Infinity2 | Los Gatos, CA United States | 11/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I didn't have the original White Pony. I got this because it was the same price, and had an extra track. If you don't have this version, you can download Back to School from the CD Xtra. Okay?Now to business. This is a wonderful album. Each song is unique, so I have to reveiw it song by song.Back to School: An excelent song/single. I'm glad I got this version because it's so cool. The second most agressive song on this album, sounding like a combination of Minus Blindfold, My Own Summer, and Pink Maggot. It's argualbly the best song the Deftones do live, too. 10/10Feticeria: This is not as good an opener at Back to School. It still is good, however. The lyrics are a bit clear for a Deftones song, like My Own Summer. However, it still isn't personal, so in the end, it's just your regular Deftones song. 7/10Digital Bath: One of my favorite songs of all time. This features Chino on the guitar, and has weird lyrics like Root. However, this is NOT a mosh pit song. It is a bit slow, but makes up for that in its great sound. 10/10Elite: Yuck. This is nothing but ultra heavy riffs, and Chino screaming, "When you're ripe, you'll bleed out of control!" After reading the lyrics, I discovered what this song is really about. If I say it in this review, Amazon.com won't post it. 3/10RX Queen: This is a weird song. It features the new DJ as a second percussion part. Nice cryptic lyrics, though. 5/10Street Carp: Short and heavy. Sounds like a shorter version of Feticeria with better riffs. Probably the fourth heaviest song on the album. 8/10Teenager: SOFT is the key word. This slow song abot high school romance is toughing, but doesn't sound like the Deftones. If you like this song, get any Eels album; it sounds a lot like them. 6/10Knife Prty: A combination of all the styles of this album like Root and Far Away were on their respective albums. I like the screaming female vocals in the background 10/10Korea: This is a great aggressive song like 7 Words. Great transition in the middle like Root. It's the opener in the Back to School tour, and in my city, it got everyone up. 10/10Passanger: The best song on the album. It features Maunard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle fame. The vocals and riffs are amazing stuff. 10/10Change: A bit slow; too misleading for a first single. If you ask me, Korea would have been a better single. Oh well... it's still a good song 7/10Pink Maggot: In every Deftones album, there's a good, long closer. This is no exception. Starting off with slow power chords and vocals, this evolves into a song that I like as much as Back to School. There's a nice heartbeat noise at the end. 10/10Well, that's my two cents. If you haven't got this album already, buy it. It totally rocks."
Breathtaking to say the least
A. Stutheit | Denver, CO USA | 07/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Deftones formed in the late 1980's, but didn't release their first real C.D. until 1995. This album, "Adrenaline," was very heavy, raw, and energetic. In 1997, they released "Around the Fur," another heavy album, and one that helped the Deftones step out of Korn's shadow. "Adrenaline" and "Around the Fur" were two of the first ever nu-metal albums, and many modern nu-metal bands have cited the Deftones as an influence, but these albums' sales did not compare with the good reviews they got from critics.
This C.D., the group's only to go platinum, is when the Deftones really came into their own, because with their third album, the Deftones seemed like they wanted to slay the horse they rode in on. It's about 10 times less heavy than "Adrenaline" and "ATF," and the hip-hop influence is all but eliminated. The Deftones despise the "nu-metal" label, and have tried hard to get rid of it. I believe "The White Pony" isn't rap/nu-metal; I'd call it more of an alternative or progressive or melodic metal album. Some of the Deftones' past seeps through into some of these songs (as you'll see below), but, for the most part, this sounds like a completely new band. The new sound alienated some old-school headbangers, but, since this is the Deftones' most accessible and easy-to-listen to album, it also attracted many new fans. I'm not sure if Chino and Co. would have made this album if their two predecessors, the heavier albums, were more popular, but "The White Pony" is very smooth, melodic, atmospheric, and often pretty.
When writing this album, there was some commotion amongst the band members (particularly guitarist Steph Carpenter and singer Chino Moreno), but the result was an album that's probably the second best C.D. to be released since the year 2000 (second only to Tool's "Lateralus").
