And now for something completely different:
I have been waiting for the next Foo Fighters album since they announced they were going back into the studio last year (Dave's garage!). The innovators have released a streaming album this past week in what could have been taken as an April Fool's joke. I decided to give my opinion of the album as hardcore Foo fan. The trim album barely clocks in at 47 minutes with 11 songs.
1. Bridge Burning- call me a traditionalist, but I love this song. Like many of their other big hits like Pretender, this progressive song is hard hitting and has the changes the band has become known for. Dave screams, but does great lyrical work. The progressions are amazing. The harmonies are dead on. The backing sweet. A terrific riff. Just perfect. There are so many performers on this song and not an ounce of them are wasted. This song is a shot across the bow of all deadbeat bands.
2. Rope- the first official single from the album. Probably the song that sounds the most like it could have been on almost any other Foo album. This is not a bad thing. There are some interesting differences. They throw some feedback laden riffs and huge backing by Taylor. I'm still not the biggest fan of Taylor's vocals, but they are serviceable. Enjoy the video:
4. White Limo- the intro video produced by the Foos featured Lemmy from Motorhead. With the heavy metal influeced singing and riffs, it's not hard to see the Motorhead sway on Grohl and company. This is one of the hardest songs ever done by the Foos.
5. Arlandria - probably my second favorite so far. This spiritual successor to "Pretender," the made up land of Arlandria (so named for the area of Northern Virginia presumably between Arlington and Alexandria, where both Dave and I spent quality time), seems to be everyone. The radio-friendly song has some great moves but shows an evolution but more importantly illustrates Grohl as an able lyricist.
6. These Days- the first moment of the album that the band takes a slight breather. Up to this point, you are pounding through the songs. Very similar to many previous Grohl ballads. You wouldn't be surprised to hear this one acoustically. The syncopated rhythms really fit the song, but that's every song. Dave shows his prowse as a vocalist. He is one of the few true all purpose players in rock right now. Grohl performed every instrument on his first album and you would probably not be surprised to learn that he had done the same thing on this album.
7. Back and Forth - Simple opening riff. Multiple guitars. This is the point in the album you realize that while the Foos can still sound like they used to, they are not satisfied producing the same sounds they did the past. Another song that could have been on "Echoes Silence Patience and Grace" or even "Color and the Shape," but here it is finally. Has a surferish lick that really invites it to the radio soon!
8. A Matter of Time- Sounds mellow until the heavy riff kicks in. Grohl's vocal and lyric give a great build. You have to wonder how much he appreciates such progressive rock like Rush considering the changes in this song and others on this album. Some of the sounds on this song, you've never heard before, period.
9. Miss the Misery- Another slowdown(for this album), very melodic and has this chorus of backing that sounds like the whole band got into the act.
10. I Should Have Known- The reunion of Grohl with his Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic. He does a great job on the bass line(listen to that slapping, thumping bass towards the end!). Good to hear how they were able to include Jessy Greene on the strings. Probably the "heaviest" lyrically with Grohl saying over and over "I cannot forgive you yet."
11. Walk- Much like "My Hero," this is the album's anthem. With a lyric, "I never wanna die" it is an interesting way to end the album. I can see this song easily becoming the song for many recovering injured soldiers.
I've already listened to the album several times through and have to say that this is easily their most accessible album. While most are touting the heaviness of the album, I think it does not do it the album justice as a description. I'm looking forward to the documentary coming out this week to see more about the band. Even after 15 years, Grohl still has the passion to go into his garage and pound out an album of this quality.
Listen for yourself:
Wasting Light by Foo Fighters