When I first heard QOTSA, I was like "This is is f***in' incredible!!" The song was "The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret", and the riff, beat, and vocals just blew me away. Later on, one of my good buddies played me the entire album "Rated R" and I went out and got it the next day. Simply said, this is hands down the best album to come out of 2000. This is a true rock album from a true rock band, who really don't give a F*** about mainstream music or fame.
The second CD in the band's catalogue, "Rated R" features a revolving cast of musicians centered around lead singer/guitarist Josh Homme, and bassist Nick Oliveri, both of whom are founding members of the legendary band, Kyuss. It should also be noted that when these guys made the first Kyuss album, they were both 17 years old. Upon the release of "Blues For The Red Sun", considered by many to be Kyuss's finest work, they were just 18. True prodigies.
1. "Feel Good Hit Of The Summer" 10/10. The first single. Keeping true to QOTSA fashion, "Rated R" kicks off with one of the heavier tracks on the album, one which, because of the near constant drug references, was sensored just about everywhere. Oh yeah, if you want to check out the video, it's on their website, QOTSA.com. Pretty cool.
2. "The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret" 10/10. Another single. Totally catchy, totally cool. I never get sick of this song. Totally refreshing in a music scene full nu-metal and pop.
3. "Leg Of Lamb" 9/10. Cool lyrics, cool guitars, and very cool vocals. Joshe Homme sings like he's just sitting back chilling in a couch somewhere, but with oh so much style. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is that it can get repetitive after a time.
4. "AutoPilot" 10/10. I've heard some people slag this song, and I really can't figure out why, as it's sooo trippy and cool. Featuring Nick Oliveri on vocals and guitar, and Josh Homme on drums, this is one of the best songs, if not the best song on the album. Just awesome.
5. "Better Living Through Chemistry" 10/10. Another trancy song which is probably the most jamlike and unstructured song on the CD. Cool vocal effects, very cool bassline, and an unbelievable middle section, where Joshe Homme just takes it away on his guitar, soloing his ass off, while being backed by cool chants and awesome drumming by Nick Lucero.
6. "Monsters In The Parasol" 7/10. About a first-time LSD experience. My least favorite track on the album, as I can't stand that chorus. Cool verse though, and just as cool vocals.
7. "Quick And The Pointless" 9/10. Josh Homme: "It's about being obsessed with young girls. Sort of like 'Lolita' except more foaming at the mouth." The first song to feature Nick Oliveri doing his trademark screams. Short, hard, and furious.
8. "In The Fade" 10/10. The best song on the CD, without a doubt. Anybody who listens to this should come away with a total respect for Mark Lanegan, as his vocals on this song are soooo good, especially with lyrics as good as these. Great bass , and excellent guitars make this song the most dynamic and original track on the CD. Should have been a single.
9. "Tension Head" 10/10. This song represents one thing: balls. One of the heaviest F***ing things I've ever heard, and it's pretty much from Nick Oliveri's attitude alone. You can listen to Slayer, Korn and every other metal band, but just listening to Oliveri shred his throat out, screaming and moaning about smoking crack, makes you want to go out and do something horrible. I've played this for kids who strictly listen to cannibal corpse and meshuggah, and they've just been like "WTF!!" A different kind of heaviness.
10. "The Lightning Song" 10/10. A really nice, and quite frankly, beautiful instrumental cool-down after "Tension Head". Featuring just bongos, a 12 string guitar, and a piano, this is a genuine work of art.
11. "I Think I Lost My Headache" 9.5/10. Grooved-out, laid back stoner rock, pure and simple. Slow and heavy with Joshe Homme just doing some amazing singing. One of the best, heaviest, and trippiest songs on here. I didn't give it a ten, because after the song "ends", the intrumental fadeout goes on for about four minutes and gets quite annoying.
Notably fueled by drugs, sex, and outright craziness, "Rated R" is definitely a must own album for any real fan of rock and roll. Totally original, meaningful and at times, psychotic, this album has something for everyone on it. By my own opinion, this CD is probably the most melodic album in the QOTSA catalogue, though it stills rocks hard. Cheers to a true band who's each release is notably different, yet truly their own style.