1. "Back to School": One of the disc's three singles. "The White Pony" was originally released without this song, but the Deftones re-released it a few months later, and "Back to School" was included. Even though there is some proper singing, this song mostly consists of "Adrenaline"-esque riffs and rapping. It's the second heaviest song on here, but that makes it not a very good representation of the album as a whole. It's funny that "Around the Far" had a song about summer, and this album has a song about returning to school. 2. "Feiticeira": Even though it has a fairly fast opening riff and fast pace throughout, Chino's clean singing makes this song not very heavy. (That is often the case with this album, actually; the music is sort of hard, but Chino makes it keeps it melodic.) This song is lyrically interesting; it's about a kidnaping scenario. 3. "Mechanical Bath": This song, especially the beginning, is among the most pretty, soothing, and atmospheric that the Deftones have ever written. It has very spacey sounding guitars, but this song is mainly vocals and a slow drum beat. The choruses are still hard, and the song gains momentum and ends with some guitar riffs. Lyrically, this song is about a sexual fantasy Chino has, which involves a woman taking a bath; thus, a few seconds of this song sounds like water dripping from a faucet. 4. "Elite": The Deftones throw us a curve ball for track four, by writing their heaviest song ever. This song's relentless guitars and energy, and raging, robotic vocals should make for a great mosh pit. "Elite" is definitely a personal favorite, even if it is a little bit out of place. 5. "RX Queen": The verses of this song have some guitar strings that make a "ner ner" sound, but this is mainly a melodic and very spacey song. This song has more hard choruses, which create a good friction between the verses and the choruses. Pretty much just one drum beat runs throughout this song, and it ends with some whispering. 6. "Street Carp": Another example of a song which has a few riffs and is fairly fast paced, but it is ultimately only semi-heavy. 7. "Teenager": An absolutely breathtaking song with great singing. It was originally a song by Team Sleep (Chino's side project), but the Deftones adopted it. There are some light, repetitive guitar strings, and what sounds like a distant drum beat, but "Teenager" is mainly music made from turntables. If I could describe this song in one word it would be "b-e-a-utiful." 8. "Knife Party": This song begins with light guitar strumming, but then the riffs become heavy, and briefly create a crunch. Chino sings "I could float here forever/we can't touch the floor;" lyrics which might refer to being high off of drugs. And those lyrics are very fitting because this song makes you feel like you're among the clouds. The verses are very leisurely, the song gains speed in the choruses (where Chino repeats the line: "Go get your knife"), and then the beat comes down a few notches, near the end, where some awesome female vocals are included. 9. "Korea": The lyrics to this song don't really make sense, but all is forgiven because "Korea" has a bouncy rhythm with some heavy riffs and throaty yells. 10. "Passenger": This one opens with some swirling, sweeping noise. Some parts are hard, and the choruses are riff driven, but the drums are much slower than the guitars. Tool's Maynard James Keenan guests on this song; he and Chino trade off singing lines in the verses. Since this song is about driving, it sort of echoes "Be Quiet and Drive," except "Passenger" has a chorus which is more likely to get stuck in your head, and it ends with what sounds like a piano. 11. "Change": "The White Pony"'s most popular single (and, actually, the only Deftones song I've ever heard on the radio). The soft strumming and "breathing" (which is made possible by DJ Frank Delgado), makes the beginning of this song sound fuzzy; like it is being played through an old radio. Add some more good singing and sci-fi lyrics, and this is another very atmospheric, and at times eerie, song. The verses are so restrained, you can almost hear Chino breathe in at one point. And Chino sings very well in the choruses; he extends the words/syllables (particularly the end of the word "fly"), and holds the same note for a while. 12. "Pink Maggot": The most mellow song on this record. It's almost a capella, except for a few occasional strums, until about the three minute mark, when the guitars and drums speed up and Chino sings lyrics which are from track one, "Back to School." This song, and the album, ends with a sluggish thumping noise, which sounds like a baby's heart beat.
