Queens of the Stone Age latest album took a few listens to like

Adrienne Oliva, Editor in Chief

I have to admit that Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) is one of my all-time favorite bands. I would put lead singer Josh Homme’s face on a pillow and sleep on it every night if I could. Embarrassing? Definitely, but that’s me living my truth. This is why I didn’t want to admit to myself that after my first listen, I hated their newest album “Villains.”

Certainly a portion of my initial disappointment comes from my expectations of a classic QOTSA album not being met. Their new album is of a more poppy style, a choice Homme made to follow QOTSA’s previous, and far darker album, “Like Clockwork.”

Though at first I had no interest in listening the album over again, something weird began to happen after my second and third listen. After adjusting to their new poppy style, the album began to grow on me.

Not only did I begin to not hate it, but I realized that there were songs on this effort that I would happily revisit. Songs like “Feet Don’t Fail Me,” captures their desert rock vibe perfectly, “The Way You Used to Do” and “Head like a Haunted House” are both verifiably funky, and “The Evil Has Landed” reminds me of the moodiness on their last, and one of their best albums, “Like Clockwork.”  

With this said, despite the insidious nature of this album, I do believe my disinterest in this album comes from more than my expectations being defied. Even with my newfound admiration for the album, I still think there are aspects on this album that are just not working.

For example, the thing I liked least about this album was the length of several of the songs. I know for a fact that the band can master songs with long running times, such as on the song “Someone’s in the Wolf,” from their 2005 album “Lullabies to Paralyze,” which despite the 7:22 minute run time never loses steam throughout. On their newest album, however, several of the songs don’t seem to justify their lengths.

There are only 9 songs on this album, but it still seems to drag on at times. There were points where I thought a song would end, and it just wouldn’t. For example, on the song “Un-Reborn Again,” the song felt like it could end around the 5:00 minute mark, but it kept going for another two minutes.

Another issue I have with this album is that some of the songs mesh together sonically, causing some songs to be forgettable. The song “Hideaway,” is bland enough that I forgot it existed on the album. The song before it, “Un-Reborn Again,” has a very similar beat, and though I am critical of its length, it is by far the more interesting song, meaning “Hideaway” was completely overshadowed, and forgotten.

For the time being, this is not my favorite QOTSA album. Considering the addictive nature of this effort, however, maybe it will be my favorite album of all time after my 1000th listen.