|Studio album by Deftones|
|Released||May 20, 2003|
|Studio||Studio X in Seattle; Larrabee Studio in West Hollywood; The Spot in Sacramento|
|Producer||Terry Date and Deftones|
|Singles from Deftones|
Deftones is the self-titled fourth studio album by American alternative metal band Deftones. It was released on May 20, 2003 by Maverick Records. The album featured a broader spectrum of musical styles than previous Deftones records, ranging from some of their heaviest compositions (such as "Bloody Cape" and "When Girls Telephone Boys") to moody trip hop influences (such as "Lucky You"), and recorded mostly with seven-string guitars. It was the band's final album produced by Terry Date, whose collaboration with Deftones dated back to their 1995 debut, Adrenaline.
Originally titled Lovers, the album was instead given an eponymous title because singer Chino Moreno considered Lovers too obvious in relation to the context of its material (the former title song "Lovers" did appear as a A-side and B-side on the UK "Hexagram" single). Deftones was the last album produced by Date, who had collaborated with the band since Adrenaline, due to the vast amount of time spent in the studio. The band's slow writing and recording pace frustrated Date, as well as their lack of previously composed material when they entered the studio. A leaked track list from a month prior to the album's release featured "Needles & Pins" as the opener, under the title "Aria"; The song title and the album's track list were changed at the last minute.
Deftones is an eclectic album, with songs spanning many different ideas in diverse genres. It has a much different feel than prior efforts, due in part to Frank Delgado leaving his turntables behind and instead focusing on playing keyboards and synthesizers. Most of the album's songs make extensive use of the band's low G# tuning and Moreno's high screams, resulting in some of the heaviest songs in the band's catalog. On the other hand, the track "Lucky You" is a dark, soft, trip hop-influenced piece featuring DJ Crook from Moreno's side project Team Sleep and vocalist Rey Osburn of Tinfed. A grand piano and toy piano were featured in the mournful "Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event."
Deftones produced two singles, "Minerva" and "Hexagram." Music videos were shot for both singles as well as the track "Bloody Cape". The latter's video was only available on the band's official website for one day, but was later released on the DVD portion of the band's B-Sides & Rarities. As the lead single, "Minerva" featured a melodic, commercially viable sound and gained strong rotation on mainstream rock video programming. In contrast, the extreme heaviness of "Hexagram" landed it on shows such as Uranium and Headbangers Ball.
"Battle-Axe" was featured in the video game Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, while "Minerva" was featured in True Crime: Streets of LA and NHL 2004, and also as downloadable content for the Rock Band series.
Q praised the album, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars, stating, "In a genre considered creatively bankrupt, this is genuinely new metal". Rolling Stone stated, "This is metal that crushes, then soothes; collapses, then soars... Deftones just blows open the possibilities". In contrast, reviewers from sites such The A.V. Club and AllMusic gave the album positive scores but criticized the band for returning to their heavy style, instead of the more soft and artistic style of its predecessor, White Pony.
Spin magazine also give it a positive score, but complained about the album's notable darkness, saying, "On their fourth album, Deftones are sad as hell, and they're not gonna take it anymore; this is less an 11-song album than a single long-form mope". Playlouder's mixed review praised the band's musicianship, but criticized Moreno's high, screamed vocals.
In 2016, Jonathan Dick of NPR Music retrospectively noted the album's "trip-hop nuances" and included the album as an example of Deftones' varied catalogue, stating that "Deftones' catalogue reads like a case study in how a band can translate influences into a sound that's definitively their own." The track "Minerva" was placed at spot number 12 in Consequence of Sound's article "The Top 20 Deftones Song," with Jon Hadusek claiming that "[in] a way, Deftones brought shoegaze to the alternative metal mainstream with 'Minerva', a crushingly heavy, textured jam indebted to Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins and Hum [...]" Hadusek further stated that the track was "far-and-away the best track" of the self-titled album and that the track "hints at the dreamier directions" that Deftones would continue to explore.
This album sold 167,000 copies in its first week of release in America, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting album to date by the band, and went on to sell over 500,000 copies in the U.S., giving it gold status.
All tracks written by Deftones except "Lucky You"; by Deftones and DJ Crook.
|2.||"Needles and Pins"||3:23|
|4.||"Good Morning Beautiful"||3:28|
|6.||"When Girls Telephone Boys"||4:36|
|8.||"Lucky You" (feat. Rey Osburn)||Deftones and DJ Crook||4:10|
|10.||"Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event"||3:57|
- Chino Moreno – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
- Stephen Carpenter – lead guitar, drums on "Anniversary of an Uninteresting Event"
- Chi Cheng – bass, backing vocals
- Frank Delgado – keyboards
- Abe Cunningham – drums
- Terry Date – production, engineering and mixing
- Kinski Gallo – additional photography
- Sam Hofstedt – assistant engineering
- Frank Maddocks – art direction and design
- James R. Minchin III – band photography
- Rey Osburn – additional vocals (on "Lucky You")
- Pete Roberts – Pro Tools engineering and additional engineering
- Nick Spanos – additional photography
- Sean Tallman – assistant engineering
- Greg Wells – arrangement
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From the trip-hop nuances of its self-titled album in 2003 to the bleak math metal tendencies of 2006's Saturday Night Wrist to the goth-rock tinged shoegaze of 2010's Diamond Eyes to the prog-rock flirting of 2012's Koi No Yokan, Deftones' catalogue reads like a case study in how a band can translate influences into a sound that's definitively their own.
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