Wednesday, May 03, 2006

10000 Days

I love the new Tool album. I know it'll be ridiculed by the typical indie-rock critic, almost every one of which will make some sort of joke about how the title of the album is reflective of the length of the songs. In fact, liking both 10000 Days and the latest Interpol or Franz Ferdinand record is probably forbidden by some law of quantum mechanics.

To be fair, there are some completely reasonable people who won't like it either. It's the most prog-rock of the Tool albums to date, with lots of odd rhythms and unusual percussive sounds. At times it seems minimalist, relying on repetition of the same short phrase, while at other times becoming very complex and layered as in the middle of the 11-minute title track. It's not radio friendly for the most part, and it'll require repeated listening to appreciate even if you're inclined to like it. And, typically, Tool throws in some odd bits, like the chanting on "Lapan Conjuring" or the 5 minutes of artful noise in "Viginti Tres". I'd say that this album is the rock equivalent of some of Mahler's late symphonies: long, complex, dynamic, a bit bombastic; and generally people either love it or despise it.

I'm obviously in the "love it" camp (also like Mahler, for what it's worth). I enjoy Tool's theatricality, and the bizarreness and mysteriousness of the band, however affected it might be. But ultimately, i just like listening to the music. It sounds good to me, it's played well, it provokes an emotional and intellectual response, and it does not quickly grow tedious.

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