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Tool: Best Album?

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Poll: Best Tool Album
Ænima
50%
 50%  [7]
Lateralus
14%
 14%  [2]
10,000 Days
35%
 35%  [5]
Undertow
0%
 0%  [0]
Total Votes : 14

Author Message

AAL2014




United States

#1 | Posted: 09/26/2017 18:13 | Post subject: Tool: Best Album? Reply with quote
I had a poll like this before for another one of my favorite artists, Stevie Wonder. The poll was to choose his best work between Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. It was so much fun and very insightful to get different thoughts and views on each of the records.

So let's talk Tool. In my eyes, they are one of the most important bands of the last 25 years. Nevermind the lack of new material in 11 years, for a band in this day and age to maintain such a low and enigmatic profile yet still be basically relevant as ever, headlining festivals and selling out arenas wherever they go is a massive achievement.

There's just something people can connect to in their music, but in a vastly different way than many other rock bands (or otherwise). As a friend of mine once stated: "There's a spirit and energy trying to communicate through Tool's recordings." Whether you believe that is one thing. The fact that one person feels that in a band's music is all that matters. It's a reflection on the magnitude of the groups' musical chemistry if anything.

When I finally decided to delve into their music, I did so head first, and it changed my fucking life. I'm a different drummer and musician because of them. Danny Carey's compositional drumming ability blew my mind. His attention to detail to compliment his band members' parts is on par with how Elvin Jones played on Coltrane's best work. He never lets his playing get in the way, only add context and color.

Maynard has certainly become a favorite of mine in the vocal and lyrical department. He can adapt his voice to fit many different moods. His voice is almost like David Bowie's look. Although he may not be the vocalist he used to be (very few are after 50) he still has phenomenal control, and a new richness in his voice much like how Chris Cornell's aged. I saw Tool in June, it was a legendary performance.

Ænima and Lateralus to me are easily Tool's most complete work and have left an imprint and influence on music to the point where I believe both records should be considered classics. But which one, to you, is better? Or do you find 10,000 Days or Undertow to be their crowning achievement? For a long while, I was on the Ænima train with no sign of exiting, however, the more I immersed myself in Lateralus, the more rewarding it became and the gap between albums for me has narrowed dramatically.

I look forward to hearing your responses. Friendships in my life, new and old, have grown exponentially because of the mutual view on Tool's music. Certainly not aiming to be the insufferable Tool fan here, but I can't deny when a band has a positive effect on my life.

Also what's your favorite Tool track?
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
United States

#2 | Posted: 09/26/2017 18:45 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Aenima
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Fischman
RockMonster, JazzMeister and ClassicalMaster


Gender: Male
Location: Rocky Mountain High
United States

#3 | Posted: 09/26/2017 19:52 | Post subject: Reply with quote
This is a tough one--not unlike how a similar poll would go with Jimi Hendrix. Few original studio albums to choose from and even if I could name a favorite, it would be just a smidge over the other two.

Even if there is a favorite, it's not by much. So while Aenima may win by a landslide in terms of first place votes, that would mask that Lateralus and Undertow are just a hair behind.
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AAL2014




United States

#4 | Posted: 09/26/2017 20:29 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Fischman wrote:
This is a tough one--not unlike how a similar poll would go with Jimi Hendrix. Few original studio albums to choose from and even if I could name a favorite, it would be just a smidge over the other two.

Even if there is a favorite, it's not by much. So while Aenima may win by a landslide in terms of first place votes, that would mask that Lateralus and Undertow are just a hair behind.


I've always felt similar about Hendrix's catalog as well. No wrong answer, essentially a different record for a different day and a different mood. Perhaps a Hendrix poll should be started haha.


