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.
Rating: 5/5

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



27 comments:

  1. nice :) I enjoy listening to tool when I'm hungover ! :)

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  2. This has been on my mp3 player foruite some time.
    Not a day goes by i dont listen to most of it. :D

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  3. i fell that we have the same taste in music!!

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  4. tool is stoner music, but thats okay :P :P

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  5. Great review man. I was sooooo looking forward to this. I remember the very first time I listened to this album. I was driving with my friend in his truck back to his apartment. He actually started it on Schism which them blended right on into Parabol then Parabola. My mind was blown. I had been a fan of Tool for years (thanks to my brother), but this was different to me. I also made myself tired of Tool because of this album. I've since recovered, thankfully. And I'm glad you mentioned Maynard's scream, I think that deserves more attention :)

    I'll never understand why people think Tool is complete crap. I either get explanations from "it's not hard enough" to "the lyrics are shit." The latter always confusing me. I find most of Tool's music to be very spiritually enlightening, or at least spiritually mischievous.

    I could go on and on, but I'm not going to write my own review in your review. I love reading other people's takes on things I love. Thanks for the review.

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  6. Interesting music, man. I still don't listen to enough, though.

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  7. One of the best albums ever made. I can listen to Tool all day.

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  8. This might sound gay, but Tool is what I wanted Soundgarden to become. I also don't understand why some people think they are crap. I can see not liking it, but crappy? Nah.
    I have noticed that it is hard for me to do certain things while listening to tool, like spell or type correctly.

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  9. tool is one of my all time favorites

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  10. I never did get into Tool, but willing to give a listen! I like the idea that I can get into some new music (to me) from your recommendations, so this could be fun! No offense if I end up not liking some though! ;)

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  11. <3 tool, this is one of my favorite albums. When is tool coming out with a new album I can't wait anymore lol

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  12. I'll have to check this album out

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  13. I love this album, and I am going to play it start to finish right....now. Thanks for the good review.

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  14. great review, looking forward for more!

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  15. Lateralus is the song that was playing when the universe came into being

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  16. Are you sure man. I mean you know as well as anyone how much i like Tool, and especially this album, but i cant help but feel you wasted the perfect score. I dont know about you but by the middle of reflection i was half asleep. Still you are getting pretty popular. Kudos man.

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  17. Never been a huge Tool fan, but this is decent. :)

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  18. You have gotten me listening to TOOL again, something I had almost forgotten I enjoyed so much. Thanks.

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