Browsing through a wide variety of reviews, I can see why a lot of people might disagree with some posted here. In all honesty, punk reviews ARE more fitting for a site called punknews.org, but who cares? Some albums shouldn't go unnoticed, and this is one of them..
Queens of the Stone Age never fail. I don't think I've ever listened to a song by these guys and thought "Man, this is terrible." Even their weakest songs are stronger than a lot of the pap being played today (anyone pick up Dark Horse by Nickelback? I didn't think so).
While a lot of their stuff is considered by many to be "frat anthems" and "bro music," I think that's bullshit. Songs for the Deaf is one of the greatest hard rock albums to ever grace my ears. I actually went out and bought the CD on a whim a few weeks after it came out and haven't stopped listening to it since.
Starting out as a concept album, Songs for the Deaf details a drive from L.A. to the Mojave Desert and the radio stations heard along the way. The standout tracks here are many, and the listener is rewarded by the band who keeps up with amazing songs that aren't "Go with the Flow" or "No One Knows."
For instance, the screamed "You Think I Ain't Worth a Dollar, But I Feel Like a Millionaire" is a heavy anthem with duel guitars that start at just Track 2, a sign of things to come. Then of course, "No One Knows" chimes in after, but we've heard that one before.
"First It Giveth" is a masterpiece in itself. The use of heavy bass from Nick Oliveri and again two guitars in perfect harmony sound great here. I really enjoyed the ending harmonies on this one; Josh Homme sounds better than ever on this album.
If I could describe this album in one word, it'd be "brooding." I felt like I was in an aural haze by the end of the album, which left me satisfied and craving more by the band. One song in particular never fails to make my playlist -- "Song for the Deaf." If darkness, depression and anger needed a song by these guys, this would be it. From the twangy guitars at the beginning of the song, Homme launches into an all-out assault here, which makes for an amazing, almost seven-minute epic with righteous sounding solos and chorus harmonies that fit perfectly.
"Do it Again" is a hard number that strides in at Track 11. It stands out as one of their best as well. Other great ones include the haunting "God Is in the Radio" and "The Sky Is Falling," which starts with echoing vocals before Homme's guitars make their entrance.
Overall, this album is their best and was one of my favorites of 2002 (aside from Dillinger Four's Situationist Comedy). It has some amazing guests as well, who range from Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters on drums to Dean Ween on "Mosquito Song." It's a shame Nick Oliveri left or was "kicked out" of the band. These guys were at their best when he and Josh Homme wrote and composed the majority of the songs.
For anyone into metal or hard rock (whatever THAT means), go buy this album and support a band consistent in putting out mind-blowing records. For the first-time listener, there's no better starting place than Songs for the Deaf.