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Queens of the Stone Age
June 4, 2013, Matador Records
Geoausch Rating: 3.5
The Ramones taught us many things, among them, “we need change, we need it fast. Before rock’s just part of the past, ’cause lately it all sounds the same to me.” Written at time when rock lost its grip as the dominant form of popular music, the Ramones used “Do You Remember Rock n Roll Radio” as a reminder of a time when a person could turn on the radio and hear actual real rock music, instead of the disco trash of the late 70′s and early 80′s.
They say music is cyclical and after experiencing a rock Renaissance in the 90′s, the genre has once again been overtaken by gimmicky music that places a premiun on beats and rhythm, instead of harmony, melody, and good ol’ fashioned soul. I keep waiting on a album that will drag rock out of the abyss and back into the mainstream and had high hopes that the Queens of the Stone Age’s …Like Clockwork could accomplish that based on the reviews of both critics and consumers, so I took a chance and purchased the album last week on iTunes.
At their best, the Queens remind me of an Americanized Roxy Music, Josh Homme’s haunting vocals part Bryan Ferry, with just a hint of Bowie, and when …Like Clockwork excels it is with this sound.
History will show the album’s greatest contribution to the rock cannon to be “Fairweather Friends,” a track destined to be a monster single, featuring Dave Grohl on drums, Sir Elton John on the ivory, and Trent Reznor picking up an assist on vocals.
I always like it when a good kick ass rock album ends on a reflective note (see “Release” on Ten), which …Like Clockwork does. The album’s eponymous track starts off sounding like a Coldplay ballad, before building into something more explosive and flavorful.
While it definitely hits several high notes, the album tries to hard to bridge the gap between pure, unadulterated rock music and the over-produced, electronic rubbish that constitutes the contemporary pop catalog, which prevents it from achieving true rock greatness.
Tracks like the album’s first single, “My God is the Sun,” which not even Grohl can save, ring with pure dissonance and obscure some of the album’s true greatness.
In short, …Like Clockwork is a good album with a couple of great songs, but in the end, you’re left wanting something a bit more. It gets a 3.5 on the point Geoausch scale.
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