Review Summary: Twelve years into their career, this album proves that the Foos can still 'rock hard', be 'emotional' and 'fun' at the same time.
Despite what Foo Fighters fans may say, One by One
wasn't a very good album, nor was In Your Honor
. They haven't released a solid album that is listenable from start to finish since The Colour and the Shape
. So, let's just say with Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
that I wasn't expecting much. The once almighty Foo have been reduced to putting out mediocre, misshapen, bloated, and 'matured' albums like One by One
and In Your Honor
. Neither were very fun, and neither really had any standout tracks that made interested. So, after being let down on three consecutive releases, I was debating whether to listen to this album. The single was a bright, shiny surprise at least, it felt very The Colour and the Shape
-ish, and this struck me that maybe this album wouldn't be so bad.
After listening to this album all the way through, I can gladly say that Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
is arguably one of the Foo's best releases. Ever. That's right. Completely mindless radio singles are thrown away, in favor of fast dynamic changes, plenty of screaming, and heavy guitar riffs. You want another Guitar Hero-ready song? You got it, in not only The Pretender
, but Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up is Running
, or plenty others. The songs slowly build on one another, relying on drastic dynamic changes like in The Pretender
, or the slowly building Let it Die
. The whole album isn't a complete jamfest though, there's plenty tracks that scream Walking After You
like the melodic, catchy, and just plain out fun Summer's End
, or the excellent acoustic instrumental The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners
. There's plenty to like about this album-and it just feels like Dave Grohl has tried his hardest to make this the best Foo Fighter album. Is it? Well, you can decide that, but it's definately better than anything released by the Foo Fighters since the millenium.
Some relaxing 'introduction'? No, not a chance-this is a Foo Fighters record, and from the start you realize this is a heavy, yet melodic album. The Pretender
serves as a quick summary of the album; it's laid back, at times slow, but when it's time to rock, this album excels. The song's slowly building rhythms and guitar work are excellent as well as Grohl's screaming in the chorus makes this song a heck of a listen. After the all-out jamfest, Let it Die
comes up next, and well, you're probably thinking, "ah, a slower song.". Were you right? No. Not at all. This song builds, just like The Pretender
. For the beginning, a relaxed acoustic guitar plays in the background and Grohl soothingly sings until the 2:00 mark where the electric guitars come out, all guns blazing. Grohl screams his heart out at the end. But does it work? Oh, yes it does; this song is impeccable, and just proves the album isn't a one-hit wonder.
There's plenty other great tracks abundant on this album, like Erase/Replace
, which is definately a lot like an older Foo Fighters song. The opening riff is addicting and carried by the backup guitarist's opening riff, and the fast rhythms in the verses and pre-chorus makes the song feel like everything is going to explode in the chorus; but it doesn't. The chorus slows down into an ultra-melodic chorus where Grohl roars the title of track, extending it into an echoing sound. Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up is Running
is a flat-out diss to all of the 'emo' acts relying on dark, lyrics about 'cutting yourself' and everything else. The song is surprisingly light-hearted, and very poppy, but definately is one of the album's best tracks and just screams radio single. Very relaxed and laid-back, yet carried by the bright and fuzzy riffs and Grohl's lower-end vocals. The song also sounds a lot like previous Foo material. Summer's End
is a slower track, but definately makes you want to get up and start 'swaying' from side to side. The beat is very uplifiting, and the chorus is a definate sing-along. Statues
sounds absolutely like nothing Foo Fighters have ever done-a piano backs up an odd-sounding guitar riff before Grohl sings very emotionally, and it is like this for most of the songs. The lyrics are moving, and very truthful; the song is just perfectly executed and done well.
The album isn't perfect though, as the way the tracks are set up gives off a 'multiple personality' disorder type of problem. The first seven tracks are heavy, slow-building tracks that are reliant on hard rock riffs and Grohl's screams, while the last five tracks kill any momentum they had going. Many of these songs are really good, but the slow, ballad, piano-driven tracks come off in complete overload by the emotional, heart-felt ending Home
. I mean, it doesn't completely kill the album, but better mixing surely could have helped the album, because all the tracks are good and noteworthy, just their placement is less than desirable. The lyrics are at times light-hearted, fluffy, and a bit carefree, like Summer's End
, some are rather serious and heartfelt, like Let it Die
, while some are just plain out attacks on the music industry today, like Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up is Running)
. The album is varied a lot more lyrically than their last two albums, as everything isn't all serious and matured, which is a good thing, because sometimes, you want to be able to say, "those lyrics are pretty fun", instead of "those lyrics are so heartfelt.". Grohl also stays away from bad cliches as well for most of the album, which is another big plus, but, hey, Grohl's always been a lyrical genious.
This album lets everyone know the Foo Fighters aren't dead and 'washed up'. When they want to, they can make excellent and well-written albums, Grohl's still got it in him. The Foos can still put out good music, even twelve years into their career. Nirvana? Who needs Nirvana when you've got a band who's made albums like this for their whole career.If you want to believe the Foos are still legitimately awesome, then you should probably check out Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
Let it Die
Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up is Running)