With 10,000 Days, it is different. The ambience is, thankfully, still there, but the attitude is missing. In comes an odd grasp of melody that was previously missing. When the listener first realizes this, it is disorienting, but — at the risk of repeating myself — subsequent listens are required to come to terms with it. And when that happens, it is a glorious feeling.
Central to this new sound, if I could call it that, is Maynardâ€™s vocals. He was always angry — with society, with its materialism — but here he is vulnerable, and with the vulnerability comes a new dimension to his vocals. No where is this more evident than in the song titled "The Pot." Drug references aside, it contains a vocal performance that is wonderful. If drummer, Danny Carreyâ€™s drumming made Lateralus, then Maynard deserves the credit for making 10,000 Days a beautiful experience.
As for Danny himself, he is to Tool what John Bonham was to Led Zeppelin and what Keith Moon was to The Who. His odd rhythm patterns recall Lateralus, but it is evident that he continues to grow as an artist. Adam Jones and Justin Chancellor do their thing, but remain in the background. Adam, in particular, is very restrained with his lead work, conscious that there were greater things at play.
10,000 Days demands multiple listens, more so than Lateralus did. But that is the great thing about Tool; they take us where their vision — their pretentiousness — leads and we follow. With 10,000 Days, like with Lateralus , we donâ€™t complain.
I probably wonâ€™t with 10,000 Days, as my MP3 player continues to play it on repeat. Itâ€™s been worth the wait, ladies and gents.