Queens Of The Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork (2LP)
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On ...Like Clockwork, Josh Homme flirts with his history as a way to make sense of his present, reconnecting with his strengths as a way to reorient himself, consolidating his indulgences and fancies into a record that obliterates middle-age malaise without taking a moment to pander to the past. Like always, Homme opens himself up to collaborations, wrangling an impressive roster that includes his wife Brody Dalle, his longtime companion Mark Lanegan, his protégé Arctic Monkey Alex Turner, his kindred spirit Trent Reznor, Scissor Sister Jake Shears, and superstar Elton John, but despite this large cast, the only musician who makes an indelible presence is Homme himself.
It's complex, harder, and catchier than anything QOTSA have done in a decade, and more song-oriented, too, but that's a sign of maturity: Homme has marshaled all of his strengths on ...Like Clockwork and has found a way forward, a way to deepen his music without compromising his identity.