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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Da best eazy listenin' album in da world. Not.."
It's a bit of a funny one, this... Almost a statement of intent rather than just another album:

As has already been stated numerous times, this is certainly one album that takes a bit of getting used to. If you're just discovering QOTSA this probably isn't a great starting point and even if you're already a bit of a fan it probably won't grab you straight...
Published on 23 Dec 2007 by D. Hall

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not brilliant
People keep saying that this one will grow on you after a few listens but its still not doing anything for me. Im sure everyone has their own reasons for loving this band and hears different things that appeal to them. For me this is completely lacking in the depth, atmosphere and drama of their previous releases. All their albums are different and tend to have a...
Published on 23 Jun 2007 by Mr. B. W. Alexander


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Da best eazy listenin' album in da world. Not..", 23 Dec 2007
By 
D. Hall (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
It's a bit of a funny one, this... Almost a statement of intent rather than just another album:

As has already been stated numerous times, this is certainly one album that takes a bit of getting used to. If you're just discovering QOTSA this probably isn't a great starting point and even if you're already a bit of a fan it probably won't grab you straight away.

For one thing, you'll have to get your head around the way it's been mixed - On first listen certain high frequencies you'd expect to hear in a music recording simply aren't there, meaning that the album sits in a slightly uncomfortable, not-quite-low-fi sounding grey area... And if you're anything like me (ie. already concerned that you listen to far too much loud music) it might cause you to panic temporarily in the belief that you've gone fifty per cent deaf overnight. Repeated listens however, will reveal that the album is actually quite cleverly mixed and although it may not sound particularly conventional, somehow it helps the album to feel that little bit more twisted and awkward and a bit, well, seedy really.

Once you've gotten used to the mix you then have to contend with the hugely raw, angular nature of the songs. Genuine use of melody is pretty sparse but therein lies the secret of this album - The more you listen to it, the more little hooks and catchy lyrics start to leap out at you seemingly from nowhere, and that's when the cleverness of it all dawns on you. It's almost as if the songs in their entirety aren't really the focal point of the album at all but are merely Generation Game style conveyor belts laiden with lots of cool stuff and the occaisional grand prize; a means of keeping everything moving along until you see something you really like.

This is a daring album in the sense that it will cause even the biggest of QOTSA fans to abandon their preconceptions of where the band is (or isn't) headed, and to once again face the music with a completely open mind, and in that sense it's actually quite refreshing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 30 Dec 2009
This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
Ok,so to start with, I'm not gonna mention THAT album (apart from just then). Seriously though, 5 years in the world of music is a long time. The only real constant since then has been Homme himself, who seems to grow with confidence and audacity as a composer with each release.

Take the opener, turn on the screw. The trademark gush of guitars is there, but timed to perfection with joshes' groaning(in a good way) and the static drumming. Which means that I don't mind when it breaks down into the same guitar solo and the same abrupt finish that seems more at homme on livelier tracks. what follows is nothing short of a monster of a track, (which I won't describe since thousands of reviewers will have focused on it previously) but even that finds its' match here. A choice track could be the eerily good 'into the hollow' or singles 'make it wit chu' and '3's and 7's'. Despite the air of disappointment surrounding the album, I find myself glaring at the fools expecting sftd 2. If that album was a trip cross the desert, and lullabies a haunting grimm fairy tale, then this album is nothing of the sort. qotsa seem to have captured the essence of life in a 50's power station (not like I'd know), and that suits me just fine.

Don't believe the doubters. Find it. Buy it. Love it.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Am i listening to the same album????, 4 July 2007
By 
Gigs (Christchurch, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
Seriously, i cant believe anyone would give this album such a low score. I can only assume these people heard "No-one Knows", and thought all QOTSA was from the same mould. This is, in my opinion, the best and most consistent QOTSA album. Every tune has the weird, grungey, dirty feel which i so love about there music. It is almost unclassifiable, and all the better for it. This is'nt Bon Jovi, this is a challenging ride which is a very rewarding experience. Listen to it a few times and the subtle groove which cuts through the entire album comes to the fore. Stand out tracks are "Sick, sick, sick" and "Make it Witchu", but every track is a gem. Buy it and make your own mind up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best QOTSA album yet, 9 Jan 2009
This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
I never used to be more than a casual fan of this band, but this album has changed all that. The rhythms are complex and pounding, lyrics intelligent and razor sharp, and when they slow down for tracks such as "Make it Wit Chu" they display their diversity and cool.

