From a poignant tribute to Maynard’s mother to railing against television, messages of hope and indictments of man’s great crimes culiminate to form the latest Tool record.
As Tool is my favorite band I’ll do my best to keep this review brief. The album really speaks for itself.
The album contains very classical elements, including influences of 1960s & 1970s rock & roll (including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd), as well as the influences of Jazz & Blues. These are found alongside the “progressive rock” sound Tool is known for, and the two sounds transit seamlessly between one another.
Part of the motive for Keenan’s vocal stylings are revealed in the two-song tribute to his mother Judith Marie Keenan (“Wings for Marie (Pt 1)” and “10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)”). In the latter, a mention is made to the gift his mother passed on to him, which seems to indicate a large role Keenan’s mother played in his development of his voice.
Each song on the record hits hard in its own way.
Loving rememberance for his mother and dispisement of superficial Christians who would attend her funeral are brought out in “Wings for Maire” and “10,000 Days.”
The human tendency toward being swept up in illusions and habits in “Vicarious,” as well as the two-part “Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann),” and “Rosetta Stoned.” The last even gives claim to the doom of man under a particular ailment.
“Vicarious” may fit the bill for “radio friendly,” as I don’t listen to the radio enough to make that determination. It seems odd to me, however, for a song as anti-television as it to be deemed such. It details the commercialization of tragedy via the media, to turn us all into their vehicles of profit.
“Rosetta Stoned” and its introduction “Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)” are a story about a man on an acid trip who finds himself in the hospital still coming down. The medical personnel ask him what has happened, and he reveals the strange journey he has been through to be told the horrible fate man has in store for himself, except he has forgotten.
“The Pot” and “Right in Two” reveal the predatory, self-righteous nature of man in his quest for dominance. Musically, both are candidates for protest songs of Vietnam, transformed into a modern climate.
“Jambi” and “Intension” walk a line between hope and malevolence.
Finally, “Lipan Conjuring” and “Viginti Tres” confound us in their abstract, fragmented natures. The former is a First Nations track of chanting and drums, while the latter is a bizarre soundscape in the vein of “(-) ions.”
Anyway, as I said I’ve kept it short. I may add more if I feel it necessary, or alternatively write up my in-depth interpretations at a later date.