Monday, November 1, 2010
Tool - Lateralus (2001)
With a blend of ferocity and subtlety, composure and violence, complexity and simplicity, Tool's magnum opus still shines just as strong if not stronger today than it did when it was released nearly a decade ago. Not one moment on this album feels out of place, even after the thousands of listens I've given it over the years.
All right, well, here it is -- I'm talking about the single most requested album from readers and supporters since I first mentioned the idea of possibly starting a music blog and a friend of mine suggested Lateralus in his opening salvo of Albums You Should Totally Write About, Man™. And let's face it, you just don't talk about music in the 2000s without talking about this one. So, here goes.
I absolutely love this album. Still. I have listened to it to the point where I couldn't stomach listening to Tool anymore, that's how wrapped up I was in these tracks back during my high school days. Listening through it for this post, not having given it a full listen after God knows how long, I could not find a single thing to complain about. Every note, every beat, every word feels essential to the album.
From the opening grind of The Grudge (in which Maynard's 40-second scream still manages to impress) to one of the most recognizable basslines ever written in Schism, from the organic essence of Parabola to the cold, calculated rocking of the title track, from the violent tantrum of Ticks and Leeches to the openminded peace of Reflection, this album is truly a masterwork. I could easily write many more posts on this album alone, as much as I've explored and lost myself in this piece of art in my time.
Some may disagree. Some may find Tool a bit too involved for their tastes, and some may just flat not like the music for other reasons that I can't really imagine, but probably wouldn't disagree with if explained to me. But I assure you, if you allow the music to take you in on its own terms, you will find at the very least a bright, sparkling gem of an album that you'll be glad you listened to, if you've somehow managed to avoid being exposed to it by now.
Or maybe, if it hits you just right, you will find, like myself, and many other self-professed fans of the band, an album that completely and irrevocably changes the way you experience and enjoy music for the better.
Standout Tracks - Parabola, Lateralus