Buy this if you are sick, sick, sick of the bland music-by numbers that fills the charts. This is QOTSA's most consistently brilliant album yet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Killer Queens Album!!, 4 July 2007
By 
Matthew Lewis (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
Absolutely brilliant QOTSA album, with loads of future classics throughout the track listing. My only gripe is the new version of "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu" but that's only because I know the Desert Sessions original.

I ordered my copy through this listing and received the German Edition of the album, which has the regular artwork and tracklisting with the new re-recorded version of "The Fun Machine Took A S**t And Died" as the sole bonus track instead of the UK version which features "Running Joke" and "Era Vulgaris" as bonus tracks. Just personal preference, but I think the German tracklisting is far more streamlined and works better than the UK version, while obsessive fans may prefer the Japanese import version which has "Running Joke", "Era Vulgaris" AND "TFMTASAD" as bonus tracks...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Like an Ice cream on a cold winters day, 20 Feb 2008
This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
I must admit that after the first few listens I wasn't convinced and put the CD away. A few months ago I was reading some reviews for this disc and the guys were raving about it. I put the tunes back on my IPOD to give it another try and whaddya know, I like it! It is so different than their other stuff so perhaps my pre-conceived notions impacted my ability to really hear this CD. I think their are some amazing songs on this CD like "Sick, Sick, Sick" and "Misfit Love" , "Into the HOllow" and the very cool "Suture up my Future". I would have to say that It isn't my favourite Queens CD, but most definately it's worth 4 stars.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not brilliant, 23 Jun 2007
By 
Mr. B. W. Alexander "Demonic Upchuck" (Southampton UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
People keep saying that this one will grow on you after a few listens but its still not doing anything for me. Im sure everyone has their own reasons for loving this band and hears different things that appeal to them. For me this is completely lacking in the depth, atmosphere and drama of their previous releases. All their albums are different and tend to have a distinctive vibe that runs all the way through - with Era I can certainly hear what Homme et al were trying with this when he said about it having a kind of trashy LA Hollywood feel. They seem to have captured the vibe but its let down by an almost complete lack of memorable tunes / hooks this time around. The jams are all pretty repetetive and indistinctive. I generally feel its a lower standard of songwriting. Queens have always had melodies / riffs that bend my ear in unexpected ways and for me, they're just not present on Era. I also felt that the kind of robotic, electronic-y production didn't sit well with a lot of the tunes. Whilst that was clearly a deliberate artistic choice by the band, i really wasn't feeling it - didn't sound like a rock band playing as a band to me. Just generally a bit disappointed really. Never mind, im sure they can write another brilliant album in time! Anyway, by the look of the other mainly positive reviews here plenty of people are getting their kicks out of it, so its cool.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars grows like a fungus, 26 Jan 2008
By 
G. D. Belton "lankyfopp" (nottingham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
I'd just like to echo the popular opinion that this is probably the best demonstration of what is meant by the term "a grower". The production, the discordant sound of some of the tracks, the sprawling arrangement of the songs: it all is a bit much at first and I was gutted when i first listened to it. However, now I am a convert and have listened to the album countless times as the complexity and beauty of it slowly emerges. It's a unique piece of work and brave too as it will certainly put off many of the less patient SFTD fans who would probably like to see QOFTSA head in a more Foo Fighters direction. Thak God josh is the kind of geezer who values his music above his bank balance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy yet brilliantly crafted., 13 Jan 2009
By 
G. Nash "wondergeorge123" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
I own all the other albums so bought this one without reading any reviews or even listening to a track! As soon as I put it on I knew I was going to love it! Weirdly, the first track "Turnin the Screw" really reminded me of Elastica, not sure if anyone else thought that? Anyway the album is excellent. Catchy riffs and really clever songs. I'd recommend it. It's on a par with "Songs for the Deaf" which is my fav QOTSA album. Buy it!!
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stands up as a great rock record, 13 Jun 2007
This review is from: Era Vulgaris (Audio CD)
As a major fan, upon first listen I was immensely intrigued by this release, but not immediately hooked. This is an album that begs you to play it over and over so that you can unearth something new every time you put it on. And it certainly delivers on that lingering promise.

