on 17 June 2013
I have never written a review on Amazon (or anywhere else for that matter) but I feel compelled to write on for QOTSA's latest offering as I cannot believe it is not averaging 5 stars, nor do I find it a fair reflection reading other reviews comparing ...Like Clockwork to previous QOTSA efforts (or even TCV).
Before I start on ...Like Clockwork, an album review should be judged on what is played out in front of you, not based on the band's previous albums. I whole heartedly agree that both Rated R and Songs for the Deaf were truly remarkable albums, deserving of 5 stars, yet I have rated other albums 5 stars that are only half as good as ...Like Clockwork. People are saying they are disappointed there is none of the 'in your face' songs that was more evident on the two aforementioned albums, but this was only provided when Oliveri was on board and had more influence on the output. QOTSA certainly have progressed, matured even, from their early albums and fans of those albums shouldn't expect a repeat of "Rated R" or "Songs For The Deaf", these days are gone now. "Rated R", "Songs for the Deaf" are immense albums and always will be held in high esteem as they should be, but if Josh & co were to merely repeat them, their strength as albums would be diluted (and those who accuse QOTSA of sounding the same would actually then have a vaild point).
I have been a QOTSA fan since the beginning and Kyuss before them. I find each of the QOTSA albums different, which for me is great. I admit LTP and EV had some below par stuff, but, to me, were still pretty decent albums. ...Like Clockwork is nothing short of a masterpiece, there is no filler on here. Once I streamed the album, I was instantly hooked. Each track is full of it's own brilliance and I'm finding myself not skipping any track. There are stand outs, but each to our own as to what they are, but for the record mine are "If I had a Tail", I can't stop my head bopping up and down in time with the beat and feeling the swagger I associate with QOTSA, "I Sat By the Ocean" and the magnificent, yet sombre, "I Appear Missing" - a pure odyssey. "Smooth Sailing" is also a great track that would not be out of place on TCV's album (which for me another good album despite the rumblings on some of the revies here. sure it's no brilliant but there are some great tracks). There may not be the aforementioned rough, in your face punching songs but what is on here is dark, gloomy and captivating songs that almost absorb you into their unique aura and at times, character. Some of these rock and have several layers that are all intricately pieced together while others are more stripped back to just Josh's supreme vocals with a piano. Each track takes me on a journey, with Josh telling a story - albeit not very happy ones but most definately emotional and intense. ...Like Clockwork is another piece of evidence of his strong song & lyric writing skills.
...Like Clockwork is a solid album full of beautifully crafted and instantly grabbing melodies & lyrics, almost individual stories, that stay established your head. I read somewhere that the key to a successful album is a coherent yet eclectic mix of songs and ...Like Clockwork is certainly that to me.
As I said at start, I have never written a review before, nor am I by any means a writer (was average at best in English- all those years ago) but I hope I got my point across to you.
on 13 November 2013
This is a brilliant album. I have listened to most of QOTSA albums and Josh Homme's other work (TCV)and never fail to be impressed by their work. Other reviewers have said that this one doesn't have the 'head-banger' appeal of older albums. I agree, but I think that they have moved on to a more mature product. I particularly like the title track and the falsetto singing which works well on that track. I listened to a live version of this track before I bought the album and really liked the intricate guitar work on the instrumental break. The album version, I felt, was slightly over-produced in comparison, but I still like it. Not a duff track and thoroughly recommended.
on 11 June 2013
I fear to make such a bold statement, but I believe ...Like Clockwork reaches and indeed surpasses the lofty heights of Songs For The Deaf. The two albums seem fairly incomparable but I'm making the comparison anyway because ...Like Clockwork deserves the same kind of extravagant praise.
This is Queens as a fresh, matured and reflective outfit. Homme calls on some past musicians for aid (Grohl, Nick) and some new musicians for interesting collaborations (Elton John, Trent Reznor, Alex Turner) to hone this cohesive mix of grooves and lamentations.
