Sound — 9
A musical dream team provides just the album you would expect them to. John Paul Jones and Dave Grohl probably make the best rhythm section in the world, and Josh Homme continue to show his musical prowess. The album is constantly slick and exploring new ways. There are some guitar solos like little I've heard before and just want to hear again and again and again, for example Warsaw, a sheer show of musicianship as they slowly accelerate the tempo before bringing it all back. Although I do fear a little bit that it might not be for any non-instrumentalists, as so much of the album is difficult to appreciate if you didn't understand how they were doing what they were. Josh Homme regular uses different tunings to achieve his sound, and in a few of his songs tuning his bottom E string down to an A, giving the great drop effect of "Mind Eraser, No Chaser". John Paul Jones continues to show why he is such a great bassist, holding the band together whenever any of the guitars go off on a tangent. He plays lap steel and keyboard on some tracks, adding originality to the music. Dave Grohl is just such a phenomenal drummer it is difficult to comprehend. I don't think much needs to be said about how good he is.
Lyrics — 6
Josh Homme is a fine rock singer as ever, and no questions need to be asked. His sense of rhythm is often showcased on the album, playing tricky guitar lines while still sounding composed and comfortable singing as well. Dave Grohl and JPJ provide backing vocals when necessary but Alain Johannes who provides second guitar live takes most of the bulk of backing vocals. The lyrics are mostly average and often sound made on the spot. Although they never sound cheesy or cringeworthy, there are times when they lack substance. Occasionally though, a great line is spluttered out by Josh.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I would say that this is one of the best albums, and though it did actually take me a couple of listens, because it is such a mammoth album (1 hour and six minutes, and that is dense music, little filler). This supergroup if there ever was one produce exactly what you would expect and more. A truly great album of top song after top song.