Arrrgghh this is going to be so passive-aggressive – So let’s start this off on the passive. As of the 22nd June 2020, One of my favourite albums of all time White Pony by the Deftones turned 20 years old.
As of writing this, I am 37 years old, I remember anxiously waiting for this album to come out. I was excited, I devoured all the leaks, snippets and rumours and could not wait to hear what the Deftones had conjured up for the third album “White Pony“.
20 years ago I distinctly remember the moment I got the album, I was house-sitting for my then partner’s aunt which at 17 was a luxury to have my own space and one I relished. SO to get this album at the same time was nothing more than a blessing. This was an important moment and needed to be relished, so armed with snacks, a bottle of whiskey and some smokes I set my self up in the kitchen with the CD player directly in front of me and the back door wide open. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day…click…play.
I listened to the album in its entirety, didn’t skip, repeat or pause. It blew me away the album was insanely beyond any expectations I had. It was an ocean of soundscapes occasionally swelling in distorted guitars to calming swill of soft almost whispered lyrics washing around. Whatever Terry Date and the Deftones created in the studio was nothing short of audio creativity.
Now I am a huge fan of stories in all forms and this album and it’s narrative alone spoke volumes (no pun intended). The lyrics form a journey which at times the uncomfortable story mixed with soothing music and the pleasant mixed with aggressive sounds, just perfect. It reminded me a lot of Morrisey, The Cure, The Pixies, Joy Division, it was officially my era’s answer to deliberate melancholy.
If you haven’t had the joy of listening to this album and have time available to allow your self to just soak up this masterpiece then I cannot recommend it enough.
Usually, when you listen to an album you hen pick your favourite tracks. This is a difficult task on White Pony simply because every single track is crafted to an extent it needs to be heard. However to justify this journal entry I feel I must list some of my stand out tracks.
Change in the house of flies
This song has to be my stand out favourite from the whole album. IT is hard to explain as to why it just seems to resonate with me. I love it when a song has a well constructed Middle 8 section and these are the moments I tend to crave when I listen to music. The intense sludgy sound that comes with the middle 8 in “Change in the house of flies” is a thing of absolute beauty, the tempo slowed down rhythm relaxed, lyrics whispered – God it is just absolutely perfect, then crashes back into the chorus. Now the official music video is below which is a work of beauty in itself, and I definitely recommend you watch it.
Fusing two of my favourite singers Chino Moreno and Tools Maynard James Keenan into one song was a gift I never expected upon listening to this album. But behold the collaboration of dreams is made, this is such haunting and strangely romantic song, which is something in later albums became a staple for Deftones progression and earning them the name “Sextones”. This is such a sultry song, a dark romance of music. Definitely eyes closed headphones on, and saturate in how organically perfect this track is
Okay so I established earlier in this post about my love affair with amazing Middle 8 sections in songs, this song is the alpha representation of that. the merge between vocal and synth is seamless. Overall this is just a great well-curated story, powered forwards by the drums and guitars which drops out to one of the most impressive music breakdowns I have ever listened too. I am going to sit back and let you listen to this and see what you think.
Because I have pointed out the three songs above does not mean I fall short on the rest of this album, I cannot stress enough how perfectly attuned this album is, every single track is oozing with passion and creativity. It is without a doubt one of my favourite albums of all time and I have not changed my view on this album in the 20 years it has existed, I have never tired of it and often listen to this album when I am doing coding and need a much stricter focus. Without a doubt a gem in the history of rock albums in my collection.
Now we reach my aggressive part of this post… God this has made me feel old, 20th anniversary… Jeez, it feels like it was only last week.