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83 of 93 people found the following review helpful
The last album by the Queens of the Stone Age was "Songs for the Deaf," a frenetic collection of the hardest kind of rock. It was a thrilling, visceral experience, not one soon forgotten. Then nude bassist Nick Oliveri departed from the band, taking the wilder edge of the band with him. Oh, what would become of the Queens of the Stone Age?

Well, if "Lullabies to Paralyze" is any indication, then they are doing fine. This album relies on Josh Homme, and it's stripped down to... well, not down to the bare bones, but some very strong, lean sinew. The albums opens with a little acoustic ballad, "Lullaby," which starts things off on a strong footing.

From there on, things get stranger -- fast paced songs that just keep speeding up, ominous buildups, and nightmarish undertones.There are moments of quieter catchiness -- "Little Sister" seems perfect for the album's first single. And a few tracks feel a bit like filler. But overall, "Lullabies" is very much in the flavour of the Queens' second album, "Rated R." Only darker and somehow more whimsical.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Josh Homme gets to rule in this one. Truth be told, he ruled all through the Desert Sessions, Kyuss, and now he sits in the middle of the Queens of the Stone Age, like a sinister-but-not-evil mastermind. Oliveri's manic style and gimmicks are gone, and in their place is steady, dark rock'n'roll that takes strange and unexpected twists.

It's not a concept album, but it feels that way -- the mood gets generally creepier as "Lullabies" goes on. Fuzzy guitars, dark metallic riffs, and eerie harmonies get a few unusual flourishes, such as that broken music box. And Homme's vocals blend into the songs like another instrument -- great stuff. It only emphasizes how central he is to the band's unique sound.

Queens of the Stone Age seemed to be endangered when Oliveri departed, but "Lullabies to Paralyze" shows that the band is just fine. Not quite perfect, but a solid creation.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 28, 2005
Whoever was concerned what a post-Oliveri "QOTSA" would sound like need fear no more: the future is here and it's solid. There is a deceptive "easy" quality to the work, but trust me it is deceptive. Repeated listenings of "Lullabies" reveal a growing "adult" quality to the Queens work, but the intensity that attracted so many fans is still at work here and Homme and Company give everything they have to the project with the ensuing result being: one of the best rock albums to come out this year. (Granted, the year is still young, but my comment about "Lullabies" will be just as valid come December.)

Even more, unlike other "QOTSA" that held (in my humble opinion) a few misses as well as hits, there isn't a single bad moment on "Lullabies."

Although everyone is saying this isn't a concept album, "Lullabies to Paralyze" has a strong feeling all the way through it that make it nearly impossible not to want to listen to the entire thing. Over and over. A+ Effort!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2005
This album is great. It grows on you the more you listen to it. In my opinion, it's better than Songs for the Deaf, and much much better than R (which I thought only had a few good songs). This album however is a great overall album - good songs the whole way through. Especially tracks like 'Everybody Knows That You Are Insane', 'I Never Came', 'Medication', and 'Someones In The Wolf' for which there's a film clip on the bonus dvd (in Australia). I think this album is a little darker and more melodic, which is a good thing in my book. It's also sounds more like their classic self-titled album (I need to listen to this new one a bit more before saying it's better than their first album, as it one of my all-time favourites). The absense of Nick Oliveri seems it will now prove what Kyuss fans have known all along that Josh is a very talented musician, as the first QOTSA album also proved (I'm not saying that Nick isn't very talented himself).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2005
By now it's no secret that you can always rely on Queens of the Stone Age to deliver your fix if you're jonesing for some intelligent, interesting hard rock, and their latest album shouldn't do anything to tarnish their already lofty reputation in the rock world. That said, there are some pretty big changes to be absorbed here, starting with the personnel: after the commercial breakthrough of Songs for the Deaf, bassist and co-founder Nick Oliveri left and took the band's punkish edge with him, while Dave Grohl departed with his legendary drumming skills and his star power in tow. However, Josh Homme apparently wasn't going down that easy, as he quickly regrouped, took the helm himself, and churned out Lullabies to Paralyze with a reconstituted lineup. There are some other changes to absorb, as well, as the band's recent tumult is reflected in a rather modified sound. For those accustomed to the catchy, at times even radio-friendly stylings of Songs for the Deaf or its predecessor Rated R, this album will surely come as something of a surprise. And even those who are familiar with Josh's larger body of work going back to his days with stoner rock pioneers Kyuss are likely be taken somewhat aback by what's on display here.

Whatever you may think of him, you've got to give Josh Homme credit for at least one thing: for a guy who just experienced an unlikely commercial breakthrough less than three years ago, he's not playing it safe and cranking out singles for the local corp-rock station on this album. Lullabies to Paralyze is notably less accessible and immediately gratifying than the album that came before it (and the album that came before that, for that matter), as it's marked throughout by a twisted guitar sound and an overall disaffected mood that only intensifies as it goes on. This reviewer can't help but think the strains of the rock and roll lifestyle are starting to wear on Josh after a decade and a half, as Lullabies is easily the darkest and hardest-edged thing he's put out, at least under the Queens of the Stone Age moniker. Nick's departure has regrettably reduced the band's fun quotient a bit, but no matter: the band is obviously in more than capable hands with Josh as its principal mastermind, as this album manages to convey a suitably raw and grungy feel without masking the razor-sharp songwriting to be found within.

