Era Vulgaris

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Uncut
    100
    They continue to find some clever ways to do a pretty dumb thing. [Jul 2007, p.112]
  2. It's exhilarating, the best rock & roll record yet released in 2007.
  3. Spin
    90
    It sounds awesome. [Jul 2007, p.102]
  4. Filter
    86
    It's still rebellion without destination. [#25, p.89]
  5. You can hear the band rediscovering its footing as one of the strangest, funniest, and best acts of the decade.
  6. Era sounds like an effort to pull away from commercial radio and actually cultivate a smaller, indie-er fan base.
  7. Josh Homme wants Era Vulgaris to be your summer bonfire record. And with a restored aura of cockiness and predictably massive arsenal of riffage, he’s once again fulfilled his goal.
  8. If Lullabies To Paralyze was a strange forest fairytale dusted with desert blues courtesy of Billy Gibbons, Era Vulgaris finds the band holed up in an abandoned funkhouse in the centre of a shady copse, waiting for some strange sexually-contracted fever to pass.
  9. Homme's ever-catchy formula remains, but the mood is uneasy and brooding, with tracks such as 'Sick, Sick, Sick' revealing a venomous new band that's finally learned to separate business and pleasure.
  10. Era Vulgaris is Homme's fifth Queens album, and like the others, it's intricately crafted, meticulously polished and ruthlessly efficient in its pursuit of depraved rock thrills.
  11. Alternative Press
    80
    Homme's modern macabre lyricism and experimental, melodic prowess... make this a more complete album that Lullabies. [Jul 2007, p.176]
  12. The Queens’ music has always been a kind of battleground for the proverbial devil and angel on Homme’s shoulders – with the devil winning, of course – and that continues to be the case here, with Homme’s bewitching falsetto croon acting as the spirit to the band’s tattooed, hairy flesh, and bruising, cactus-dry workouts giving way to lush, psychedelic oases of darkly reflective sound.
  13. Slick, sly, hard-hitting, and intelligent, Era Vulgaris is the rare big record with staying power.
  14. On this album he decisively shakes off the enervation and jokey detachment that made the Queens’ last few albums sound like in-jokes. This time Mr. Homme hones his songs.
  15. Spiky and cool where 'Songs For The Deaf' was smooth and tanned, tense and alien where that record was baked and ready to party, 'Era Vulgaris' is a record that feels like rust and stings like battery acid.
  16. Though QOTSA always seem to be on bland-rock stations, this is as different from the mainstream as you can imagine, and not in a bad way.
  17. "Era Vulgaris" ain't vulgar at all — in fact it's musicianly as heck.
  18. So when Era Vulgaris comes as a bit of a disappointment, well, that's all relative, since it still rocks mightily.
  19. Billboard
    70
    QOTSA envelops many of the songs in a fog of menacing guitar squall that focuses as much on atmospherics as hooks. [16 Jun 2007]
  20. The Queens treading water is still better than watching so many others horribly drowning.
  21. Somehow, it all works together, from the psychedelic guitar warble to the bits of prog to the almost country-style harmonies.
  22. Not content with making a diverse, punchy record brimming with those trademark riffs, Homme has written lyrics that make you think.
  23. "Era Vulgaris" is dense and loud, and though there are hooks beneath the grimy surface, they're not always immediately apparent. Yet with enough patience, you'll find these tunes burrowing in a little deeper each time through the record.
  24. While Era Vulgaris is not cohesive in tone (Could it be a reflection of today’s fragmented, compartmentalized world that pulls in all directions?) and doesn’t fire consistently on all cylinders, the album is still chock-a-block with complex instrumental arrangements, stop-and- start rhythms, gracefully refined harmonies, cranked-up choruses, and pointed commentary on the modern world.
  25. Era Vulgaris gets better with each listen, and that’s mostly due to the fact that the melodies take time to sink in.
  26. This time around things are more industrial and complex but every bit as sleazy and intoxicating.
  27. It's not so much that the songs themselves are weak, just that many of the choices made in them are.
  28. In isolation you can imagine any of these songs may have appeared over the last 10 years giving a warm comforting feel, but listened in its entirety the effect is strangely soporific, a steady morphine drip running from start to end.
  29. Entertainment Weekly
    58
    All the beefy guitar playing in the world can't change the reality that there isn't a single song here that you'll remember, or what to return to, two summers hence. [15 Jun 2007, p.78]
  30. Blender
    50
    A downer. [Jul 2007, p.116]
  31. Under The Radar
    50
    At best, the songs give you a brief QOTSA kick, and at worst, the album sounds like warmed up Eagles. [Summer 2007, p.84]
  32. There has always been a slightly tricksy, proggy side to Queens of the Stone Age, but here the more episodic songs such as Run Pig Run lurch distractingly rather than flow. The result is more of a trudge than Queens of the Stone Age albums are supposed to be, not helped by the fact that Homme seems to have mislaid his lyrical wit.
  33. With the band sounding listless and drained of ideas, it starts trying anything.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 193 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 92
  2. Negative: 4 out of 92
  1. TomB
    Nov 30, 2009
    10
    The best album of the decade. I know it's a weak decade but I would rank this album along side Surfer Rosa, Siamese Dream, and Daydream The best album of the decade. I know it's a weak decade but I would rank this album along side Surfer Rosa, Siamese Dream, and Daydream Nation. The riff for 3s and 7s reminisces of the lone, cutting perfection of the opening seconds of Smells Like Teen Spirit. Full Review »
  2. Jan 12, 2015
    9
    Okay, straight up, this album gets WAY more hate that it deserves. Sure it's not the masterpiece that "Songs for the Deaf" was, but this isOkay, straight up, this album gets WAY more hate that it deserves. Sure it's not the masterpiece that "Songs for the Deaf" was, but this is still a very good album from a very good group. It's weird and **** up, but it's so great because of that. Tracks like "Sick, Sick, Sick", "I'm Designer", "Make it wit Chu", and "3's and 7's" are my favorites on the album, and most of everything else is also really great and trippy. In a ranking of all their albums, the list would go "Songs for the Deaf", "Queens of the Stone Age (self-titled)", "...Like Clockwork", "Rated R", "Era Vulgaris", and "Lullabies to Paralyze". All great albums, mind you. Full Review »
  3. Dec 12, 2014
    6
    After the disappointing "Lullabies To Paralyze" all eyes were on Josh Homme to see if he would resurrect QOTSA or continue on down theAfter the disappointing "Lullabies To Paralyze" all eyes were on Josh Homme to see if he would resurrect QOTSA or continue on down the slippery slope. The resurrection would have to wait until 2013's "Like Clockwork" as Era Vulgaris is in a similar vein to "Lullabies" - yes it is heavy but almost just for the sake of it and generally is quite a dull affair. Where "Era.." bests its predecessor is that it is set at a quicker pace and has a bit more urgency about it. It also sees the band go down a few new avenues. Where it pales nest to "Lullabies..." is that it is completely devoid of singles or anything close to a belter of a tune. Too often the songs are flogged to death and far outstay their welcome. "River in the Road" is a great song but outside of that one I'm struggling to name anything worth going back to. Full Review »