10,000 Days is an incredible album. Though it had its shortcomings, it was by far the most fluid Tool album yet.
Vicarious as a single is an awsome song that seems to be the new sound of Tool, with overtones of the Lateralus album; in effect a bridge between 2001 Tool and 2006. As the oppenning track to this album however, it is the least fitting track. Granted, it is a solid oppener, but it somehow stands out from the rest of the album like a soar thumb. I enjoy the song, but perhaps it would have been better off as single or EP between Lateralus and 10,000 Days.
Jambi is the true album openner. It’s the first track from the new Tool. The oppening is sick, just what I’ve been waiting for, a true mathmetal rythm, but from Tool (so it’s a little more polished than the full-on math metal (verging on mouth metal) bands). However, only the openning and closing of this song are the only sections like this. I felt a little bit let down as the drums fade away and then the more subdued vocals enter. The song is by no means what I was wishing for from the new Tool release, but it remains to be a good song and has grown on me considerably.
Wings For Marie is definately the highlight of the album. I listen to it as the cohesive 17 minute long epic it was intended to be. Tool epics have never been a dissapointment, namely Third Eye, and the concept that a new one was to appear on 10,000 Days was a welcomed one. This song is a good balance of thoughtful musical patterns and the intense side of Tool we all know and love.
The Pot was initially on the verge of being my least favorite track on the album. On the first listen I saw this track as being the token single track. It is considerably more comercial than other songs on the album, namely because it seems to be trying to reach out to audiences from other genres of music. However, as I continue listening to this track I begin to see it as what Ænema was for Ænima, a lyrical rant. The Pot is probably never going to be my favorite song on the album, but it has certainly risen from its previous position.
Lipan Conjuring takes me back to Ænima. One thing Lateralus lacked was the trademark Tool humor. This track brings back that sort of humor, and serves its purpose well as a transition.
Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann) is a great introduction track. I give massive kudos to the mixing of this album. Everything is seemless and well paced. Lost Keys could not have been merely attatched to its follow up otherwise its purpose and significance would have been entirely lost. The guitar pattern is a pleasant one, and somehow the hospital skit at the very end makes me feel really safe and ready to listen to the tale in Rosseta Stoned.
Rosseta Stoned is definately the new Hooker With a Penis, musically anyways. It’s experimental, it’s heavy, and is in general just a really cool track. I haven’t even begun to try and desipher the lyrics for verbatim, but from what words and phrase I pick up in the garbled vocals openning, it appears to be the story of the patient described in Lost Keys. This song is extremely musically diverse and constantly evolves as it progresses. Definately a high point of the album.
Suddenly all is quiet, and Intension begins to play. I appreciate the beauty of this track, just as I did Dispositon, Reflection, and Triad back in Lateralus, but this track could not have existed on the album and I wouldn’t have felt an Intension shaped void. This is the reason why I have issues with Lateralus. The soundscape on Lateralus was incredible, and the first half of the album is arguably some of Tool’s best work, but then that second half just kills it. 7:21 minutes of Intension is hands down a lot more barible than 24 minutes of Dispositon, Reflection, and Triad.
Right in Two is a track that will take a long time to grow on me. I like certain elements of it, but in general it seems to drag on a bit. The vocals and general sound of it are heavily influenced by A Perfect Circle, particularly similar to the track Gravity off of The Thirteenth Step. I don’t mean that as a criticism or a compliment, but merely a comment as to the sound, but what I do find fault in is that length. I’m sure in due time it will feel like nothing, and I will like the song a whole lot, but for the time being that’s my take on it.
Viginti Tres was a nice way to clense the palatte after 10,000 Days. I has hoping for another sort of Faaip De Oiad drum solo with distorted sound bites in front of it, but it would have been a bit uncharacteristic of this album, and unoriginal. The sounds of what I assume are waves, wings, or maybe just wind are however very soothing, but it’s almost taunting, seeing as how this is the last we will hear from Tool for probably another five years at least, or until the next concert.
10,000 Days is the most complete album that Tool has produced. The best way to appreciate the album is to find a comfortable space, put on the CD and just listen through the entire album non stop, that way all elements are given their due and the full power of the album is felt. It is possible to pick out individual tracks for mix tapes, but first listen to the album, in the manner that I have described, at least two times through, but not in one sitting.