...Like Clockwork Music Poster Image

...Like Clockwork



Brooding alt-rock album has heavy themes, all-star guests.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

...Like Clockwork is dark and brooding, with themes of despair and isolation. Lyrics about emotional pain and drinking to forget are mature, but poignant. However, moments of faith, love, and perseverance are seen throughout, and ultimately the album has a positive takeaway about moving forward.

Positive role models

Listeners looking for emotional empathy will identify with Homme's poetic, melancholic lyrics about depression and pain, and possibly find strength in his ability to channel that pain into art. However, there are a few lyrics about drinking and escapism that negate positive role model messages.


"Kalopsia" has dark, violent imagery, with lyrics like "they'll feel the sting of the lash" and "we'll chock chain them all." "Smooth Sailing" has graphic lyrics that evoke violence: "I got bruises and hickies/Stitches and scars."


There are a few instances of sex. In "Fairweather Friends," Homme sings "So what's it gonna take/To get you back in bed/Gossip, drugs, and snakes," and "Drink wine and screw is all we'll do." "If I Had a Tail" also has lyrics with a graphic sexual connotation: "I want to suck, I want to lick."


"Keep Your Eyes Peeled" and "Kalopsia" have "hell" in the lyrics. "Fairweather Friends" has "s--t," and "Smooth Sailing" has "f--k" and "hell."


Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In "I Sat by the Ocean" Homme sings about drinking to forget with the line, "I drank the potion, baby, to erase you." "Fairweather Friends" has lyrics about drugs and drinking wine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that ...Like Clockwork is the sixth studio album by Queens of the Stone Age. Much of the material was conceived by singer Josh Homme during a major depressive spell, and while the album is dark and brooding, moments of beauty and clarity peek through. ...Like Clockwork boasts an impressive roster of guest talent, including previous QOTSA contributor Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters on drums, as well as Elton John, Mark Lanegan, Trent Reznor, Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys, Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, and Brody Dalle of The Distillers. There is some strong language, including "s--t," "f--k," and "hell," and several lyrics that touch on drugs, alcohol, and sex, most notably on "Fairweather Friends" and "Smooth Sailing." Aside from those two iffy songs, the album is tame enough for teens.

Parents say

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What's the story?

...LIKE CLOCKWORK is Queens of the Stone Age's sixth studio album and their first release in six years. Singer Josh Homme was inspired to write new songs when he was bedridden for four months after knee surgery and battling a major depressive episode. This record aptly captures his sense of isolation and despair. The band, joined here by Dave Grohl on drums and other artists including Elton John and Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys, are softer and more subdued than on previous albums, practicing restraint in deference to Homme's dark lyrical subject matter.

Is it any good?


...Like Clockwork is softer than the bombastic hard rock QOTSA is known for, and it touches upon a more reflective side of Homme's songwriting. Rich lyrical imagery and densely packed guitar-rock are infused with elements of pop ballads and metal, resulting in a more subdued and complex album than other QOTSA releases. Ultimately ...Like Clockwork captures the band at their tightest and most affecting, and it's an engaging listen from beginning to end.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how depression drives art. Can you think of other artists who've famously been fueled by periods of despair?

  • Queens of the Stone Age is joined by a number of guest artists. Can you hear Elton John's contribution to this album? What about Alex Turner, Trent Reznor, or Jake Shears?

  • What do you think the title ...Like Clockwork means in the context of the album?


Music details

Artist:Queens of the Stone Age
Release date:June 3, 2013
Label:Matador Records
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Kid, 10 years old June 13, 2014

Like No Youngs...

It's more for older kids,around 9 through 13
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byMr47 July 16, 2013

The Best Album Of 2013

This is the best album of 2013 and everyone, from children to the elderly must bask in it's sometimes brooding, sometimes uplifting beauty. The album proves that Queens are still one of the greatest modern rock acts around.
What other families should know
Too much swearing