Those looking for stomping riffs ripping through the album may not be wholly satisfied for ...Like Clockwork is an album not of subtleties, but certainly more intricately arranged and designed than say, some of the frantic jams on SFTD or Rated R. However, those people can be compensated by the heaviness (in mood as well as tone) of 'I Appear Missing' which is possibly the most emotive and breath-taking track here. 'My God Is The Sun' offers that immediate rocker need for solid riffs whilst 'Smooth Sailing' and 'If I Had A Tail' offer a groovier, funkier twist akin to the grooves on Era Vulgaris. There's plenty for everyone, and the key to a successful album is a coherent yet eclectic mix of songs and ...Like Clockwork is exactly that.
...Like Clockwork has a better fluidity to it than Lullabies To Paralyze or Era Vulgaris. It can almost be viewed as a concept album for its lyrical content alone, but the excellent final mix of the album flows so incredibly well that it feels blasphemous to dip in and out of the album (just as well I'm buying the vinyl).
Newcomers, veterans, and general music lovers, do yourself a favour and pick up this extraordinary album. Queens always manage to keep it interesting, and this time they've toned down the experimentation from EV, opened up a little more from the claustrophobic LTP and created a work of art which has made me respect Josh Homme and co more than ever before. Introspective, deep, melancholy, and a wonderful record for the summer, ...Like Clockwork will surely be my Album Of The Year and for many after that.
on 22 July 2014
Not only do you get quality music, you get quality artwork inside and out.
The case is made of quality card, as are the inner sleeves, each with their own pieces of art depicting scenes from the awesome music videos.
The vinyl discs themselves don't seem to have any blemishes upon close inspection, and upon listening you get what you paid for, a well rounded and brilliant album.
Not however for the impatient, you can't stray from your record player for long due to the small amount of tracks per side (3 on each side for the first disc, and 2 per side for the second).
Mine did however have a dent on the back of the cover, but I suspect this happened during the long trip it had to take to get to me.
Anyway, a must-have for fans and music lovers.
It's finally happened, Queens Of The Stone Age have made a stone-clad classic, worthy of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with all of the rock greats. Like many great albums, it was born from extraordinary circumstances; this one being Josh Homme nearly dying and being bed-ridden in hospital for weeks on end after complications from a routine knee operation. "Like Clockwork" combines all of the best elements of QOTSA's music; the melodious nature of the more gentle songs with the power of their heavier albums to produce an album that screams quality the very first time you hear it. I can quite honestly say that this is Homme's most accomplished album to date and even my previous favourite of his, "Songs For The Deaf" just can't compare with an album filled with song after song of absolutely brilliance. Of course, what this album has in common with "Songs For The Deaf" is a return of Dave Grohl to the drums for half of the album and there are other guest appearances by rock heavyweights such as Trent Reznor, Nick Oliveri and, er, Jake Shears.
It's very difficult indeed to pick out favourites when the whole album is excellent, but I will give it a go. "I Sat By The Ocean" is the first stand-out track in this set; it's catchy, powerful and brilliant. "The Vampyre Of Time and Memory", an excellent composition, is specifically about the numbness of feeling nothing when ending a relationship, but Homme's hospital experience is surely referenced when the swelling music that accompanies the line, "I've survived, I speak, I breathe, I'm incomplete, I'm alive, hurray!" builds to a bitter climax and tears at your heart. "If I Had A Tail" (featuring Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner on vocals) begins with some tongue-in-cheek nonsense lyrics, but really grabs you when the arresting guitar bursts in on the chorus. "My God Is The Sun" is probably the most typically like tracks from other QOTSA albums, with a spiralling guitar riff, pounding drums and ethereal harmonies, but it's still a winner. "Fairweather Friends", co-written with long-time friend Mark Lanegan and featuring Elton John on background vocals and piano, is one of the best tracks on "Like Clockwork", boasting a truly beautiful melody, superb delivery and some of the most gorgeous guitar work I've heard all year.
