When I first heard the singles Queens Of The Stone Age had released prior to the album I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I thought that after all the hype they still hadn’t moved on from their last milder attempt and that all the spark had clearly gone, the candle blown out, the summer let down… but this is Queens Of The Stone Age, they’ve always got something hidden up their sleeve.
It’s a mixed bag of guest vocals featuring the likes of Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor and Elton John. It’s also a mixed bag when it comes to the entire album.
We’re treated to some alluring vocals by main man Josh Homme along with some enchanting lyrics but let down by some humdrum tracks that miss a certain edge Queens Of The Stone Age used to bring to the table, but all bands must grow and that they do – there’s an continuing experimental presence, their unique charm that is their forte and a sense of freedom to do what pleases them.
The album is generally a slow starter until we hit the middle, the beautiful middle. Kalopsia is a trance that eases you in, Fairweather Friends slowly picks you up, then we hit Smooth Sailing – it’s the life of the album, the game changer, the party hit, the ass shaker. I Appear Missing is the come down leaving us to drift off with …Like Clockwork, the exquisite end.
It’s a grower. I admire the album and it’s depth more and more with each listen. It’s not for everyone but fans of the band should appreciate this.