on April 12, 2011
Hard to say that this is "the best" Foo Fighters album because, after so many years, bands should really be defined by eras. I would consider the Foos first era ending, and second era beginning, with their double album, In Your Honor. Their "classic" album from that first era is The Colour and The Shape. It is considered, and will continue to be considered, a classic album in the rock genre.
Wasting Light is the best album of the Foos second era and, like TCATS, it will be considered a classic album in the rock genre. There is no track that is unlikeable, just a few that aren't as great as the others.
Highlights of the album are the first two tracks, "Bridge Burning" and "Rope", are the best two songs I've heard to open an album since way back to the first tracks of "Vs." by Pearl Jam, "Go" and "Animal." "Dear Rosemary" is solid, the guitar work sounding a bit like "Steady As She Goes" by the Racounteurs, and a chorus that is all Dave Grohl, even with help from Bob Mould.
Thrashy and well-placed "White Limo" is juxtaposed with the ridiculously catchy "Arlandria" ("you and what army? Arlandria!"). "These Days" is such a great, soaring rock song that it is easy to forget that the lyrics are painfully honest and relate-able on a number of levels. "Back and Forth" is cheesy, but in a catchy, good way, and sounds like something of a homage to any number of late-80's rock tracks with it's chug-chug-chug guitar sound (listen to it, you'll get it).
"A Matter of Time" to me is very Foo-sy, that is to say, it could have been on just about any of their other albums and fit right in. "Miss the Misery" is just...fantastic.
In as much as I love the opening two tracks on the album, I've never heard on any other album closing tracks as good as the deeper, more emotional two tracks that end the album. The album is bookended perfectly. "I Should Have Known" is believed to be about a close friend of Dave Grohl's (not named Cobain) that died of an OD within the last two years. It is a tugging, beautiful song that absolutely soars when his old bandmate Krist Novoselic's bass makes its presence felt about 2/3 through the song.
Closer "Walk" is my favorite in an album full of favorites. Perhaps because I'm in my mid-30s, my perspective on the song is that it sounds exactly like the words of a person who sang "My Way Home" from The Colour and The Shape would 14 years later. Someone who was "not scared, I felt like this on my way home" now has responsibilities and children and a fear of death. "Walk" encapsulates that sort of maturity, wisdom, growth, etc. In typical Dave Grohl fashion, the guy who has the rock star credentials and "rock god" status worldwide does the complete opposite in the very un-rock-and-roll like lyric "I never want to die, I never want to die!" He defies the rock-n-roll persona in his words as much as he personifies it in his music. It is as close to a perfect, uplifting and emotional song as I've ever heard.
Someone else mentioned this, and I totally agree: it has been YEARS since I've heard an album and considered it a "new favorite album." This fits the bill perfectly. Over 20 years of collecting music and more than 1,000 albums, this just instantly sat in with the handful I can listen to anytime, anywhere, and love from start to finish.
on April 12, 2011
This is a slightly edited review, as I have now had a few days with this album, and yes, I've listened to it quite a few times. It's striking how much you can see the FF, and Dave Grohl, have grown as artists. Their ability to craft a tight, full sound with impossible-to-resist rock-n-roll hooks is better than ever, and it was never bad. Dave Grohl's lyrics have matured as well, bringing both edginess and depth. I was a bit smitten with the album when I wrote the title to this review the first night I heard it, but I'm going to have to stick with it, because it is, after all, perfectly true from my perspective.
And it's recorded on all-analog equipment in Dave's garage, which adds a whole other level of awesome.
Bridge Burning: sorry, didn't feel this one. Perhaps the picky intro picked at my psyche a little too annoyingly. Good hard rocking tune but ... meh. Not my favorite.
Rope: Early single release for a reason -- one of those things that instantly becomes an ear worm, with catchy melodic hard hooks. Enjoy.