--And here's a review for "Boys Republic," if you got the version of "The White Pony" that has an extra track at the end of the album: This track is decent, but it's nothing spectacular. It's fast paced and has some more OK riffs, but it ends too soon and isn't as catchy or memorable as the rest of the album. It's only worth spending extra money for this song if you're a diehard 'Tones fan.
This album's follow up, 2003's "Deftones," returned the Deftones to their heavy, riff based roots. I don't want to say heavy metal is what the Deftones are best at, since this album was so breathtaking, but it is, evidently, the type of music that comes naturally to them. That's partially why "The White Pony" is so special--because there will probably never be another album like this by the Deftones...or any band!
In conclusion, "The White Pony" is one great ride. You don't have to like the rest of the Deftones material to like this, because this is not only very mature, unique, and breathtaking, it is also one of the best C.D.'s of the new millennium. I recommend it to anybody who loves music."
Take A Ride
Kyle Banick | Houston, TX | 03/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 2000, White Pony is still a landmark in popular hard rock, often showing up in various places as one of the best albums of its respective year and even all time. Still, nearly five years later it is considered to be Deftones' masterpiece and the height of their artistic and commercial success. As I type this, Deftones are preparing to release their fifth album, so the future of White Pony's title is unsure, and I think I speak for all Deftones fans when I say that I hope it gets knocked down by the new release.
It's hard to swallow White Pony at points, and it definitely takes time to grow on you, but subsequent listens of the record in its entirety open up its true brilliance. The way White Pony is constructed is confusing, but after breaking it down, it becomes a little more manageable. Basically, it's not a full-blown concept album, but it does have a very conceptual and almost progressive feel throughout, as indicated by the many shifts in styling and song structure, yet retaining a consistent feel. The way I see it, the album can best be described as one piece, with twelve different movements that send it in different directions while managing to keep it all tied together to common thematic elements and various motifs. In its raw instrumentation, this album may not be as complex as a Dream Theater album, but the way it is put together can be just as brilliant if you listen to it in the right way and with an open mind.
The journey of White Pony is like traveling through a nightmare. It opens the listener up to explore the psyche of a sleeping human mind, the time when little makes sense in the human brain and its functions. In this way, it can best be described as an album that almost makes little sense on the surface, but in a slightly schizophrenic wave of emotion it can take you to places you never thought you could go, and this is illustrated beautifully with Chino's amazing singing and intriguing lyrics.
Back To School opens the album with an offset interpretation of the album's closer. It's important to note the full title, BTS (mini maggit) as will later be described. Though a lot of Deftones fans and otherwise were a little put off by the addition of a radio-friendly, rap-laden song that they felt interrupted the mood of the album, I think it actually adds to the flow and the message of White Pony as a whole. More on this later.
Next is where the nightmare really begins, with the dark Feiticeira, a hectic, free-flowing piece. With a lack of real song structure and a sketchy guitar line, this song builds up to an almost frightening conclusion as Chino whisper/screams "Soon I'll let you go" over a frantic background of scorching guitars and heavy bass. Frank Delgado makes his grand entrance here as well, with a great complement of wind noises and atmospheric texture that will come to be very prominent on this release. This song is brilliantly able to paint a picture in your mind through Chino's amazing lyrics along with his vocal delivery. The instrumental music is very important as well, as we can feel Chino's interpretation of what's going on in his own mind. This is the famous kidnapping song, and it is a daunting tale.
The final dissonant chord of Feiticeira fades out into a trippy drumbeat of Digital Bath, one of the more popular singles Deftones have released. Despite its apparent radio-friendliness (which is actually not so friendly at all) this is simply an amazing song. On it's own, it's just one of the greatest songs Deftones have ever released. With Chino's soaring vocal lines over heavy two-guitar trade-offs and more atmospheric texture from Delgado, the song is so powerful it leaves me in awe. However, on a scale of White Pony's context, it is merely the next step in the nightmare. This story is that of someone who kills his girlfriend as she bathes by way of electrocution. It's a terrifying premise, but is almost masked by the great delivery of the song. The song has two climactic points, one at around 2:30 when the music drops off and the electronic bubble effect (ah, the beauty of motifs) rains down on a bleak guitar line before Chino whispers the haunting "You breathed and then you stopped. I breathed and dried you off..." at which point the guitar takes over with a screeching harmonic, almost as if the character is screaming on the inside but--just like a nightmare--cannot force it out himself.
