Sound — 8
After Song's For The Deaf, I had high expectations for this album. Those expectations were met immediatly upon listening. Every song is great and there is an amazing atmosphere that is created from the first song and lasts until the end. The album is for the most part darker than the band's previous efforts and the credit there is due to Josh Homme. His guitar riffs soar throughout the entire album, carrying his melodies beautifully. The sound is much more complex than anything they've done in the past, ranging from bluesy hard-rock ("Burn The Witch" and "You've Got A Killer Scene There, Man...") to soft melodic pieces ("The Long Slow Goodbye" and "I Never Came"). All of which are pulled off exceptionally well.
Lyrics — 8
A lot of the lyrics here are about sex. Skin On Skin almost makes you cringe with Josh repeatedly singing (falsetto) "I wanna lick you so much." There are other themes too; Medication is fairly self explanatory while Burn the Witch echos the fairytale theme of the packaging. Mark's opening Lullaby is delivered in his characteristic gruff tones (the man practically lived on heroin, cigarettes and whisky for a decade, and it shows) while Josh uses his full vocal range like he never has before. Maybe having a bit more of Mark would have made for some nice variety (but then I do have four Mark Lanegan albums so I can live without) but the songs aren't let down by Josh's voice and poetic words. While I miss Nick screaming "You're gonna f--king die!", those tracks were never the highlights of the previous records.
Overall Impression — 7
Queens Of The Stone Age made this album with the obvious theme of a scary lullaby with songs titled "Burn The Witch" and "Someone's In The Wolf" (my personal favorites), not to mention the first track "This Lullaby" which I don't really like (it sounds like a lullaby), but greatly adds to the main theme of the CD. The CD is great played from start to end. I don't skip any songs. With creepy sounds and whispers added, the songs are definitely Lullabies To Parralyze!