilst I Never Came portrays a subtlety previously unregistered in QOTSA's past works. But it's the next two tracks, Someone's In The Wolf and The Blood Is Love that provide the album's backbone. Both lengthy, brooding, power-chord heavy anthems, they sit perfectly alongside one another. Both recall QOTSA's ability to find a great riff, and then completely bludgeon you with it.
The next three tracks show a dramatic shift in mood, and are amongst the sleaziest things QOTSA have done. The fuzzed out Skin On Skin is a lust fuelled romp, "I hate to see you leave, but I like to watch you go" being one of its more subtle lyrics. Broken Box is like Skin On Skin's angry hangover, whilst You Got A Killer Scene slows things down, but is no less sexy.
That leaves Long Slow Goodbye to tie things up. It's a fitting end, beautiful, but forlorn, and complete with trumpet dirge. Oh, and as ever, the bonus tracks are worthwhile additions as well, Like A Drug portraying Homme's songwriting range in the same way The Mosquito Song did on Songs For The Deaf.
To say that Olivieri isn't missed from proceedings would be a little naïve. Ultimately the album lacks a moment as unhinged as, say, Millionaire. But without Nick, Josh Homme has been able to seize the reins fully, and as a result this is QOTSA's most diverse work to date. To say it's better or worse than anything else they've done is like comparing coffee with tea: it's purely a matter of taste. But whether you regard QOTSA as a band or a Josh Homme side-project, the QOTSA name remains a stamp of quality.
Key moments: Everybody Knows That You're Insane, Tangled Up In Plaid, Someone's In The Wolf, Long Slow Goodbye
on 21 March 2005
Over the last ten years The Queens of the Stone Age have consistently offered the perfect blend of talent and originality. With each new album, a new mesh of fragmented perverse thoughts have been combined with mold-breaking visions of song structure. In each of these albums artist line-ups have changed, but the core structure, Nick Oliveri and Josh Holmes, has remained constant. And with Nick's forced departure from the band, cynics have predicted the downfall of one of the modern great rock bands. However, Josh's perservering genious in Lullabies to Paralyze has proven the resilience of Queens.
Their fourth and newest album, Lullabies to Paralyze, contains more simple, less guitar heavy songs. The first single, Little Sister, represents the change in direction of the band. In it a repititious riff is combined with a cowbell, which can best be described as a metronome. The song ends with a radio unfriendly, wonderfully perverse minute long guitar solo.
Everybody Know's Your Insane is the only noticable departure from this catalyst, containing a soft and screechy one minute entrance. It then hurls into a pounding chorus, leading into two minutes of fast paced, guitar driven bliss.
While many claim this simplicity to be the demise of the band, it is in fact the repositioning of a band never meant for mainstream America. Every album they made, including Lullabies to Paralyze, has contained a coherence of darkness that, if noticed by TRL motivated listeners, would only last briefly.
The popularity of Lullabies to Paralyze will most likely reflect this unpopularity, especially since their next single appears to be Someone's in the Wolf. This seven minute song is the darkest on the album, containing hounding vocals and a twisted ringing guitar melody. A sixty second preview of the video can be seen at [...] The video contains knives, wolves, and a defenseless woman. Need I say more?
And to Kyuss fans who need Queens to be heavier, Nick may still have a future with Josh and the band. The legendary duo have agreed to work with each other on Nick's new Mondo Generator album, and express a desire to work together on other future projects.
Expect to see more from Queens of the Stone Age, just not on MTV.
on 25 March 2005
Having only heard 'little sister' up to this point, my hands were clammy with excitment putting 'Lullabies to Paralyse' into the cd tray. I was a little dissapointed at first as this did not live up to my expectations after 'Songs for the Deaf'. That was my mistake, how could anything live up to what is arguably one of the best albums ever. After two more listens, I was hooked. Nick Oliveri is clearly missing, and missed, but this still rocks. Rumours abound that Nick and Josh are resolving their differences so hopefully this is only a temporary absence? This album proves once again that QOTSA are one of the most versatile and original bands out there today. QOTSA fans will buy this regardless of reviews but if you are new to QOTSA buy 'Songs for the Deaf' first, once converted, buy everything else and explore the desert! Was tempted to give this 4 stars but I know it will deserve 5 after another couple of listens. Enjoy?
on 20 March 2005
I listened to this album pre-release on NME.com and I have to say I was completely blown away! It's the kind of album that you listen to a few times and your favourite track changes with every single listen.
Having bought and loved the 3 previous Queens Of The Stone Age albums, I had very high hopes for the latest offering, and I have to say it doesn't disappoint on any level. I don't usually write reviews, but the poor reviews on here inspired me to. They have absolutely no bearing on the album at all! I don't know if the idiots in question actually even bothered to listen to this record.
I don't usually rate many albums first listen as I'm the kind of person that likes a grower. However this gripped me immediately. The opening track Lullaby eases you in, with the very special vocals of former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan. It gets you thinking Josh has mellowed since Songs For the Deaf. Then Medication kicks in and you realise that the Queens are back on form and have lost none of their talent for catchy riffs. In fact the first 9 songs on this album are as near perfection as Josh Homme has ever achieved, and leaves you wondering how they can possibly improve on this the next time around?
I won't review each track on the album, as each stands up completely on it's own merits. Josh has clearly been influenced by the brilliant Desert Sessions CD's, and that can only be a good thing as far as I'm concerned. However I will pay a special mention to a few stand out tracks. For me the pick of this offering are Tangled Up In Plaid, Burn The Witch, In My Head (taken from Desert Sessions 9 & 10), Someones In The Wolf, Broken Box and You Got A Killer Scene (featuring Shirley Manson & Brody Dalle).
