14 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics.
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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
303 Ratings
303 Ratings
iProng.com ,

iPod Garage reviews Lullabies to Paralyze by QOTSA

I don't know what it was that possessed me to finally go and download QOTSA's new album Lullabies to Paralyze last week. I do know what triggered me to head down the path, though: I came across a story in which Josh Homme finally publicly stated that the reason he had fired the bass player was because the guy had been physically abusing his girlfriend, not due merely to a clash of egos, as had been widely assumed. While it's an interesting social statement, from a musical standpoint, this didn't mean anything to me. But what it did finally make me realize was "Hey, the bass player that can't sing isn't on the new record!" And from there, I just talked myself into buying the thing, despite the fact that I had heard nothing but three cowbell whacks from the first single.

Right away, staring in iTunes, I noticed that the first two tracks on the album were no more than ninety seconds long each, and this struck me as, I don't know, perhaps a bit insane. But I fired it up anyway, and right off the bat, found myself listening to what could best be described as a child's lullaby. No, really, the first track might as well be Rock-a-bye Baby. It's that mellow. And to my astonishment, the first voice you hear on the album is not that of Josh Homme, but that of Mark Lanegan. Wait a minute, didn't he supposedly quit the band before they even started recording this album?

So the first song is a child's lullaby sung by a guy who has recently quit the band. Alright, now you've got my attention. And with that I realized that this whole album was very much going to be insane. You see, there are several times on this album, not just one but several, in which a child's toy piano is one of the featured instruments. There are several songs in which Josh Homme's voice is so distorted that it doesn't sound anything like him. Some of the guitar parts are so distorted, so fuzzed, so messy, that you'd think I was playing them. And I don't play guitar.

And man, is it all ever fun. I cannot ever remember having listened to a new album for the first time and having so thoroughly enjoyed how immensely insane it all is. It's going along and, just after you think you've discovered some kind of twisted influence ranging anywhere from possibly U2 to David Bowie, then it's suddenly time for that toy piano part to make its re-entry at just the right time and you realize that the truer influence is perhaps the devil himself. The the third song is entitled "Everybody Knows That You're Insane," and although the title gets repeated probably twenty times in the course of the song, it never gets repetitive because it's sung completely differently every time. It's also both the fastest and the slowest song on the album. You'd have to hear it to understand. On the fifth song, here comes Lanegan again, and nevermind the fact that he's not in the band, here he is trading lyrics with Homme, at least for one verse, after which Lanegan's part mysteriously disappears (perhaps that's the precise moment at which he quit?). It's one of the easiest songs to sing along with I've encountered, and yet I don't know, and can't figure out, a single word of it. Singing along with it just sort of sounds like "Bum-ba-dum, bum-ba-bum-ba-dum." If you walked down the street listening to this song on your iPod and singing along to it, anyone who heard you would think you had escaped from an asylum and call the cops immediately.

But this highlights what makes the whole thing work so well: at some points, Homme isplaying the part of a traditional lead singer, and at other points, his voice is just another strange instrument to add to the mayhem. For every song like "In My Head" witstraightforward, radio-friendly lyrics (this is likely the next single and probably a big hit), there's a song like "Someone's in the Wolf" in which you really have no idea what's going on at any point during the song, except that it's a lot of fun to listen to. And sure enough, that stupid cowbell at the beginning of the first single, which comes in out of nowhere on the radio, actually works on the album, where it acts as a bridge between it and the song that came before it.

As the album progresses, both the music and the lyrics get weirder. But astonishingly enough, the eleventh and twelfth tracks are two of the catchiest and perhaps the most fun entries on the album. And the fourteenth and final song, "The Long Slow Goodbye," just might be the best of the bunch (and might make its way to radio as well).

I've never been one to fall for gimmick rock. I'm just as unimpressed with the shreiking of System of a Down during their fifteen minutes as I was with the rasp of Marilyn Manson during his fifteen minutes. So what is it that makes QOTSA to completely different than any of these other self-proclaimed insane artists? Well, for one thing, the musicality on this album is really, really good, which is almost a 180 from most bands who go about trying to convince the world how insane they are. And for another thing, Josh Homme doesn't try to be insane in his music -- he just is. He's either blissfully unaware of it, or he simply doesn't care. And the fact that most of his bandmates have left him doesn't seem to have hurt things one bit. I have a feeling that they were just getting in the way of his insane vision for this insanely great album anyway.

born to hula ,

Rare does a 4th album compare to the 1st!

if you were to rank all of QOTSA's albums from best to good it would be in this order

1) queens of the stone age/q.o.t.s.a. (self titled and most amazing rock cd ever!!!!) buy it if you can find it...NO JOKE!!!!
2) Lullabies (mass apeal and listenable)
3) Songs for the deaf (most complete album)
4) rated R (contains the best single to date...art of keeping a secret)

To not like queens is to not like rock as a whole. this is by far the best album of 2005. i thought audio slave's new CD might be able to meet there first but it fell short. If you are reading this, ask yourself(from a mans perspective) would you rather dance with a hot rocker chick to some awesome swinger rock that just rose up from the firey pits of hell, or go into a mosh pit and slam into a bunch of dudes sweaty bodies and listen to bad vocals and zero lyrical content. that is the difference between QOTSA and all the other short commings of ther rest of the current rock scene!

"aint it something, I'm born to hula!"

A New Dawn ,

Lullabies to Paralyze

This is QOTSA's best album, hands down. Although it has nothing on the level of No One Knows, its a more solid album overall, with many different elements, ranging from soft (This Lullaby) to hard rock (Medication) to scary (Someone's in the Wolf) to weird ("You got a killer scene there, man..."). Here are my five favorite songs:
1. Burn the Witch. This song is so far above Little sister, its not even funny. Great guitar, and interesting lyrics. Funny opening, my second favorite QOTSA song.
2. Someone's in the Wolf. The first time you hear this song, you'll think I'm crazy for rating it this high. But the more times you listen to it, the more you like it. Its very distorted, and in some way I cant describe, terrifying. Not many bands can make a song like this, it really displays QOTSA's talent.
3. Little Sister. The opening single, and a good song. Check out the cowbell. The only song that will make it to the radio, still above anything on songs for the deaf except for no one knows.
4. Tangled Up in Plaid. Good guitar when it breaks into the chorus, and powerful lyrics about suicide. Great song.
5. In My Head. This songs is pretty good, but it sounds like QOTSA made it ready-made for the radio. I dont like hearing them catering to the radio like that. There are plenty of sell-out rock bands out there that can do this too, and I like hearing QOTSA's individiual style more than this.
Three songs I can't stand:
1. This Lullaby
2. "You Got a Killer Scene There, Man..."
3. Long Slow Goodbye
Overall a good album and definitely worth the money.

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