Yes, currently with Ænima's 5 votes, it's on the way to running away, but it's nice to see 10,000 Days get a vote too. That's my 3rd favorite Tool record, but some amazing songs on it nonetheless and it was my overall introduction to Tool.
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babyBlueSedan
Doing ten thousand push-ups a day


Gender: Male
United States

#5 | Posted: 09/26/2017 23:06 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I ended up going with 10,000 Days. It was one of the first albums I ever listened to in full and has a pretty good hit-miss ratio compared to other Tool albums. Aenima has my favorite tool songs (Stinkfist / Eulogy), but there's way too much filler for me to want to listen to it very often. Lateralus is also really great, and might rank higher than 3rd favorite if Disposition/Reflection didn't take up so much of the run time.
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AAL2014




United States

#6 | Posted: 09/27/2017 00:09 | Post subject: Reply with quote
babyBlueSedan wrote:
I ended up going with 10,000 Days. It was one of the first albums I ever listened to in full and has a pretty good hit-miss ratio compared to other Tool albums. Aenima has my favorite tool songs (Stinkfist / Eulogy), but there's way too much filler for me to want to listen to it very often. Lateralus is also really great, and might rank higher than 3rd favorite if Disposition/Reflection didn't take up so much of the run time.


Interesting, Disposition/Reflection is one of the highlights of Lateralus for me. I do agree though that Reflection could benefit from having the vocals come in before the 4 minute mark. But there's an undeniable transcendental quality to it if you aren't in a hurry to get to another track/album haha.

Overall I do feel 10,000 Days is underrated. Wings For Marie, Rosetta Stoned, and Right In Two are perhaps the peak of Tool's songwriting.
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sethmadsen
Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis


Gender: Male
Age: 34
Location: Ground Control
United States

#7 | Posted: 09/27/2017 01:06 | Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm not a huge Tool fan, but I do like them and agree they have something going for them few bands/musicians do.

Having said that when I listened to their discography, I felt 10,000 days was the most consistently pleasing album.

Sober and Schism are fantastic songs and the most catchy (I have a thing for pop songs).
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Last edited by sethmadsen on 09/27/2017 01:12; edited 1 time in total
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Tha1ChiefRocka
I'm A Cowboy On My Own Trip



Location: Kansas
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#8 | Posted: 09/27/2017 01:10 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Danny Carey's compositional drumming ability blew my mind. His attention to detail to compliment his band members' parts is on par with how Elvin Jones played on Coltrane's best work. He never lets his playing get in the way, only add context and color.


Very true, Lateralus is undoubtedly his opus, which was a very close second to Aenima for me based on his drumming. He used to drum clinics sometimes in the Kansas City area or in Lawrence, KS which is where he's from, I wish I could have seen one.

BTW have you ever listened to that supergroup he was in called Volto?


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AAL2014




United States

#9 | Posted: 09/27/2017 17:21 | Post subject: Reply with quote
sethmadsen wrote:
I'm not a huge Tool fan, but I do like them and agree they have something going for them few bands/musicians do.

Having said that when I listened to their discography, I felt 10,000 days was the most consistently pleasing album.

Sober and Schism are fantastic songs and the most catchy (I have a thing for pop songs).


Sober and Schism are indeed very catchy. Nothing wrong with liking that structure because Tool can do it quite well. I have burnout on Sober because I liked it way before I liked Tool's other work. Still a great track though of course.


Is taking on discographies one of your methods of listening to/discovering new music Seth? How does that work for you, do you find it more rewarding than jumping from artist to artist/album to album?
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AAL2014




United States

#10 | Posted: 09/27/2017 17:27 | Post subject: Reply with quote
Tha1ChiefRocka wrote:
Quote:
Danny Carey's compositional drumming ability blew my mind. His attention to detail to compliment his band members' parts is on par with how Elvin Jones played on Coltrane's best work. He never lets his playing get in the way, only add context and color.


Very true, Lateralus is undoubtedly his opus, which was a very close second to Aenima for me based on his drumming. He used to drum clinics sometimes in the Kansas City area or in Lawrence, KS which is where he's from, I wish I could have seen one.

BTW have you ever listened to that supergroup he was in called Volto?


Link


Yes! Volto is very cool. A perfect side project for Danny because it's much more lax than Tool, but he can spread his drumming wings nonetheless. Another drummer-led side project that I like quite a bit is Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats.

Lateralus is indeed an opus for Dan, and I truly believe a top tier drum album in the rock canon and beyond. However, maybe his best individual track is Rosetta Stoned from 10,000 Days. There are some crazy patterns, numerous odd time signatures, and unreal orchestration. Such an inspirational player.
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