Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Top 50 Albums of the 00s - #13: Tool - Lateralus

Yep, we're counting down the top 50. Click here for overview and criteria.

So I finally resume this series six and a half years after the last posting. Yeesh. A lot has happened since that time, including moving to a new country with a new job, and then several other new jobs, having two kids, and whatever else. But it was perhaps in small part because of where I was in the countdown. I struggle to write about Tool's "best album of the 00s" because their best record is quite obviously 1997's AEnima. To further compound matters, 10,000 Days is probably Lateralus's equal. This and all my other various blogs have been in limbo since that time, so it's unfair to blame a record for the delay.
Furthermore, much of my list now comes under scrutiny (from me) because some of the records that were in heavy rotation for me back when I began this project have faded a bit. But that doesn't apply to Tool's output.

The album opens calmly enough at the outset of The Grudge which became a frequently broadcast hit solely due to the devotion of Tool's fans. Its crescendo and coda had no business being on popular radio. Yet there it was, constantly, affirming the staying-power of the King Crimsoniest take on alternametal one could ask for. At a time when all music began its decade-long lurch into "we'll have just pop from now on, thanks," Lateralus was a flag planted. More challenging than AEnima, with rhythms continuously at odds with one another plus a small step forward in maturity of themes, the album was practically a dare. See if you can handle this.

I digested it as fully as possible at the time. Indeed there have probably been several breaks in my listening frequency over the years. That's surely in part because they have only been able to release one record since then. Yet the breaks never lasted all that long.

This is not music I share with anyone. I don't even have hardly anyone to talk about Tool with (there were a few in Argentina, but here in Switzerland, nah). But for working, driving, ironing, or just walking around thinking about stuff, its intensity still brings focus to my own. And along the way, I always get a jolt out of taking on the dare.

I can't even recall what my main purpose was in ranking these albums now. I started this nearly 10 years ago. My life has changed dramatically since then, but I've had finishing this list as a to-do in my head for so long, and I'm going to try to make it worth your while. Or at least worth my while since I doubt anyone reads blogs anymore.  

This still kicks ass and you know it regardless of the video's creepiness:

Previous Entries:
#14- Radiohead - In Rainbows
#15 - Interpol - Antics
#16 - Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
#17 - Jens Lekman - Oh You're So Silent, Jens
#18 - Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
#19 - Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
#20 - The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!
#21 - Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
#22 - Mission of Burma - The Obliterati
#23 - Don Caballero - World Class Listening Problem

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Yea I say

Dammit do I miss blogging. One of these days I'll get back on the horse. Likely when the kids have gone off to college in 16 years. In the meantime, this nearly brought tears to my eyes. Just watch and enjoy it. It's from back when the internet was for sharing wonderful things. The salad days.