- Villains

Queens of the Stone Age - Villains
Based on 25 reviews
2017 Rank: #192 / 581
Based on
183 ratings

Apple Music


As a whole, ‘Villains’ is the Californian filthmongers’ most danceable offering yet – and all the better for it.

Seven albums into their career, Queens Of The Stone Age continue to amaze. 'Villains' is meticulously constructed, endlessly exciting and deeply rewarding.


Is QOTSA’s seventh album Villains a little slicker? A little tidier? Danceable? The answer is yes. But Ronson’s touch has not made Josh Homme’s songs any less heavy, weird or ambitious.


At this stage, Queens of the Stone Age don't have many new tricks in their bag but their consummate skill—accentuated by the fact that this is the first QOTSA album that features just the band alone, not even augmented by Mark Lanegan—means they know when to ratchet up the tempo, when to slide into a mechanical grind, when to sharpen hooks so they puncture cleanly. All that makes Villains a dark joy, a record that offers visceral pleasure in its winking menace.


The bequiffed high priest of desert rock has always imbued his full-throttle stoner sound with a certain amount of hip-shaking sass, but on ‘Villains’, he truly lets his dancing shoes take the floor.

The Line of Best Fit

A much more cohesive album than ...Like Clockwork, one that seems hell-bent on turning out an incendiary dance-rock record rather than constantly shifting stylistic shape in the way that last LP did.


Four years on and with an army of keyboards in tow, Homme ... mostly succeeds in accomplishing his vision, making an album that dazzles in contrast to the previous album's darkness.

Rolling Stone
No Queens record has prioritized groove like this, and it reboots their brand nicely.

‘Villains’ is Queens Of The Stone Age at their darkly seductive best, from the garish cover art to its well-crafted production, this is an album that proves that there is still a place for rock music in the mainstream of 2017.

The Guardian
Queens of the Stone Age will never regain the shock value they had when Rated R came out, 17 years ago. But they don’t need to. Despite Homme’s self-mythologising, they long since ceased to be a desert rock band; they’re simply a great rock’n’roll group.

Villains is all swinging dance-rock and atmospheric vulnerability, with Ronson locking a serious groove to the Queens’ Grimm Brothers gothic architecture.

The Independent

The band have retained their brusque character but it’s less ponderous than before, with several tracks taken at an unfeasibly rapid tempo; while Ronson has brought production clarity and a punchy funk sensibility that transforms QOTSA’s trademark robot-rock rhythms into something much more dynamic and danceable.

Northern Transmissions

A lightly bookended album, Villains isn’t the powerhouse that …Like Clockwork was, but it charts new ground for the band nonetheless.


Villains is by far their most danceable and commercial to date. However, stoner rock purists needn’t worry that Palm Desert’s finest have suddenly discovered a taste for tropical house. Villains still possesses plenty of the band’s trademark pulverizing guitar riffs and sludgy basslines.

A.V. Club

On the whole, Villains isn’t Homme’s strongest collection of songwriting. That said, it’s the first Queens Of The Stone Age album where the sounds behind it are consistently strong enough to carry the load.

Consequence of Sound

Villains far exceeds expectations of the best-case scenario for a Queens of the Stone Age album or a mainstream rock album in 2017.

Pretty Much Amazing
Even though it doesn’t do nearly enough to distinguish itself from the band’s earlier albums, it’s an enjoyable enough listen that it’s not too hard to excuse its flaws. I don’t think it’s the QOTSA album most people were hoping for, but perhaps it’s the album Josh Homme felt the world needed right now. I certainly can’t fault him for that.

This record is strong from top to bottom, and another great entry into Queens of the Stone Age’s catalog.

No Ripcord

This is a Queens record that has no pretenses, no false identity. And it provides just the right remedy to refuel rock radio’s loss of identity.

The 405

Overall Villains makes solid progress in the macabre direction Homme is currently choosing to call home, but my concern is whether this is at the expense of some of their more interesting qualities.

Slant Magazine

This album's pseudo-danceable moments add welcome wrinkles to a formula that's otherwise begun to feel leaden.


With production flourishes from Mark Ronson, Josh Homme leads the band's most accessible album in decades. It’s equal parts disco inferno and devil-may-care experimentation.

Drowned in Sound

Villains isn’t a terrible record, but it’s not a fantastic record either, and that’s perhaps the least kind thing that could be said about new material from a band which we’ve come to expect a lot from.

The Needle Drop

Mark Ronson's flat production doesn't do any favors for Villains, Queens of the Stone Age's most mixed bag of tracks to date.

Under The Radar

Dwelling on better times of a bygone era is a fundamental pillar of escapism, but it's disconcerting when one of the most uncompromising, forward-thinking bands in the rock pantheon leans so heavily on what worked in the past that they forget that the onus is on them to innovate.

Aug 26, 2017
Responsible for one of the defining rock moments of the decade, Josh Homme and the Queens of the Stone Age are back with their groovier work to date. Villains marks the completion of a cycle for the band, or perhaps it is already the "next-step" after such a huge release as ...Like, Clockwork was. It is a transitory release that cements Homme's will to walk into mainstream personnel department, as he casts aside the heavier, dirtier desert-rock riffage that has been his trademark ... read more
Sep 2, 2017
Damn I haven't been this bored listening to a rock record in a while, the squeaky clean production here ruined it for me, I couldn't get into a single groove on this whole album honestly.
Aug 25, 2017
In almost 20 years discography, QOTSA has landed their most enjoyable album to date, the Ronson touch it's perfect, and the intro itself it's pure madness.
Aug 9, 2017*
Disclaimer: Leaked Listen (if there is a big difference in sound, this album could be an 88 or so tbh if its as intricate as ...Like Clockwork then this album is a hit. I definitely caught myself unconsciously trying to turn up the volume despite it being on max close to the end of the album)

Its Queens, as we've always known them, swaggered, groovy and sad. Its a good album but it doesn't reach the same heights as ...Like Clockwork.

Its definitely a grower of an album despite being only 9 ... read more
Oct 21, 2017
▲ Feet Don't Fail Me, The Way You Used To Do, Head Like A Haunted House, Un-Reborn Again, The Evil Has Landed

▼ Fortress, Hideaway
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Track List
  1. Feet Don’t Fail Me
  2. The Way You Used to Do
  3. Domesticated Animals
  4. Fortress
  5. Head Like a Haunted House
  6. Un-Reborn Again
  7. Hideaway
  8. The Evil Has Landed
  9. Villains of Circumstance
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton, CoL1, andy

Added on: June 14, 2017