Sound — 10
Track 1: A Car Starts, an unknown driver flips through several radio stations before settling on a KLN Los Angeles. "Clone Radio - We play the songs that sound more like everyone else, than anyone else," announces a voiceover proudly. But from the moment the song begins, it is obvious that this album is anything but a clone. Ranging from the joyously overdone, in such tracks as "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like A Millionaire," and "Six Shooter," to the riff-riddled, dinosaur rock in tracks such as "God Is In The Radio," and "No One Knows," this album excites on many levels. It sets its own rules, then breaks them, it moves in one direction, then quickly breaks off and goes in a new one, it finds the perfect ending in the heavey, harsh, "Song For The Deaf," then begins anew with "Mosquito Song," a melancholy, secretive track that leaves the listener wondering. From beginning to end, this album will knock you off your feet, and as it ends, you find yourself wishing for more. This is a prize fighter in top form, a single shining beacon in the desolate desert of modern rock, a rock band at its very best. Listen. Enjoy. Then listen again. I promise you won't be disapointed.
Lyrics — 10
Joshua Homme has always been a great lyricist, fantastic singer and spectacular guitarist. He continues the tradition, and even amplifies it, in this masterpiece. For example, the masterpiece "No One Knows." "We get some rules to follow/ That and this/ These and those/ No one knows," he whines over the backdrop of a rock-stomp chord progression. His mental unhinging becomes the fascination of the listener as the song progresses, but over what? A woman? A friend? In the end it doesn't matter, as it seems no one understands his plight. The true lyrical highlight can be found in "God Is In The Radio," in which Homme plays on the falsity and assumption of faith. He assures his followers "I know that God is in the radio/ Just repeating a slogan," and encourages them to continue their good behavior in the name of God. The rest of the album continues in this grand style, sometimes barely comprehensible, sometimes clear as day, but mostly brilliant.
Overall Impression — 10
This is truly a complete album, one of the first of the 2000's. Strung together (unnecessarily) by a running joke (from time to time, a pecuiar radio station DJ will intruduce the next song), all the pieces of this album fit together nicely. There are few flaws, but the most obvious are found in "Mosquito Song," and two of the heavier tracks "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar..." and "Six Shooter." To say these songs are overdone is in fact an exaggeration. They go far beyond the realms of normal flamboyance, "Mosquito Song," is an insanely grand parable, chock full of instruments most rock band don't use: at times it's brilliant, at times it's too much. At the other end of the spectrum, "Six Shooter," is often harsh to the ears and unnecessarily cacophonus. Nevertheless, for each blemish, there are about a million bright spots. Each song has its own style, yet is also distinctly a Queens production. Truly unequaled by any other album, and completely undefinable by prior means, this album will keep the blood flowing from the opening howl, to the final bass growl ("Fffoorr the deaf"), a chilling finish to a one of a kind masterpiece.