Elite blasts through the speakers next with a very heavy backdrop of spiraling guitars and bass with crashing cymbals laced throughout. This song may seem unlistenable the first time, but after awhile the screaming just melds into the background and you realize what it's there for. It's almost a robotic song (check the breakdown with Chino's voice effects), which solidifies with a later guitar riff that is very syncopated and almost machine-like that ends the song. This song lacks the "usual Deftones dynamic," but it still rocks and is important as a flowing piece of the ever-growing nightmare. As to how it fits in, I think it's open for interpretation.
Immediately following Elite is the more laid-back and moody Rx Queen, which is an extremely bizarre song with heavy percussive effects and stuttering bass. Possibly the simplest guitar song Deftones have written, it is still effective and manages to convey a haunting atmosphere. In short, this song is again almost a frantic plea for help from someone ["You're my girl and that's alright, if you sting me I won't mind"].
Street Carp slides in with a brief guitar intro before the band crashes in full force. It's a hard-rock smash similar to Lhabia from Around The Fur. It's a great song, despite the fact that it might at first seem to lack any defining or interesting qualities. It's like a rush of adrenaline in the midst of a calm atmosphere. This is where the beauty of White Pony's construction shines as well, because it almost doesn't make sense being on the album, yet it manages to mold in perfectly with the other songs. Just like a nightmare makes no sense unless you're actually experiencing it. Starting to make sense?
Here is where we see the biggest shift for the rest of the album. It doesn't start declining here, by any means, as it is my opinion that tracks 8-12 are the best on the album and the climax of the record also occurs in that space. However, the central theme is shifted from a fervent dream state into a true twisted nightmare.
The nylon-string opening acoustic riff of Teenager may shock some, given Deftones' track record, but, as has been displayed multiple times both on this album and their previous releases (though in perhaps a more subtle way), Deftones are truly capable of great beauty. This song holds Delgado's most obvious presence, with a scratching line and trip-hop beat that still manages to be more about atmosphere and texture than it does DJ hack-n-slash. Still, it's a mellow trip that makes me think of lying down outside looking at a star-filled sky. It's also a very melancholy ballad of lost love and pensive reflection.
The next song, Knife Prty is hardly describable by any human words, a masterpiece in and of itself, not to mention in the scope of the entire album. The opening chords lead into a pounding distorted introduction that's just as beautiful as it is heavy. A moving bass line from Chi serves as a great foundation for the chord voicing glory of the guitar riffs and some of Chino's greatest (and most bizarre) lyrics ["My knife is sharp and chrome, come see inside my bones. All the fiends of the block, I'm the new king. I'll take the queen."] This song makes you feel like you are moving in slow motion and floating. The chorus contradicts with the verse as the intensity is picked up, a masterful arrangement technique Deftones have slowly perfected in their songs. The bridge is incredible in its weirdness, with the (again) frantic crooning of guest vocalist Rodleen over the bizarre chord progressions from Carpenter. Musical perfection at its finest as the band crashes into the final chorus over an absolutely terrifying shriek. You must hear this song to find its beauty.
Korea bellows in next as one of the heaviest and most dissonant songs on Deftones' catalogue. It's an extremely vague song, lyric-wise, but the haunting atmosphere created by the swirling DJ sound effects and bleak guitar line is very effective and this is a great song. The bridge is one of the highlights on the album, as the bombastic and sliding guitar line leads into the final moment of heaviness that sets the stage for the next song.