In his illustrious career Josh has proven himself adept at finding an endless series of variations on both the basic rock riff and the time-honored rock song form, and this album is no exception. Here the result is a collection of songs that show a consistent knack for starting you off in one direction and then pulling you without warning in another. Lullabies to Paralyze revels in off-kilter time signatures, jarring song structures, and heavy layers of guitar distortion, and while that made the album more of a challenge that I had anticipated, it was all the more rewarding for it.

Lullabies to Paralyze mines more sonic territory on its first three songs than most entire albums: Mark Lanegan's husky baritone crooning sets the tone nicely on This Lullaby; Medication is a short, sharp burst of chugging rock fury; and Everybody Knows That You are Insane starts as a mournful quasi-ballad before careening suddenly into a more chaotic sound propelled by a momentous groove. From there the Queens explore a different corner of the rock world at almost every turn, ranging from warped pop-rock to warped alt-rock to warped noise rock (you should be noticing a pattern by now). Lullabies to Paralyze is predictably unpredictable, flying out in all sorts of directions (and with all sorts of instrumentation), but the top-notch musicianship of Josh & Co. is always there to hold things together. At the end of the day Lullabies to Paralyze is almost as trippy, as groove-laden, and as utterly enjoyable as anything the Queens have ever put out. Whatever its commercial fortunes turn out to be, this album deserves every bit of acclaim it gets.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2005
I've been a fan of Josh Homme since his days as the guitarist for Kyuss. I had the pleasure of seeing Queens at a hole in the wall tavern in Sacramento CA for the release of their first album. It was one of the best shows I've ever seen and I've been a devoted fan since. This band is amazing. It is the defining sound of what rock n roll should be. Listening to this record makes me feel like it is ok that I missed the legends such as zeppelin,the doors, black sabbath, and the kinks. Josh and QOTSA have become a modern day rock giant for all to enjoy. Do yourself a favor and buy this record and listen to it as loud as you possibly can. This is the new standard by which all others shall be judged.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2005
I'll be honest: when I heard "Little Sister" a few weeks ago, I was less than impressed. I was fairly apprehensive that QOTSA were going to take the low road and produce a substandard record to satisfy their pocketbooks.

Not the case. The band sounds better than ever, even without Nick Oliveri. Some of the grit and off-the-wall strangeness is gone, and that's probably because they don't have Nick to open this album like he did on "Songs For the Deaf." However, what it lacks in rawness is made up for in creativity. The songs are driving and unmistakeably QOTSA. In an industry where these guys were once the exception, and then the norm, they've proven themselves once more to be a step above the rest.

"Little Sister" is my least favorite song on the CD. Songs like "Everybody Knows That You're Insane" are edgy and stay with you. The "Wolf" (not sure of the exact title) song trails off, descends into some surreal noises, and comes blazing back for a finale, staying true to the QOTSA roots.

All in all, a great album that won't leave my CD player for quite some time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
Please would You guys stop talking about the loss of Nick like he makes or breaks this band. Hes not Paul. His main contributions to the band was some punk songs and some kick a** bass riffs. Now im not trying to say he wasnt important or anything but Josh is the man in this band, and the band was always meant to have a revolving door of musicians, much like how the Foo fighters used to be. I think the main problem i have is with the fans that discovered the band after songs for the deaf came out. I mean i loved songs but it was NOT there masterpeice it was there hard rock stoner groove album that the band has probably been itching to do. R was the most creative and inovative album to ever come out in a very long time. What this Lullabies does is combine Kyuss, all 3 qotsa albums and a bit of eagles of death metal all in one cd, all of them in most songs as well. QOTSA were never a heavy metal band they were everywhere and nowhere all at once, they rock yet they are mellodic in the same breath of air. Just because most of the fans that jumped on the ball late wanted a heavy cd again dosnt mean that they should do it. I would be down right mad if they had done a repeat. Instead they made the most Stoner/Trippy and accesiable album to date in my opinion. Ok stand out track for me is burning witch and im pretty sure its about the Salem witch trials since most if not all songs on the cd is a lullaby or a fairy tale or something even though i cant quite figure out how medication fits into that. If i was to be a critic for all of there cd's this would be the star ratings.Self Title ***, R ***** I would say this one should just be an all time classic, Songs ****, And lullabies *****. ok i hope this review isnt to rambling, my bad
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2006
Queens of the Stone Age have to be one of the most rhythmic bands I have ever heard. Still, it may be a little hard to truly become a fan because, well, to say that the band follows a revolving door concept would be an understatement. Not only has there been a different lineup on each album, but there even seems to be a different lineup on each performance the band does; compare the lineup on this album to the lineup they had when they performed on Saturday Night Live last May. (And speaking of SNL, I hope newbies don't use those performances as an accurate representation of the band, because it sounded like someone forgot to do sound check.)