Dear Rosemary: According to the interwebs (a Google search for "Dave Grohl" plus Rosemary), Rosemary Carroll [believed] that Kurt might have been murdered. She was Courtney's divorce lawyer. The lyrics almost suggest it's connected, but have a Google and see what you find. "Truth ain't gonna change the way you lie." hmmmm....
White Limo: Not my favorite track, definitely balls-to-the-wall rock, yes, but ... well, YMMV.
Arlandria: Arlandria is a town in Virginia, which features a Dave Grohl quote on their website. Arlandria was mentioned in a previous FF song, Headwires - this is, apparently, an intense place. Classic Foo Fighters power chord poetry, what can I say? Oh, sweet Virginia.
These Days: best existential thing that's ever rocked me to my core. I can't tell you how this song will affect you, you'll have to meditate with it for yourself. It will be worth the effort.
Back & Forth: Since my first listen happened to be inadvertently in alphabetical order, "is it all this good" was my reaction. (hint: it is) Powerful r&r hooks and Dave Grohl writing words that simply defy gravity. Over the hill and through the ages...
A Matter of Time: Powerful and it would make a perfect anthem for personal change. Put this on your workout playlist, definitely.
Miss The Misery: Opens up with hard, heavy, crunchy melodic rock & roll riff, i.e. it's a Foo Fighters song. This is lyrical stuff here, get literate with it and listen to every. single. word. You will find the album's title in here, meaningful & poignant. Also, it will ROCK you when you find it.
I Should Have Known: haunting, dragging up memories, bliss + agony, perfect like faded photographs ... beautiful if sadness can be considered to have beauty, which I think it does.
Walk: Reflective, brilliant, shiny, melancholy, and will rock you, seriously. Another one to add to that workout playlist, it'll get you moving. Classic Foo Fighters, what can I say?
SUMMARY: this album, like several others in my 50 year history, has changed my life. Great albums do that. This is one of them. I don't mind that Kurt Cobain's ghost haunts Dave, in fact I think it's given him cause to explore some great darknesses and come out on the other side with some unforgettable music.
on April 13, 2011
The reason the music business is in shambles has nothing to do with piracy. The problem is that there is virtually no talent who merits our hard earned money. Seems nowadays, any wasteoid with an Autotune gets a contract and airplay. If there were more talent like The Foo Fighters in the industry, music as a whole would not be the complete crapfest it is today, people would spend their money to buy the music, and the talent would reap the benefits of their hard work. I'm willing to fork over the money for these guys, because I haven't been burned by them yet. They're always good! This CD is great from the first song to the last...absolutely no duds.
on April 12, 2011
The best album they've put out in 11 years. Not a bad song and quite a few hard rocking songs. White Limo is just insane and gets you pumped up. Rope is one of my favorite singles they've ever released. If you like Foo Fighters you need to pick this up.
on April 15, 2011
I can't really think of any other band that is playing real genuine rock n' roll, outside of the Foo Fighters. Is this their best album? Close, but probably not. Their first two are classics and have their best songs on them. We also hold older music up higher sometimes, too, so it's hard to judge a album that's less than one week old.
Bottom line is, every song on this one is a keeper. These are their most "catchy" songs, by far. Listen to the album maybe three times and you'll have all the songs stuck in your head. I think every song here is above average, but I'm having a hard time liking "Walk". People are gushing over this one, but I'm just not feeling it. It's the final song, which sometimes can be the worst song on a disc, but if that song is their worst then it tells you how solid the disc is.
This is a five star CD, no doubt about it. It's raw, it's from the heart and most of all it rocks. Even the songs that start out slow or quiet, you think it's a ballad and then "BAM" in come the heavy guitars.
Keep rocking and keep making music like this and become the Led Zeppelin of this era!
on April 30, 2011
With the crap music that has been rolling out over the last few years it is so satisfying to have a band like Foo Fighter that continue to produce good rock music, and here on Wasting Light they have finally walked into the saloon with both guns blazing.