Intensifying sound effects lead up to one of my favorite Deftones guitar riffs ever for the intro of the brilliant Passenger. The dexterous guitar riff and heavy bass boost the shrouded vocal interplay between Maynard (Tool, A Perfect Circle) and Chino as the story unfolds even further, a doomed car ride. The way I see it, this song tells the story of an unwilling victim who is trapped and forced to drive in the dark without any vision of the outside world, but as they begin to go faster and faster, the exhilaration excites the victim and he begins to enjoy it ["This time won't you please drive faster."]. It's a twisted song. The dissonant and bleak piano line that lead to the final throws of heavy guitar havoc (and the climax of the album) are intense and dark, giving the image of the car driving off a cliff at top speed. The fading piano that ends the song tinges it with the dark atmosphere that leads into Change.
Change (In The House of Flies) picks up where Passenger left off, a very ghost-like and creepy song. This song was a relatively popular radio hit, but it still is one of the best on the album. Its soaring vocal melodies and metaphorically brilliant lyrics ["I watched you change into a fly, I looked away, you were on fire."] convey a message that encompasses the entire album. As for it's true meaning, there's plenty of room for interpretation. This song is heavy, dark, and dissonant but still floating and beautiful.
Pink Maggit is where everything comes together. Back To School, which starts the album, is a spin-off of this song, but it works out nicely as the album starts with it but finishes with Pink Maggit, a more twisted version of it, as displays the course of the album. It's a bleak and moody song with a cool guitar line and a whispered melody from Chino before the band crashes in and allows the album to finish itself with a final explosion.
Overall, this album is one that will stand strong against the test of time. I think the greatness behind it is in its weird and unorthodox structuring, while also delivering great guitar riffs and a good share of heavy rocking. There's a good amount of symbolism in it as well, which lends it to being an effort for which much discovery is necessary. Its ability to transport you to another place is amazing, and is also where the true talent of Deftones lies, as a creative unit rather than individual instrumentalists. Deftones are closer to mastering their sound with this release, employing more guitar, turntable, and vocal interplay that add to the texture and mood, a feat they would later master on the successor, Deftones. "
Timothy R. Bushong | 12/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first Deftones song I ever heard was Hexagram of the self title. I remember when I first heard those melodic, brutal notes I knew I was going to fall in love with this band. I loved 2003's "Deftones", but I knew all the rage for Deftones was "White Pony". I had to get it. I finally bought it almost 5 years late, but never too late right? Anyway, I gave it a spin, I almost cried. The second "Fieticaria" broke in, I loved it, and the rest as they came. "Digital Bath", I almost died. "Elite", heviest Deftones song EVER! "RX Queen", dark, amazing. "Street Carp", riffy, heavy and catchy. "Teenager", calm, beautiful. "Knife Prty", no other song can touch it. "Korea", brutal, catchy. "Passenger, incerdible, Now way! Keenan comes in on this one!! "Change(In the house of flies), the single, and a great one at that! "Pink Maggit", dark, creepy. Perfect way to close this amazing album. This was the first time that every song on the album had no complaints. I love this CD. I listen to it all the time. I cant stop listening to it! And to that kid who wrote, "Its the singer", I think you need to shut up! The singers name is Chino, aka, the best there is. Oh, cant take a little creativity with a guys voice? And cant take it when a guy doesnt sing about breaking up with his girlfriend and starts singing poetry? Sorry dude but never diss Chino. Or Deftones. Its not Nu-Metal!! And its not Korn!! Everyone- stop comparing them to Korn. Everyone of there albums is awesome, even Adrenaline, but White Pony is untouchable. Do yourself a favor and buy this album!!! Im also upset about how everyone is hatin on the self title. What the heck? Of course its not White Pony! Nothing is. "Deftones" is a fine album. But again, White Pony is the "god" of metal albums. I'd say Deftones are the best metal act to walk the planet. Ugh,I keep calling them Metal. There not! They're nothing anyone has ever heard!! Oh man, JUST BUY THIS ALBUM!!! And prepare to be amazed."