"Smooth Sailing" is a rather enjoyable groove of a song, although I'm not sure what Rossi and Parfitt would make of Josh's promise to "Blow his load all over the status quo". "I Appear Missing", a quiet/loud masterpiece, is amongst the best pieces of music on this release and, even at six minutes long, doesn't outstay its welcome for a second. The album finishes with an utterly sublime cut, as the melancholy title track is perhaps the most beautiful piece of music Homme has ever written. It is after the album has finished, when the silence is louder than usual, when you find yourself still reeling from what you've just listened to that you realise that this piece of work is something very special indeed, something that makes you reach for the play button to hear it all over again right after it has finished. Without any hyperbole, "Like Clockwork" is not only of the best albums to be released this year, it's one of the best heavy rock albums of all time.
on 30 October 2013
After the brilliant 'Songs For The Deaf' and 'Lullabies to Paralyze', I found 'Era Vulgaris' a bit disappointing, so was apprehensive when I heard about 'Like Clockwork' on QOTSA's Twitter feed, but the feed provided links to 3 (or was it 4?) animated videos of songs from 'Like Clockwork'. I was so impressed that I bought the album and wasn't disappointed.
The album contains great rock tracks along with some slower tracks with some great piano work and Josh's dreamy vocals.
Standout tracks include my favourite, 'Kalopsia' which also features the vocal talents of Trent Reznor, the brilliant 'Keep Your Eyes Peeled', 'My God is the Sun' and the slow 'The Vampyre of Time and Memory' which I think shows how QOTSA have grown. I don't think there are any weak tracks on the album.
A must buy for any QOTSA fan and a great introduction to QOTSA for others.
on 21 December 2013
Ah well, I've had varying amounts of love and/or admiration for everything QOTSA have done, down the years, but for some reason failed to get too excited about this release. Um, then life went a bit wrong, and this album was a bedrock, and it kind of pulled me through. Strange as it may seem, it inspired some kind of positive response that stopped me wallowing in self-pity. The coda to I Appear Missing, in particular, moves me beyond reason.I couldn't add anything more to the reviews that have, to me, already illustrated the vulnerability, and strength, of this release. So I'll shut me gob. This is a band to be treasured.
on 5 December 2013
Firstly I'm a massive QOTSA fan and have pretty much everything including imports and rarities, and Like Clockwork is their finest work. I still love my stoner rock of the early years, but this is something quite special.
I'd go as far to say that this is possibly the best album released by any artist since Radiohead's OK Computer; its that good.
The layers, texture, at times simplicity, and at other times complexity leads you into an album that is the work of a collective of musicians who experiment, take risks, and channel a dark period for Josh Homme into an album that I think will end up being timeless.
on 19 July 2014
After six years of unreleased material, Queens of the Stone Age returned to us with this masterful and trippy album that showed a new change in direction for the band yet again. QOTSA are renowned for pioneering the stoner rock movement which was heavily influenced by psychedelic music, blues rock as well as metal which they developed on their first three albums. After the firing of bassist Nick Oliveri, they delivered a less abrasive and more lush sounding album with their 2005 release Lullabies to Paralyze and then returned with Era Vulgaris, which sounded like a mix between Rated R (their second album) and Lullabies. Era Vulgaris was a solid album by the band though it suffered slightly for having some derivative tracks and many fans were left feeling disappointed and alienated as they waited six years for Queens to re-emerge with their sixth album ...Like Clockwork. ...Like Clockwork is the group's least heavy sounding album to date but is also their most haunting lyrically and instrumentally. It's their best album since Songs for the Deaf and may even be my all time favourite QOTSA record.
...Like Clockwork retains the traditional trippy stoner rock sound that Queens had become renowned for as the opening track 'Keep Your Eyes Peeled' recalls some of the slower ominous doom-inspired tracks off of Lullabies to Paralyze like 'Someone in the Wolf'. 'I Sat by the Ocean' has a more upbeat and catchy ring to it juxtaposed with melancholy lyrics and Josh Homme's emotional vocals. 'The Vampyre of Time and Memory' is the softest track on the album with more emphasis on piano melodies than guitars and 'If I Had a Tail' is more distorted with a very raw lo-fi metal sound. 'My God is the Sun' is another heavy track on the album with a very catchy chorus and slick instrumentation.
On the second half of the album, 'Kalopsia' is a uniquely composited song that opens up with a quiet piano tune before bursting out with an explosive chorus. 'Fairweather Friends' features very misanthropic lyrics that I can identify with very well and closes off terrifically with Josh singing 'fair' before cutting off and bluntly stating 'I don't give a s**t about them anyhow'. 'Smooth Sailing' returns to the more heavy sound of 'My God is the Sun' and has a cool bluesy vibe to it that sounds like something off of Era Vulgaris. The last two tracks of the album, 'I Appear Missing' and the title track retain a very dark haunting feel to them that were apparently inspired by Josh Homme's near-death experience. 'I Appear Missing' is possibly my favourite track on the whole album. It has a very bluesy riff and an ominous desert rock melody with reflective lyrics and a very gothic guitar solo in the middle. The title track is a really effective closer as it begins with a mournful piano melody before getting louder with a psychedelic guitar riff bridging the song before the refrain.