Any new Queens album now suffers as a result of automatically being held up against the now-classic Songs for the Deaf, but doing this is a huge mistake on two levels. Firstly, not many albums can come close to matching the perfection of that record - it was one of those magic one-offs, a moment in time you could get lost in. Secondly, one should consider the two excellent albums that pre-dated SFTD - their excellent self-titled debut and, still my personal favourite, the gloriously hedonistic Rated R. Viewed in relation to their entire back catalogue, the progression to Era Vulgaris starts to make much more sense.

While their two previous albums have seen the revolving door in full-swing, they've certainly to me had the feel of Josh Homme solo projects. Certainly, Lullabies suffered as a result of, first and foremost directly following SFTD, but also being the first post-Nick Oliveri album. In addition, poor old Joey Castillo had the amazingly hard feat of following Dave Grohl's breathtaking guest turn on the third record.

Not that Lullabies was a bad record by any stretch - it was at times daring, always dark and moody and threw up some classic tracks - The Blood Is Love, Someone's In The Wolf, I Never Came and Burn the Witch among others have all gone down as classics already. The album's only downfall was it's timing, and possibly being a little over-long.

And so we come to Era Vulgaris. After two albums of Homme plus whoever feels like dropping by, this is the once again the sound of a band binding together. That's why on first listen it most instantly draws comparison to Rated R - more direct, tighter, shorter tracks. However, it is also the least commercial release since their debut, but I don't think this hinders it. The classic Queens blueprint is instantly recognisable - heavy riffing and the great hooks are still there. You just have to give them more time to ingrain themselves into your psyche...which they inevitably do.

Homme has mentioned how Joey Castillo and Troy van Leeuwen have had considerable input into this record, and the majority of this album has unusually grown organically in a more conventional band/studio process, and hence the reason this sounds more like a "band" record rather than a bunch of random musicians all chipping in.

But what of the most important aspect - the songs? Many people will have heard the Julian Casablancas-assisted Sick, Sick, Sick, as well as the first single 3s & 7s. While the former signals a slight departure in sound, it's relentless and building fuzzed-up hook is irresistible. The latter is one of the more interesting songs on the record - it's like 3 great tracks fused into one giant monster of a tune. Listen to it over and over and you'll never get bored.

I'm Designer carries a more minimalist, almost robotic sound reminiscent of Rated R's Leg of Lamb. Although this feels like a return to Rated R-era Queens, sonically, it's much more experimental than the first two albums - fusing elements of Industrial and New Wave into their classic desert rock sound.

Mark Lanegan only leads one track on the record this time, for the galloping wail of River in the Road, while Josh Homme does his best Lanegan impression on the outstanding Into the Hollow. I was stunned to learn in a recent interview with Homme that it isn't actually Lanegan singing on this track. Anyway, this tune is right up there. Mid-paced, brooding and intense, the song burns a hole right into your soul. It's like a more pumped-up version of the beautiful I Never Came. Not surprising seeing as this track came together directly after Lullabies. This one gets better ever time I hear it.

Another of the more interesting songs is Suture Up Your Future. With its unsettling yet beguiling vibe, this is a song that slithers its way into your head and doesn't leave for weeks. This also wouldn't have been out of place on Lullabies.

Make It Wit Chu is still a beauty of a tune, and definitely stands up to the original Desert Session version - although I'm sure many would disagree with me on that! Misfit Love grinds and pounds like Terminator on steroids and is simply meant to be played very very LOUD.

This is a 4/5 album for me as it contains one definite filler - Battery Acid goes nowhere and you feel was written by Josh in his sleep. It's QOTSA by numbers. Also, album opener Turning On The Screw sounds like a good idea, but half-finished.

Otherwise, this is a superb album. Like I said, don't expect another Songs for the Deaf. That ain't going to happen. Just marvel at a band who never rest on their laurels, always deliver, and on this evidence, look like they may continue to take their pulsating heavy-riffing magic in a new and interesting, but always compelling direction every time they converge in the studio.

No other band around right now does what they do. Ambitious, innovative and I can't stop listening to it. Highly recommended.
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Era Vulgaris by Queens Of The Stone Age
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