White Pony made me a fan of the Deftones. Before that album, I had written them off as a standard nu metal band: lots of screaming and distortion and not much in the way of substance or musicianship. White Pony changed all that. I absolutely loved the album -- it had its down points, but its up points (such as Passenger!) were spectacular. After that album, I went back and listened to the older Deftones albums, and learned to appreciate those as well, though not quite as much as White Pony.

So, as you might imagine, I was very excited to hear that the Deftones had released another album, and went out and downlo-- bought the album (eponymously named Deftones) immediately. This album, much like the last one, seems to have its high points and its low points. Unlike White Pony, this one opens weak, but gets stronger and stronger.

Standard disclaimer: This review is entirely, completely subjective. If you already have an opinion about this album, you probably don't need to read any further. If you really, really enjoyed songs like Elite (off the previous album), you will probably disagree with me a great deal. Either way, feel free to /msg me comments, or post a review of your own.

  1. Hexagram (4:09): This song was made for the nu metal kids. Very loud, lots of distorted guitar, incoherent screaming, jagged rhythms, the whole nu metal pantheon. It has its occasional sweet moments, but overall not a great song.
  2. Needles and Pins (3:23): This song is similar to the last one. I didn't mind it quite so much, but it left me wondering if the Deftones had regressed to pre-White Pony levels.
  3. Minerva (4:17): This song was a good bit better, and restored some of my faith in the Deftones. Chino actually sings (imagine that!) in this song, the guitars aren't distorted to the point that they're painful -- in general, less noise, more music. This song is also the first single off the album - good call.
  4. Good Morning Beautiful (3:28): This song was like the last one; still no sign of the Deftones I came to love on White Pony, but still not bad at all.
  5. Deathblow (5:28): Now this song was excellent. It was quiet and vaguely reminiscent of Digital Bath from the previous album. Some very cool singing, and I really like the background. Excellent song.
  6. When Girls Telephone Boys (4:36): This song, particularly after the last one, was a bit of a let-down, as it harkened back to the first couple of songs. It does have its strong sections though, so on it's own its not bad at all.
  7. Battle-axe (5:01): This song is really well done, I quite like it. It's loud, it's hard, and it's good -- a first for this album. Well done indeed.
  8. Lucky You (4:10): This song is just fucking awesome. It exemplifies the experimentation I witnessed on White Pony that made me love the Deftones. The background, I believe, is a DJ and a drum machine, and Chino does some very cool things with his voice. The "come and take me hoooome" part is quite haunting too.
  9. Bloody Cape (3:37): This song is another loud-hard one. It's not bad (although I'm not a fan of the ending at all), but its nothing spectacular.
  10. Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event (3:57): Let's get this out of the way: I think the title's hilarious. /me applauds. The song itself is rather soft and slow, in a style that's actually reminiscent of a Smashing Pumpkins song whose name eludes me right now. Quite good stuff.
  11. Moana (5:02): This song starts out soft, but makes the expected transition to the standard hard Deftones sound. This is the other song on the album that pulls off that sound really well, and is probably one of my favorite songs on the album, along with Lucky You and Battle-axe.

In comparison to White Pony, this album was rather disappointing. It had its good moments, but nothing great - no Feiticeira, no Passenger, no Pink Maggit, no Change, no RX Queen, and a close-but-no-cigar Digital Bath. On its own, the album's not bad, but it seems like it should come before rather than after White Pony. It's worth the bandwi-- money, particularly if you're a big fan of the Deftones, but I'm still waiting for the album that should come after White Pony.