I may be wrong in this assumption but I always felt that ...Like Clockwork was a concept album whilst listening to it and was split in two halves. The first half of the album sort of hints at something dark but also feels more on the catchy side of metal whilst the second half starts off with sheer bluntness before descending into melancholy and bleakness. On the whole, it's definitely the band's darkest and lyrically emotional album through this. The album is also filled with guest musicians with Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears providing additional vocals on 'Keep Your Eyes Peeled', Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys singing some lyrics on 'If I Had a Tail', Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails singing co-lead vocals on 'Kalopsia' and Sir Elton John on piano and backing vocals on 'Fairweather Friends'.
Personal favourites from ...Like Clockwork: 'I Sat By the Ocean', 'If I Had a Tail', 'Kalopsia', 'Fairweather Friends', 'I Appear Missing' and '...Like Clockwork'.
...Like Clockwork is one of the best rock albums of the past few years and one of my favourite albums even if it's only a year old now. It's Queens' best album to date and a perfect blend of different genres from blues to psychedelia to doom metal. There's not one bad song on the album and it flows perfectly, feeling very caustic yet also lush and spellbinding.
on 7 April 2014
After a six-year gap, it won't alarm you to learn that Queens of the Stone Age's sixth album ...Like Clockwork is a rip-roaring success on all fronts and an obvious labour of love. From its rather divisive opener `Keep Your Eyes Peeled', the ghostly voice of Josh Homme guides you on a thorough encapsulation of the QOTSA sound, comparable in many senses to what Wasting Light did for Foo Fighters a couple of years ago.
To kick things into gear, `I Sat By the Ocean' finds Queens of the Stone Age in `robot rock' mode with quite possibly their best riff we've heard since the heady days of Songs for the Deaf. The haunting piano ballad `The Vampyre of Time and Memory' is a dark AOR moment with a Queen-esque guitar solo before the irresistible rhythm of `If I Had a Tail' provides a welcome uplift in proceedings, almost recalling the 1970s in its hard rock eye for detail.
Essentially, ...Like Clockwork finds Queens of the Stone Age at the top of their game creating riff-heavy alt-rock, completely unembarrassed by their love of classic AOR and their liberal use of power chords. It's almost as if they secretly have the sights set on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because ...Like Clockwork is a distillation of the bands many classic rock influences, with songs frequently reminding me of Queen, Pink Floyd and even the Eagles.
The album's lead single `My God Is the Sun' is a jaw-dropping display of guitar virtuosity before collapsing into - of all things! - a waltz and the Elton John collaboration `Fairweather Friends' is an astonishing composition and clearly a career highlight for Josh Homme. The Rocket Man can clearly be heard enjoying rocking his socks off on the piano in a way he hasn't since Bernie Taupin persuaded him to believe that Saturday nights were alright for fighting.
`Kalopsia' - co-written with Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys) - doesn't let its wistful intro outstay its welcome by bursting into the sort of riff you could imagine the Iron Giant stomping around in a forest to. Meanwhile, Homme's falsetto runs free on `Smooth Sailing', a song which is just pure funk, plain and simple, and unapologetically so. Dave Grohl plays the drums on the initially masterfully restrained `I Appear Missing', which by its conclusion erupts into almost supernova-inducing proportions, before piano-led album closer `...Like Clockwork' ends on a suitably mellow Pink Floyd-esque note.
Literally bursting at the seams with confidence despite their long absence, Queens of the Stone Age really prove their mettle with ...Like Clockwork, a solid album in what is rapidly becoming a flawless discography. Having said that, it is a grower, as indeed are most of Queens of the Stone Age's albums, but in my opinion ...Like Clockwork is the best straight-up rock `n' roll record this year has generated. Given Josh Homme's pedigree, that should hardly be a surprise.