Queens of the Stone Age - Villains
Critic Score
Based on 38 reviews
2017 Ratings: #233 / 923
Year End Rank: #32
User Score
Based on 932 ratings
2017 Ratings: #479
Liked by 47 people
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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.


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.


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.

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

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.


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 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.

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.


‘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.


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

Northern Transmissions

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

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.
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.


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

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.

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.

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.

The Observer

The result is not “QOTSA go pop”, but Ronson’s fresh ears do bring out the playfulness in their mean and muscular, feline and sensual sound, adding an extra-rubbery bounce to their rhythms.

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.

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.

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.


A fantastic follow-up to Like Clockwork. I would say this absolutely holds up to Like Clockwork and a groovy, funky, rockin album. Can't wait for what these guys do next.

Let me know what you think about this album below and have a great day.


Villains is like a machine that starts off working really well but after three songs, it starts to jam up. So, you whip out your trusty offbrand WD-40, BadSongBeGone-40, and get to spraying. And then it works!... for like one more song, after which you have to reapply it because it keeps on jamming up.


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.


Disappointing... but Fortress and Villains Of Circumstance are bangers


this isn't a part of my album thingy cuz idont wanna write a review. either wy i dont like this one that much


Does this stand up to …Like Clockwork or Songs for the Deaf? No. Does that mean it’s bad? Absolutely not.

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Added on: June 14, 2017