Queens of the Stone Age: Like Clockwork
-Album Review by Yuval Goldring–
Queens of the Stone Age has returned to the scene with their sixth album, entitled Like Clockwork. This is their first album on the label, Matador, and the first release since Era Vulgaris debuted in 2007.
I’ll be honest, although I’ve enjoyed Josh Homme’s (the man behind QTSA) work as a producer working with other bands; I’ve found his work with QTSA less inspired. “Like Clockwork,” however, is another story. Homme, who is an advocate of the “supergroup” concept, has recruited a surprising and distinguished list of guests to produce the album. In addition to regular QTSA collaborators, Dave Grohl, Mark Langen and Nick Oliver, Like Clockwork incorporates the collective musical genius of Elton John, Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters and James Lavelle from UNKLE.
Ten tracks of inspired rock, and wonderful ballads ensue, evidencing Homme’s remarkable versatility.
The opening track “Keep Your Eyes Peeled” starts with the sound of broken glass and his bass note lays the heartbeat for the rest of the album. Listeners will delight in “Savour The Vampyre of Time and Memory,” track three. Never before have such delicate sounds resonated from QTSA.
“Kalopsia,” track six, is the most personal song on the album. This is a song by a mature band. What begins as a ballad, gradually adopts the intricate layers of dark rock for which QTSA is famous. “Oh why you so sad / What have they done”? Homme sings, perhaps to his child, maybe to his inner child, and then he answers; “Forget those mindless baboons, They’re off playing god.”
“If I Had a Tail,” leads to a catchy melody. “It’s how you look Not how you feel, The city of glass With no heart,” Homme sings, reminding us the shallowness of the world. The Six-minute ballad, “I Appear Missing” makes a thrilling use of Homme’s clear voice and “Fairweather Friends” echoes the band’s alternative roots, creating yet another rock classic.
This album is a brave new addition to the QTSA sound, and is one of the most important rock albums of the year.
List of songs:
1. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
2. I Sat By the Ocean
3. The Vampyre of Time and Memory
4. If I Had a Tail
5. My God Is the Sun
6. Kalopsia (Feat. Alex Turner)
7. Fairweather Friends (Feat. Elton John)
8. Smooth Sailing
9. I Appear Missing
10. Like Clockwork…