I have been waiting for The Foo Fighters to record an album truly worthy of following The Colour and the Shape, and now we have it here with Wasting Light. I have enjoyed all the other albums since The Colour and the Shape and have appreciated the progression of their style, but each album left me wanting something more from Dave and the gang. Maybe it was the line-up changes, maybe it was Dave's side projects...but I felt like even though they were producing solid rock songs that they used as singles the rest of the songs on the albums seemed to falter a bit.
Here with Wasting Light the Foo Fighters have produced a cohesive album that is excellent the entire way through. Each song has some individual touch of magic that makes it unique and viable in its own way, but at the same time they all have an energy that binds them together into an album that is interconnected and solid to its core.
Maybe it was the fact that Pat Smear came back to the fold? I know that I can hear his influence on a lot of the songs since his distinctness can be found on many of the tracks just like you could hear them back on The Colour and the Shape. It's certain that adding him back to the roster has helped the band once again reach a type of musical concrescence and the fact that he has been touring with them for the past couple of years has allowed the band to become closer. Maybe the band helped magnify that feeling of closeness due to the fact that they recorded in Dave's home studio on analogue, giving all the songs a warmer sound that just can't be produced digitally.
Whatever happened, I'm glad it did because in the short time it's been out Wasting Light has renewed my faith that the Foo Fighters have the ability to produce an album that is both relevant and musically exceptional for its entire length. Thank you Foo Fighter for making and album that I can leave in my stereo and play on repeat a few thousand times without losing its glamour.
on April 17, 2011
I'm not going to go off and claim "this is the best FF album ever." Nor am I going to complain it's not "TCATS" or "TINLTL". Wasting Light is what it is - a great sounding hard rock album, with (to paraphrase Mr. Grohl himself) loud guitars, catchy melodies, crashing cymbals and big drums, because, afterall, it's what he and the rest of his mates do. And, as a rock fan who's seen the musical industry move away from what drew him in for the very same reasons, it is comforting and reassuring to see someone still doing that at such a level of quality. The first thing that struck was the production. I think I saw someone else refer to the sound of the album that listening to it through earbuds does not truly do it justice, and I agree. Play this on a car system, and you get a much fuller feel of the music. The guitars are fierce, and I love how the bass has been pinned to the guitars in the mix. In fact, the bass sound on WL is one of the best I have ever heard. It's thick, but, it's not sludgy. As for the highlights, for me "While Limo" has been played on a regular basis. Yeah, it's been compared by some to Weenie Beenie from the first album, but, really, it's just far more musically menacing. The lyrics are meaningless...it's just being immersed in a wall of noise. (BTW, anyone else think Dave is aping Andrew WK on the video?" "Bridge Burning", "Dear Rosemary" (despite its lyrical clunkiness) and "These Days" are other highlights for me. Someone else made mention of this, but, "Rope" really does sound something Rush of the recent years would have constructed. Intersting to see Arlandria make another appearance in a Foo Fighters' song. (Headwires, anyone?) The cynical type might call this formulaic. I think of it as being reliable. Again, is it the best FF album? (TINLTL is my personal favorite.) I don't think that's even this issue. The fact that, in these days when the music industry is in the state it currently is, and, when as a listener, I personally have never felt more removed from what is supposed to be rock'n'roll, Wasting Light reminds me of what rock music can still achieve in the hands of people who love rock'n'roll who have the talent to match.
on April 12, 2011
Foo Fighters have two distinct styles and the only thing separating the two is whether the guitars being played are acoustic or electric.
From their stunning debut to 2007's "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace," Foo Fighters have cranked out consistent garage rock with just enough remaining elements of '90s grunge to keep Dave Grohl's fans from the Nirvana years still wanting more. When "Skin and Bones" was released in 2006, however, Foo Fighters proved, like Nirvana and Alice in Chains before them, that their music, while frequently heavy, translates well for acoustic versions. Sure, there was always the occasional acoustic track on their previous albums, but "Skin and Bones" shoved the band's softer side in everyone's faces, adding a new dimension to Foo Fighters.
