Stone Age “Lullabies”

Patrick Clarke

At first listen, “Lullabies to Paralyze” could be lost in the background as if it were a child’s cradle song. But the more you listen to the latest release from Queens of the Stone Age, the more you are “paralyzed.” This album keeps with the theme that made the band’s last release, “Songs for the Deaf,” a huge success — an original, fresh and unique sound.

Lead guitarist and singer Josh Homme begins “This Lullaby” with the opening track by the same name that sounds like a song written for a movie from the Desperado series. Simple, finger-picking guitar play accents Homme’s deep harmonic vocals – a combination that creates a sound similar to a music box.

Once again, this album has two made-for-radio tracks: “Little Sister” and “Medication.” Released earlier in 2005, “Little Sister” was the first big Rock hit of the year despite being a bit bland and repetitive. This is one of many songs that includes a drawn-out guitar solo that creates a loss of interest. The album can get lost in the background at any point after the first track.

“Medication” follows the same formula, this time with more short guitar solos randomly scattered between courses. There is a lack of distinguishable versus, but the beat and the tempo screams, “This rocks.” Other songs like “Everyone Knows You Are Insane,” “This Blood is Thin” and “Long Slow Goodbye” take too much time.

For fans, this album can only be viewed as a success all things considered. It was a given that Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl would not be making an appearance on this album. Grohl made a return to his drummer role on “Songs for the Deaf,” the first time he has exclusively played drums since his Nirvana days. Add on the loss of founding bassist Nick Oliveri, who was fired from the band back in February by Homme. Oliveri and Homme were the only band members to contribute on every album up until this point.

There is no question the direction of the album since it has the sounds and feel of earlier works. Homme may have had too much control in the direction “Lullaby” takes, but until their next release there is no way to tell. If you are a fan of Songs for the Deaf you can take some pleasure in knowing that it was not the last Queens of the Stone Age album.