After a quiet month for new music, the final week of August yields the biggest releases yet, including ‘Villains,’ the new Queens of the Stone Age album U should buy.
Talk about a “summer bummer!” August 2017 wasn’t the most thrilling month for big-name, blockbuster releases. Sure, we got Kesha (Rainbow), as well as A$AP Ferg (Still Striving), but nothing monumental. August 25, 2017 represents the last music release Friday of August. Thankfully, the best was saved for last. While it’s still devoid of surefire blockbuster albums, having the first new Queens of the Stone Age in three years, Villains, isn’t too shabby. It’s definitely the album U should buy this week.
Queens of the Stone Age, Villains
Queens of the Stone Age have some hellishness in them judging by the cover of their new album, Villains. Villains arrives four years after …Like Clockwork, which arrived in June 2014 and debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200. Interestingly, Villains is produced by an unlikely producer – Mark Ronson. Comprised of just nine tracks, ferocious single “The Way You Used to Do” arrived in June, long before the arrival of the album. Second single, “The Evil Has Landed,” arrived in August, two weeks ahead of Villains.
As crazy as a collaboration is between Josh Homme and Mark Ronson, it works sensationally on the promo single, “The Way You Used to Do.” From the jump, “The Way You Used to Do” sounds venomous – it sports a mean bite. The first thing that stands out is the grittiness of the guitars. The distortion is amplified to the nth degree, depicting the utmost devilishness. Just listen to a couple of seconds of “The Way You Used to Do,” and the hellishness is real. Adding to the diabolical tone is the groove, which rocks hard. The Way You Used to Do” is refreshing, combining the grit of rock music and the fun, groove of vintage pop and soul.
“The Evil Has Landed” is foreboding from the start. The guitars are ‘souped-up’ – definitely characterized by the heavy, distorted tone. The guitar riffs have a bite, while the drums pummel, anchoring the evil down. Vocally, Josh Homme isn’t nearly as evil as the instrumentation, providing a nice musical contrast with his more even-keel sound. A guitar solo, following the first bridge, marks one of the elite moments. The form of “The Evil Has Landed” is a bit unpredictable, which is a positive, yet a bit intimidating. Ultimately, it’s a juggernaut.
Other New Releases:
In addition to Villains, numerous other releases arrive beginning August 25, 2017. The titles in boldface were covered in more depth in The Musical Hype article, Music Shopping List | Queens of the Stone Age Return As ‘Villains’, published on August 21.
Fifth Harmony, Fifth Harmony; Old Dominion, Happy Endings; A$AP Mob, Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy; Action Bronson, Blue Chips 7000; The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding; Daniel Caesar, Freudian; PVRIS, All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell; The Cadillac Three, Legacy; Brian McKnight, Genesis; Iron & Wine, Beast Epic; Brendon Small, Galaktikon II: Become the Storm; Ozuna, Odisea; Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Heart. Passion. Pursuit.