Any album that makes it to the top of the charts is normally known for being fairly clean. As much as some artists like to go off the beaten path and put you into a dark soundscape from time to time, it's normally the inviting records without a lot of fuss that strike a nerve with the general consensus. Though there are some exceptions, records can also be a chore whether you like them or not.
From start to finish, these records are a lot more of a challenge to your average listener than what you normally get from the pop world. While not necessarily bad, there seems to be something holding these records back from being truly amazing, having been either put through the ringer more than a few times or just lacking in a certain sonic punch to carry it over the edge.
Hell, some of these albums could be considered masterpieces on their own, only to slip into rough territory when you have to take the whole thing in one layer at a time. That's always the challenge that comes from records though. For every great album like Thriller, you have something on the horizon that could test your patience and sanity when trying to hear it for the first time.
10. Songs for the Deaf - Queens of the Stone Age
Not too many rock bands at the turn of the century were willing to be as outlandish as Queens of the Stone Age were on Songs for the Deaf. Even with the garage rock revival starting to pick up steam around this time, Joshua Homme's band of stoners made this rusty form of rock feel new and exciting, all while dropping their tunings to unheard of levels. When you sit with it for a while though, you might find yourself getting winded fairly quickly.
Suffice to say that the title itself is more than just a cheeky pun. From a raw auditory perspective, this is one of the louder albums to have been released in the '00s, with every speaker sounding like it's being pushed to the max at every turn. Even on some of the softer cuts like Hanging Tree, you can still feel the guitars at the front of the mix, seeping into your brain with every riff. While that could be a plus, it could be detrimental if you have hearing issues.
If you aren't listening to something like this on a healthy volume, this record has been known to trigger ear fatigue. As much as the songs might be good, this is probably the one Queens album that you might need to dissolve in chunks before making the deep dive. Not because it's bad...just for your own health.