Dec 00

I’m not sure if it’s up on the website yet

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 229 views

I’m not sure if it’s up on the website yet, but the NME has picked Queens Of The Stone Age’s Rated R as its album of the year. Now, Rated R is not a great album – it rocks along in a fun way, but the hooky promise of the best single (“Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret”) is not, alas, kept. So why this choice? Theories that come to mind:

- it’s been a year in which all the obvious choices are a bit too obvious. A pick like this will at least get people talking.
- QOTSA’s basic selling point is that they are Proper Rock for indie kids and so can be bought without suffering the taint of Liking Metal, in a way that Kyuss could not have been and Monster Magnet can not be, for example. This probably applies more here than in the States because we rock less, but in a musical environment of extreme fiddliness there’s still something tokenistic about the Queens’ rockin’ ways: I’d guess a lot of end-of-year lists will feature Rated R as their only rock record. So NME gets to position itself as a paper which will embrace tough, hard music in the dark days ahead without alienating its demographic.
- QOTSA are American. The reason Melody Maker went belly-up is that ‘the kids’ were generally into British music and thus could be well-served by the non-specialist British press, TV etc. Americophilia = exoticism = a good niche for the NME to be in. Also NME is trying to turn itself into a global music brand, so picking Coldplay would send out the wrong signals.

Or of course it might be that the writers liked the album. But how boring would that be?

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page