Again another surprise album. QOSTA are another band among others I would happily see live as an under-card as their solid back catalogue lacks any sort of greatness. Here though, we have an album that only gets better as it goes on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.