I just thought I’d update you all on my thoughts regarding [[10,000 Days]] after having listened to it for the last few day. Overall I think it’s a great album, and probably more consistently good than any of Tools other recordings. In fairness though I feel that while the album is consistent the whole way though, it doesn’t really reach the same highs as some of the songs on Aenima and Lateralus do, but also doesn’t have as many of the boring moments I feel those albums suffer from.
One thing I really like about 10,000 Days is a little humour being show by the guys. As we’ve seen from some recent promotional photo’s Adam, Danny, Justin and Maynard seem to have lightened up a little, and why not necesarily moving away from the more serious messages they try to get across. For me, this is especially evident in the Lost Keys and Rosetta Stoned tracks, which crack me up every time.
Joe Baressi has done a great job with the sound. All four members seem to have equal billing in this recording, which is refreshing after the drum and bass heavy production of David Bottril. Adam’s guitar sound is fantastic, and once again reinforces for me that while he may not be technically as good as some, his sound and talent for generating unique sounds is as good as anyone.
The album starts off with the first “single” Vicarious. This track is pretty much a by-the-numbers Tool song, with a catchy chorus which is bound to get a bit of airplay about the place. Lyrically it’s pretty straightforward as well, moreso than most Tool “singles”.
Jambi comes up next, and straight away you can see the much touted heaviness and Meshuggah influence. It’s full of wierd time signatures, and features and awesome Talk Box guitar solo from Adam. Personally, being a fan of Tool’s heavier songs, I love this song, and was pretty damn excited about the whole album after hearing in. The rest of the album isn’t as heavy, though as it turns out, that’s not such a bad thing.
The mood slows down when Wings For Marie starts. As soons as Justin’s bass kicks in, I’m into it, and the song slowy winds in to a tribute, presumably for Maynards mum. It briefly gets heavy before rolling into 10,000 Days. Sounding similar to Wings, 10,000 Days seems to start with Adam and Justin almost swapping riffs. Again the song builds up, with Maynards vocals coming more and more to the front, before the whole thing breaks open, with Justin playing probably the most bluesy riff on the entire album. The rest of the song is pretty much a long jam, which eventually winds down into the same mellowness with which it started.
As 10,000 Days winds down, all of a sudden this high pitched whiney voice is in your face! Turn’s out it’s Maynard introducing us to The Pot. This is the albums obligatory rant, and while I initlally didn’t really like it, has really grown on me and currently is one of my favorites. I still don’t get why Maynard is talking about Kangaroos though…..
Next we’re greeted by chanting and the banging of spoons, as Lipan Conjuring works to it’s conclusion. It’s funny, but it’s a segue, so in a few months time I’ll be reaching for the skip button.
Distortion greets us at the beginning of Lost Keys (Blame Hoffmann) and we’re told of the tale of a man dropped into a hospital with an Australian Doctor. Really builds us up for the next track, Rosetta Stoned where we start to hear the story of the victim. This song is one of the highlights of 10,000 Days for me. It’s heavy, it’s kinda like Aenima‘s Third Eye, but on LSD with aliens.
After we’ve experienced that, we’re taken back to a more sedate Intension . Danny pulls out the electronic drumkit for this one, and Justins bass once again weaves a beautiful melody. Probably of those tracks you could do without though, and certainly wouldn’t be making my Tool mixtape.
Right In Two takes us back to the days of Pushit, though with a more political hue to it, due to Maynard’s lyrics talking about the state of world affairs. It starts of slow, but works it was towards a crushing crescendo, Maynard’s singing towards the end probably being the strongest performance from him on the entire album. Sadly listening to this track makes me sad, not because of the lyrics, but because we’ll probably be waiting another 5 years for something like this again.
10,000 Days finished with Vigniti Tres. I still don’t really understand what’s going on here, and unfortunately it’s not as cool as Faaip De Oiad.
So as I said at the beginning, I feel this is a great album, consistenly good without some of the slower points of Tool’s previous releases. I can’t really rank Tool’s albums, as I feel Aenima, Lateralus and 10,000 Days all have different things to offer the listeners, so I’m not even going to attempt this. Maybe in 6 months I’ll have an idea of what I prefer, based on what I keep coming back to.
To any Tool fans out there dissappointed by 10,000 Days, I urge you to keep listening, the joys of this recording aren’t obvious on the first listen, and personally I found that only after repeated digestion did the album shine through.