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See all 69 tracks on this disc
Arguably their finest album, this follow-up to Opiate showcases Tool at their best, assisted by clean, crisp production, without the muddiness of Aenima. Edgy guitar riffs are complemented by spitting, heavy bass, especially on "Sober" and "Crawl Away". Lyrically, Tool are at their vitriolic best, targeting religious hypocrisy ("Intolerance," "Sober"; always a popular theme), the loss of innocence and its consequences ("Prison Sex"), and deliberate ignorance ("Swamp Song"). Henry Rollins makes a guest appearance on "Bottom," which, along with "4 Degrees," deals with questions of identity. Undertow is also Tool's most musically adventurous album, lacking the occasionally numbing sameness of Aenima, and with considerably more sophistication than their previous work.
Arguably their finest album, this follow-up to Opiate showcases Tool at their best, assisted by clean, crisp production, without the muddiness of Aenima. Edgy guitar riffs are complemented by spitting, heavy bass, especially on "Sober" and "Crawl Away". Lyrically, Tool are at their vitriolic best, targeting religious hypocrisy ("Intolerance," "Sober"; always a popular theme), the loss of innocence and its consequences ("Prison Sex"), and deliberate ignorance ("Swamp Song"). Henry Rollins makes a guest appearance on "Bottom," which, along with "4 Degrees," deals with questions of identity. Undertow is also Tool's most musically adventurous album, lacking the occasionally numbing sameness of Aenima, and with considerably more sophistication than their previous work. Very highly recommended. --Genevieve Williams
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Top Customer Reviews
Tool's music is often about deep underlaying themes not appreciated by the casual listener; hence, 'Undertow' wins the versatility award among Tool albums, being (sorry for the term) "radio-friendly" enough for most people, yet deep enough to please a seasoned Tool listener.
While overfamiliarity may cause you to skip 'Sober' (thanks again, damn radio. still a good song though), 'Undertow' is full of powerful, rythmic, yet artistic songs that are both emotionally and lyically impressive (dispite Maynard's over-reliance on dropping the F-bomb every six seconds).
Once you listen to 'Undertow' from begining to end, you will also be stunned by the talent of the band: Maynard's soft-and-beautiful-yet-suddenly-powerful-and-teriffying voice is recognizable and fantastic, Danny's drumming is simply awe-inspiring and technically baffling, Adam proves that there is more to great guitar than jerk-off solos by showing creative riffs and effect placement, and Paul (no longer with the band) ties it all together with solid, driving bass lines.
Everything from the artwork to the hidden track(s) is dark, disturbing, and delicious.
So what it all comes down to is this: get 'Undertow'; and if I'm right, you'll like it. And then, if you want to dig deeper, go to 'Ænima' and then 'Lateralus'.
P.S.: You can skip 'Opiate' unless you are a Tool buff who wants to hear the budding days of this incredible band.
For one, the lyrics. Although weak at parts they are angry and pure, so if you don't like that this album may not be for you. Songs like the swamp song and intolerance truly extend the full meaning of my point. With the lyrics, comes an odd spin of a industrial rock style to the singing that i think maynard james keenan makes the best of. It's kind of like that guy from third eye and trent reznor mixed together (i know, makes no sense). Although, hes got a voice inseparable to his style and i believe that the important part. However, if the voice doesn't do it for you this album won't, so if you haven't already check the samples above.
The drums are a grand display as well. Although not demonstrated to their fullest i think the overall feel of it was amazing. If, you'd like faster drums and love tool than get lateralus instead, but if well measured and steady drums are you're style then this is right up your alley. In addition, the drums and the bass match beautifully and i think any hard rock fan would agree after hearing this.
Finally, the guitars and the overall sound of the album. The sound and the guitars connect alot and thats why i mention this. The guitar have a creepy quiet ring to it until the chorus usually comes out. Then, the progressive metal begins. Ingenious in all it's simplicity. I loved it in other words.Read more ›
As far as musicicianship is concerned Tool are not lacking Lateralus or Aenima, but the guitars sound very different on Undertow, they are more 'grungy' if you understand what I'm saying, not smooth but very gritty. The vocals are as good as ever from MJK, but slightly different, he sings les mellow and with more frustration than Lateralus, he seems to sound deeper and more grainy which makes Undertow unique.
Intolerance 8/10 - Good song, solid, maybe not a great opener but still good.
Prison Sex 9/10 - Dark, haunting lyrics which I think are about child abuse. Scary stuff!
Sober 10/10 - Ah, what perfection! Possibly Tool's finest 5 minutes. Amazing vocals by the master MJK, some nice anti reliogious lyrics aswell!
Bottom 10/10 - I think this song is underrated, maybe the first few minutes are weak but after Henry Rollins' talking the song explodes into a whirlwind of shouting and guitars. Best bit when Maynard is screaming 'dead inside' after the short interlude, great song.
Crawl Away 8/10 - Good song but becomes very repetitive, the guitar riff is dragged on.
Swamp Song 8/10 - Same as Crawl Away, weakest part of the album.
Undertow 10/10 - Great care-free, pumping rock song! 'Shut up!'
4 degrees 10/10 - Wacky intro, one of the best guitar riffs on the album. Great vocals and a powerful chorus make this song one of the highlites in Undertow.
Flood 8/10 - Long, 'grungy' intro. Sets the scene well for a dark rock song.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Love Tool so its a no brainer that I would love this album, showed up in great condition and amazingly fast.Published 15 months ago by Jess
Great album if ya like tool. Was delivered on time. Nothing special about it, just the record and sleeve, no lyrics sheet or any extras. Read morePublished 22 months ago by josh wile
I bought the vinyl version and it plays perfectly with no skips. Sounds great! This is a double vinyl album and its too bad they jammed both records into a regular album sleeve;... Read morePublished on May 20 2013 by B.Martin
every tool album has a theme a meaning i think this one Undertow is all about facing your demons and trying to move on baring hardships and problems. Read morePublished on Oct. 11 2012 by maxi