I like it, nice and creepy in parts, a couple of good fast songs, and the wonderful voice that belongs to Josh Homme (literally translated in French is Josh Man). Trying to decipher who all contributed to this recording is like Danny looking for a way out of the hedge maze. Okay, beyond Mr. Man…to name some of the contributors: we have regular band member’s bassist Michael Shuman (keyboardist) and guitarist Dean Fertita as well as guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen. Here is where confusion starts…drummer Joey Castillo is on tracks 1, 2, 3 and 6 before he left the band, in stepped Dave Grohl for tracks 4,5,7,8 and 9 and then new drummer Jon Theodore on track 10. Then there are all kinds of contributions including (but not exclusive to) Nick Oliveri (old bass player and singer), Mark Lanegan, who provides backing vocals on “If I had a Tail.” Trent Reznor contributes vocals, then kick and snare on “Kalopsia.” Yes, even Sir Elton John contributes on piano and backing vocals for the song “Fair-weather Friend.” I won’t go into all contributions because I would lose some of you I think. It’s a long list.
The reason behind the tone and the pacing of the album (it seems) stems from Josh Hommes’ depression following a hospital stay and prolonged recovery resulting from knee surgery in 2001. The music is extremely interesting, primarily because it differs from track to track. A lot of that may be because of the multitude of contributors; but, we all know Van Gogh didn’t paint because he was a happy man. Misery, depression, and pain all make for great art. I don’t know if it helps to save the artist or not. It does however make other people happy when they see, hear it or read it. This was the first Queens of the Stone Age album to debut at number One on the Billboard chart; it was their first number One album period. That’s got to feel good.