19 Jun, 2013

Queens of the Stone Age – “Like Clockwork”

homepage_large.d452370dAlthough the cover art of this album, created by Boneface, is a nice warm and inviting color, the contrast of the skull man eating the woman is a more accurate portrayal of the album as a whole. Lyrically, this album can be compared to a dark cloud over a murky city. Joshua Homme was extremely depressed while writing this album (their first release in seven years), and this is reflected in the album’s “raw as hell” nature. Every emotion and struggle he was going through is expressed in this album both lyrically and musically. In ‘If I Had a Tail,’ the guitar riffs and lyrics are almost robotic sounding, which drives its threads of social commentary of further and further into the mind of the listener.

This album isn’t completely depressing; “Kalopsia” is an example of a song where it seems as though Homme was able to lighten up a bit. Before playing “Kalopsia,”on the BBC live session he said playfully, ‘here is a sweet song, you know like, braided pony hair and like rainbows and Elton john and uh what else is nice, like birthday cake and little tiny pies and balloons.’ This song is about ‘Kalopsia’, which is a condition where things appear more beautiful–almost like a dream-like reality. This song mimics that feeling with a light and airy introduction, which is cut into with demanding questions from Homme and heavier drums and guitar from Jon Theodore and Troy Van Leeuwen.

Although this album is a step forward in a slightly different direction for Queens of The Stone Age, the music behind it still echoes all of their signature sound. It will definitely be interesting to watch the band live, as he would rip open the wounds that inspired the album over and over again. Hopefully the performances will help him heal, and thank goodness for an artist who is still able to share his struggles and pain, as well as his happiness.

Review by Amanda Roper

 

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