Anyway, as other reviewers have mentioned, this album not only has a more stripped-down approach than their previous albums, but several of the songs are also about relationships. Fortunately, this method works, as evidenced by standouts like "The Blood Is Love", "Broken Box" and my favorite song, "In My Head". The leadoff single "Little Sister" is also good.

There are also a couple funky tracks that are hard to skip by. "You Got a Killer Scene There, Man" seems to ride a hip-hop-inspired beat, and the music to "Burn the Witch" is reminiscent of "No One Knows" without sounding redundant. But I do think "Someone's In the Wolf" would have been better had it been strictly an instrumental.

I'm not sure how long this incarnation of the Queens will last (except Josh, that is), but they still molded Lullabies to Paralyze into a great listen. Pick it up.

Anthony Rupert

P.S. In response to another reviewer, there's no such song on here called "Like a Drug".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2005
QOTSA...What can I say about this band? I discovered it together with Mars Volta, so, it was some time after their masterpiece, Songs For The Deaf. I liked that album from the second I heard the first song, it was all there, insane guitar riffs, bass pumping, screaming, some music-to-get-high moments, damn good.

Then I heard about their new CD, Lullabies to Paralyze. I read about it, and everybody was saying it wasn't good, that getting Olivieri out of the band ruined it, etc...And I get afraid. How come the band lost all their quality in between one CD? Then I get the CD, kinda nervous about what I'm gonna hear...

And, it's not half bad. In truth, it's damn good. OK, maybe Songs For The Deaf level was unreacheable, but it's not a lot far from that.

This Lullaby is a ballad. It's creepy, too calm, etc...It kinda annoyed me the first time I heard it, but it's a nice song, nothing to write home about.

Then, the ol' QOSTA appears. Medication, Burn The Witch, Tangled Up in Plaid, Everybody Knows That You're Insane, all rock songs, that can make you break some bones and another things around ya. Just to make a special mention, Everybody Knows That You're Insane alone is worth half of my grade. It starts gloomy and dark, some nice singing, then, at the just blows, it's a damn good song, and I like the lyrics..." You wanna know just how long you can hide from? Well now you know...Not very long"

Some other songs, like Someone's The Wolf and The Blood is Love give me that Hangin' Tree feeling, some dizzy guitars, it's the musics-to-get-high of this album. Someone's The Wolf is my 2nd favorite of this CD, silence, then, guitars slicing and dicing every single part of your brain, ethereal voices coming out of nowhere while that drums make you get even more dizzy...Also a stand-out. Kinda too big, but that's not that bad.

Some pop songs are here too. Little Sister, I Never Came, In My Head are pop-ish songs, and that's not bad. I Never Came is a lot Foo Fighter-ish, to say the truth, same thing about Little Sister, but that's not saying it's bad, or you'll say anything bad about that band that made Everlong and Learn to Fly? If you'll, I'll make sure I'll give you some painful, bloody and violent death ^^

I think after Someone's the Wolf, things start getting a lil' worse, like in Skin on Skin and Broken Box, the 2 tracks I liked less of this album. But, it's a good CD, no way you can say it's damn bad, Olivieri, come back, etc, etc...OK, I'll not argue about the bass thing, this is almost a pure guitar album, you can't listen the bass really well, can't ask for everything in a CD unless it's called Songs For The Deaf or De-Loused in The Comatorium ^^

So, I say, stop the bashing, kids, sit down and relax, forget a sec about Nick and enjoy the show ^^
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2005
I love the Queens so much. I heard Little Sister and got a leaked version of Tangled Up In Plaid before the album came out. SO... I figured if these songs are any representation of the album to come...then things will be just like they were. You know always raw and kick ass. Josh Homme is a rock god in my opinion and kick ass rock and roll is what he does better than anyone around right now. I mean Dave Grohl asked Josh Homme to play on his album. Dave is supposed to be the "it" guy of the moment in rock.

Unfortunately...on this album that kick ass has been turned down a notch or two because of the absense of the previously mentioned rawness of the last three albums. I mean it's way better than what I or most normal people could do but, it drags so bad. I fell asleep halfway through the album the 3rd time around. The other albums kept me on edge the whole album for at least the first 3 months after I had them. Joshua Homme better find that crazy punk abandon he had when Nick was in the band or he may have declinig sales for the rest of his career with the Queens.

But there are some really strong points on the album. Tangled Up In Plaid is the most bad ass song Josh has ever composed. That is one of the very few raw tracks on the album. Skin On Skin is crazy erratic with the vocals and it reels you in really quick. The pauses after the first verse are very reminiscent of You Would Know (off of the first album). Everybody Knows That You're Insane starts off really slow and scary almost like a Black Sabbath song would, then it quickily jumps into this really quick punky number from the first chorus on out. It is amazing at first but, it also tends to drag itself out because there isn't a real change of musical landscape.

I don't know... I'm not dissapointed but I'm not thrilled either. The album has it's moments but more often than not it doesn't. It's still better than the rest of the crap on MTV.
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