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 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.
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 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 18 May 2016
I haven't listened to any of the other QOTSA albums before this, but this has made me a fan.
+ Excellent, consistent song writing
+ Songs have a consistent feel to them, making it more than a collection of songs
+ Despite the above, there is enough variety to keep the listener interested, ranging
from wistful ballads ("Vampyre of Time and Memory") to swaggering funk grooves
+ Decent guest spots such as Dave Grohl, Alex Turner and Elton John
+ Memorable from the first listen (it passes the old grey whistle test)
+ Dark, haunting production
- Bizarre choice of opening number, and underwhelming closer
- Some songs drag on, namely "Fairweather Friends" and "Keep Your Eyes Peeled"
- The CD does not have a leaflet, I might as well have bought the MP3 version.
Seriously, CD versions need a leaflet to pore through
Favourite songs: "Smooth Sailing", "Vampyre of Time and Memory", "My God is the Sun"
All in all, a solid album. Would highly recommend if you like rock in any shape or form.
8.5 / 10
on 3 June 2013
There aren't many bands these days that get the opportunity to grow from their seeds to something far greater, and few of the bands that get the chance either know how to, or take, the opportunity.
This record is the sound of a band grabbing that opportunity by the throat and squeezing the bejezus out of it.
True, there's only a little left of the maniac drive that Nick Oliveri brought to QotSA - there's nothing as full-on as anything on Rated R or Songs For The Deaf - and if you're expecting that kind of record you're going to be disappointed. Even though the arrangements are crushing in places with sounds layered on sounds until there's no more room left, there's much more space on this album than anything they've recorded before. Instrumentation is stripped right back (for a while) to let each song breathe and even though piano / vocal doesn't sound very rock, when the arrangement takes hold and things spiral to their final, downbeat, conclusion there's still a feeling of breadth.
And that's exactly what make this record great - space. Any old fool can add 100 instruments together, but it takes real quality to give those instruments room to move and tell a story. God knows what story Josh Homme's telling - it certainly doesn't sound like a happy story that's for sure - but he tells it all with the touch of a master storyteller.
Maybe it's all downhill from here, but it's a hell of high to come down from.
on 22 June 2013
I am a 39 year old musician with an over-sized music collection that features a lot of alternative rock bands. Most of the new music I listen to has a short life span these days. Seems I am too familiar with recycled ideas or maybe I get bored easily. Surprising then, to find myself giving a 5 star review.
I bought Like Clockwork on release and it has been on continuous rotation in the car stereo ever since. There are no fillers. The songs are well written and masterfully rendered. Like Clockwork has a good quota of heavy rock, but serves up equal measures of finely crafted melodies and emotive performances without prostituting itself in the name of hit singles. That's a hard balancing act, but it really works. Josh Homme is on fine form and the music is crammed with classic rock references that are obscure enough to be cool ear candy, but never disrespect their origins - Amongst many other things I am reminded of David Bowie, early Danzig and Pink Floyd. The harmony guitar riffs in 'My God is the Sun' are reminiscent of Fugazi. As always the band sounds huge. This album grabs you and doesn't let go - You will go along for the whole ride.
If I had one minor niggle, Like Clockwork doesn't have a token headbanger song (See 'Sick Sick Sick' or 'Feelgood Hit of the Summer'). However, Queens of the Stone Age have always been consistent in producing great music. If you enjoy the other albums you'll like this one. I would even go as far as saying I found it as enjoyable as Songs For The Deaf.
Well worth a purchase. Nice to have them back.
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 11 June 2013
Let's get to the point shall we. We all know that when Josh Homme finally pops his clogs, he'll be remembered as an outright genius from the highest stratospheres of rock. But it doesn't mean that everything has gone his way and the form of Qosta has fluctuated since Songs for the Deaf & the departure of Nick Oliveri.
Whilst 'Like Clockwork' doesn't deliver the breadth of style that we saw back in the days of R-Rated, what it does drop in to your earholes is the harmonic equivalent of dynamite.
There are more hooks in this album than in the final scene of Hellraiser and it's probably the first album I've listened to in years where I can't decide which is my favourite track. 'I Sat by the Ocean' - 'If I Had a Tale' - 'My God is the Sun' are the obvious killer tunes. Each of them packed with brain spanking riffs. The remainder of the songs all have their haunting virtues but 'I Appear Missing' is a work of art that delivers in anthemic proportions.
My stereo will be put to good use this summer. Make sure yours is too.
NB - 'My God is the Sun' is a musical tribute to Judith Chalmers.
Those are the facts.
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.