Queens of the Stone Ages’ sixth studio album released after a period of uncertainty in the band and Josh Homme’s life. After a botched knee surgery, Homme was bedridden for four months, entering a depression that would inform this album's dark and doom-filled vibe. Despite its gloomy nature, the songs feel more like traditional pop songs, especially on moments featuring artists like Elton John or Artic Monkey’s Alex Turner. It’s a softer, more feminine album leaning into the band name’s origins as being less macho hard rock. The overall embrace of death and feminity made for a potent mix that QOTSA seemed destined to write.
Out of the ashes of desert stoner band Kyuss, Josh Homme created Queens of the Stone Ages. Despite being an insufferable scumbag, Hommes was able to carve a niche into the hard rock world of the time dominated by nu-metal and Nickelback clones. The band then would make a uniquely experimental discography that never broke convection but consistently snarkily defied it. They balanced the sexy and accessible sides of rock with the weird and wild, making them one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century.