To be honest I feel bad singling any of these tracks out from each other. I promise you if you like anything that Josh has offered in the past you will seriously fall in love with this. If Lullabies is a grower then I can't imagine how much I will love it in a few weeks time, because I fell in love with it completely from the very first listen.
Buy it. I promise you won't be disappointed. Highly recommended!!!!
on 3 April 2005
I have been waiting for a year for this album and it hasn't disapointed. Being a huge QOSTA fan I wasn't sure what Nicks departure would mean for the really heavy songs after listening to Josh's Desert Sessions which was much more melow in style. But all of the tracks are absolutely brilliant with catchy riffs and amazing drumming. Its is definately less heavy without Nick's screaming lyrics but there are still really excellent rock tracks to be had. Burn The Witch, Little Sister and Something's In the Wolf are my personal fave tracks.
Lullabies to Paralyze DVD edition has the added bonus of giving us a unique insight into their recording style and personalities, which we've not had chance to see before.
All in all buy this record it is definately the best record I have bought in 04/05.
on 5 June 2005
If only because you need to take a seriously DEEP breath before plunging into the Mars Volta's awesome new opus, the slightly more user-friendly QOTSA beat them by a nose for album of the year so far. As is almost always the case, American music mercilessly stomps British music on every conceivable level. Why anyone would seriously prefer weak-kneed poseurs like Bloc Party and the Kaiser Chiefs over:
1.) pounding psychedelic power-punk ('Medication')
2.) blankly psychotic juggernaut pop ('Everybody Knows That You're Insane')
3.) eerie voodoo harmonies so pitch-perfect that Brian Wilson may as well retire right now ('In My Head' and 'Broken Box')
4.) what appears to be the White Stripes simultaneously overdosed on steroids and ayahuasca (the brilliant, irresistable 'Burn The Witch')
or 5.) molasses-slow sludge orgasms you could get lost in the revolving patterns of for days ('Someone's In The Wolf')
...is beyond my ken.
No Nick, yes, okay, he is missed a little; you ask me, Josh should replace him with David Yow, ex of the Jesus Lizard, for his all-new slavering court jester foil. And only one vocal from the godlike Mark Lanegan (alright, he's only godlike 'cos he has the same birthday as me...but still an astounding singer) - the forbidding, Nick Cave-like opener 'This Lullabye'; dusk settling in Blair Witch country...
It's not every day there comes along an album so good it makes your mouth bloody well WATER.
on 9 March 2006
Ok so there is no Nick Oliveri, but who cares? Troy Van Leeuwen and Alain Johannes are better musicians anyway, and without Nick there are no rubbish "shouting" filler tracks. Anyone remember the ear achingly awful "Six Shooter" from Songs for the deaf, the only bad song on the album? This just goes to show that QOTSA always was about the awesome Josh Homme. This album has a dark, twisted edge to it, provided by Hommes fuzzy guitar grooves and the scary lyrics. Standout songs are "Medication", "Everybody knows that you're insane", "Burn the witch", and "Someones in the Wolf". "Little Sister" is also a brilliantly catchy single. All the other songs are good. Buy this album and hear the mighty QOTSA at their best!
on 14 March 2005
Remember how you felt when you first heard Songs For The Deaf? I remember liking about 3 of the songs and generally skipping the rest. Get out of that mindset now. If you can't bear to listen to this record - an archetypal "grower" if I ever heard one - more than twice, then you don't understand how to give music a chance.
A Song For The Deaf was always my favourite song on SFTD; with Lullabies to Paralyse, once you get past the fact that yes, there aren't really any Oliveri-screamy songs on there (but try Skin On Skin for a mean slab of meaty riff), you can again appreciate the intricacies of Homme & Co's talents. Listen to Someone's In the Wolf: subtle laying of lead guitars through the song's progression, true QOTSA harmonies, a spittingly evil pre-chorus leading to a chorus that I seriously cannot get the mirrored drums to out of my head. Not that I want to.
The quickfire Medication slips seamlessly into Everybody Knows That You're Insane, a powerful thrash of a song that invades your ears in a way only QOTSA can manage. You've already heard Little Sister, Broken Box is insanely sing-along, leaping into the dark Grimm fairy tale that is You've Got A Killer Scene, which also picks up on the human's subconscious love for songs with wordless phrases (read: Hey Jude, or the excellent E-Pro from Beck - Guero) - both powerful but in altogether polarised ways. It's this ability to entangle you in such a wealth of diversity that makes QOTSA what they really are.
It took about 4 or 5 hearings, but I've fallen into a dark, edgy lust with every song from this album. And if you have any senses then you just might too.
on 29 March 2005
I'm certain that Josh Homme intended that 'Lullabies to Paralyze' be listened to, loudly, whilst doing the dishes. As I was stood at the sink last Monday night, hands covered in suds, with the third track on this album, 'Everybody Knows that You're Insane', blaring out, I knew this album would turn out to be all that I had hoped it would be.
My other half came into the kitchen. She shot the speakers a terse look, and then scowled at me. "That's crap", she said. Now, 'er indoors likes to listen to a bit of 'Keane' in the car. She's also partial to the jazz tendencies of 'Jamie Cullum'. And thus I was relieved that this new 'QOTSA' set wasn't up her street, just as a few years earlier, 'Songs For the Deaf' was proclaimed 'too heavy'.
So, if you're after a record with the necessary ooomph to get you through the dishes quicksmart, that will also keep the little lady in the front room, glued to the soaps, then buy this album.
I can't say it's better or worse than the previous 3 'QOTSA' outings, but I would say that it's more expansive and diverse collection of songs.