Albums of the Year – #13

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – VILLAINS

The ignorant among you out there will complain that Queens of the Stone Age aren’t actually metal. That Villians is far too dancy to be compared to Converge or Thy Art is Murder. My response? Fuck you, this is my list and I’ll put whatever I want on it. Plus, Josh Homme may be the only true rock star left on this planet, so any time he wants to put out some fantastic, sleazy rock, I’ll listen.QOTSA

Leading up to the release of Villains, Homme and co. made a big deal about how the album was much lighter and dancier than their previous album, …Like Clockwork was. That’s all fine and dandy, but I LOVED the gloominess and depressing sound of ...Like Clockwork, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I did know was that even the worst QOTSA album (Era Vulgaris, in case you were wondering) is still better than 98% of the garbage out there, so my hopes were reasonably high.

Let’s get this out of the way first: Villains is a fantastic record. Any gripes that I may have with it are simply because I hold Queens of the Stone Age to such an incredibly high standard. But for all its strong tracks (6 out of the 9), Villains just isn’t as cohesive an album as QOSTA are capable of. It starts out strong with 2 balls to the wall rockers right off the bat (“Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” may be the best album opener of the year) and follows that up with 2 fantastic slow jams. The album closes on a high note as well with “The Evil Has Landed” and “Villains of Circumstance”, 2 of the strongest tracks on the record. But in between these groups are 3 very bland songs, fine in their own right but disappointing in the context of the album. “Head Like a Haunted House”, “Un-Reborn Again” and “Hideaway” are like the celery that comes along with you buffalo wings. There’s nothing wrong with celery, but who the hell wants celery when you have delicious wings right next to them? That is the middle 3 tracks, and they knock the album of the tracks right when it is finding it’s flow.

That may be the only thing keeping this record from the top of this list, because the other 6 songs are incredible. Villains isn’t a perfect record, but it is one of the most entertaining rock releases of the year.

HIGHLIGHT TRACKS

“Feet Don’t Fail Me Now”, “Fortress”, “The Evil Has Landed”, “Villains of Circumstance”

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