Although Foo Fighters' acoustic tracks have been popular, for most fans, Foo Fighters' crowning achievement is "The Colour and the Shape;" 1997's classic that includes the timeless "Everlong." Although much more polished than many of the rock albums hitting shelves in the late '90s, "The Colour and the Shape" was an energy-filler, no holding back rock & roll album. Every album since has held glimpses of that style, but never quite lived up to the hype created by their sophomore record.
Now, 14 years later and nearly 20 years after the release of Nirvana's "Nevermind," Foo Fighters have finally brought things back to that classic grunge style. Recorded on analog tape in Grohl's garage studio, even the recording process was left unpolished and "raw." They even asked Butch Vig to oversee the production, just as he did on "Nevermind."
A metallic guitar riff gradually builds before a fury of snare drum hits for the opening of "Bridge Burning," the lead track on "Wasting Light." Dave Grohl may be screaming "these are my famous last words," but "Wasting Light" is a rejuvenation for the band.
As if Butch Vig wasn't enough, "Wasting Light" brings back more old friends in Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic, both of Nirvana fame, for the track "I Should Have Known." "Rope" may have been billed as the first single, but "I Should Have Known" stands with the very best of Foo Fighters' material.
"Wasting Light" blends Foo Fighters' early energy and heavy riffs with their later insightful songwriting. The result is their best album to date. Foo Fighters may not have broken any new ground, but they still took chances by turning back the clock. Fans both new and old will love what they hear. The best part is they display no signs of slowing down.
Similar Artists: Queens of the Stone Age, Stone Temple Pilots
Track Suggestion: "I Should Have Known"
on April 21, 2011
The Foo Fighters continue to demonstrate their versatility and musical strength with this album. There's plenty of heat here, mixed with cord changes, mood inspirations, and straight ahead rock which we've come to expect from the Fighters. This is a musical treat for anyone who likes good solid (talented) rock and roll. So much out there these days is simply in your face walls of sound without any substance. The Foo Fighters have substance, and they please on all levels!
The Foo Fighters have always been an enigma to me; One of America's finest rock bands, featuring one of the world's best rock drummers 9and allegedly one of the nicest guys in rock and roll), but plagued by inconsistent writing and often albums to similar to each other to really stand out. Their last studio album, "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" seemed to address the issue by tweaking things texturally, but I think Dave Grohl may have gotten a shot in the arm after hanging out with Them Crooked Vultures and Queens of The Stone Age. "Wasting Light" sounds like a bandwide epiphany, a Foo Fighters album that rocks and rocks hard, along with their most fully consistent set of songs since the breakout "The Colour and The Shape."
"Wasting Light" is a big guitar album, be it the jittery start (Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," anyone?) on "Bridge Burning" or the stuttering echo of the initial single, "Rope." And despite opening the album with a song titled "Bridge Burning," much of "Wasting Light" sounds like that's exactly like what the Foos are doing. It's a stunner to hear Grohl sing in a world weary voice (on "These Days") lyrics about trying to get over past pains, then suddenly breaking into a roar of protest.
"Easy for you to say!
Your heart has never been broken,
your pride has never been stolen.
Not yet, not yet!"
Elsewhere, old friends are kicking in. Pat Smear comes back for the first time since TC&TS, Husker Du and soulmate Bob Mould adds a convincing snarl on "Dear Rosemary," and even old Nirvana band-buddy Krist Novoselic brings his bass out of retirement for "I Should Have Known." That particular song just happens to be the most contemplative number on "Wasting Light," as if Grohl and Krist were saving their collective empathy for all this time. The same is not true for "White Limo," a screaming, distorted punker. Even with all the guest shots and shifting sounds, "Wasting Light" sounds like a band in full-cohesion. if you don't get the chills from listening to "Walk," where the band tears through a personal rebuilding process that hits a climax with Grohl repeatedly shouting "I Never Wanna Die!" before concluding "I'm learning to walk again, I believe I've waited long enough."
"Wasting Light" is loaded with that kind of rock and roll redemptive spirit. Easily one of 2011's best, if not the best rocking album of the year.