Foo Fighters
There Is Nothing Left to Lose


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
June 2nd, 2008 | 103 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The rock sound of prior albums has been refined down here, but this is still a very good album that is consistent and includes sufficient highlights, even if it is not up to its sensational predecessor.

For a number of reasons, it is rather difficult not to compare the Foo Fighter’s third album ‘There is Nothing Left to Lose’ with its fantastic predecessor ‘The Colour and The Shape’. The change of approach from the band’s self-titled debut to the excellent second release was huge and successful. Would the same occur on both fronts this time around? Well, if you were to compare the opening 3 tracks, then you may very well think that the virtually impossible could actually occur.

Logically ordered from the rockiest to the most melodic, things kick off with the angry and menacing (both vocally and musically) 2nd single ‘Stacked Actors’. It is a song that successfully utilizes some cool guitar effects as well as the quiet/loud formula that the band has become known for. 4th single ‘Breakout’ follows and it is a really satisfying mix of melody and rock that ends up a genuinely memorable tune.

But it is with track 3, ‘Learn To Fly’ where the Foo Fighters really hit most targets that they are aiming to achieve with this album. There is no doubt that the rock sound has been scaled down by the band, but it is done subtly enough and not to such an extent that it renders the album less effective. Deserving of being released as the 1st single, ‘Learn To Fly’ is clearly more radio-friendly than usual, but while that is usually a negative stigma for most rock fans, when it is performed this charmingly, I have no hesitation to state that it is definitely a positive. This song also includes some neat drum-work to top it all off nicely.

Elsewhere, the strongest tracks to come are basically subtle variations on the same themes. Track 5 ‘Generator’ (the 3rd single) is similar to ‘Breakout’ to some extent, but stands out by using very good voice-box (vocoder) throughout the song. Meanwhile, track 8 ‘Next Year’ is a relaxing piece which contains a sweet melody not too unlike ‘Learn To Fly’ and with similarly effective lyrics. Although, I must say that the false ending to the track is ultimately counter-productive, if not anything to bring the song down.

An argument can actually be made that this is the most consistent Foo Fighters album of all. And in all honesty, I wouldn’t really debate that as there isn’t any track that I would call awful. If anything, the closest to filler is track 9 ‘Headwires’, which musically begins like a mediocre mid 80’s radio-rock effort and then simply lacks the necessary grunt to salvage it later on.

But “more consistent” and “better” are definitely two different things and there is no way I can rate this album better than ‘The Colour and The Shape’. This is mainly due to a number of tracks simply being good and solid, yet being rather straight-forward and lacking that certain memorable factor which so helped its predecessor. Cuts like ‘Gimme Stitches’, ‘Live-In Skin’ and closer ‘M.I.A’ all fall into this category and are rather reliant on their choruses for the most part.

And while slower and softer efforts like the smooth almost 6 minute ‘Aurora’ and the melodic acoustic piece ‘Ain’t It The Life’ stand above the pack slightly, they never reach the heights of similar songs from the band’s past releases. Actually, for those lucky enough to own the version of the album that contains the bonus track ‘Fraternity’, they will know that is a rather welcome addition to the LP just for that extra bit of pace and momentum.

Looking back on this review, I have definitely fallen into the trap of (unfairly) comparing this album to its sensational predecessor and the end result comes off a lot more negative than it should. Because in reality, this is one fine album that deserves to be in contention for the Foo Fighters 2nd best release, if only for its consistency. The refinement of the band’s sound is done smoothly enough here to practically not be an issue, while the highlight tracks deserve their place amongst the Fooeys best. Overall, it is just a very good solid effort that is definitely worth a listen.

Recommended Tracks: Learn To Fly, Breakout, Generator & Next Year.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
tcaporale
June 3rd 2008


177 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree exactly with your views on this album...I was actually planning to review it, but you really said everything I would have said.

I agree, this is their most consistent album, and I found that I agreed with your recommended tracks, although "Stacked Actors" is my personal favorite. I think "Aurora" contains a beautiful melody, but would benefit if it was scaled down in length. I found "M.I.A." to be an okay but unsatisfying closer...and I love "Ain't It the Life". Perhaps the only thing I disagree with you on is "Breakout" - I just see it as nothing more than an adolescent, tossed-off rocker.

Good review.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
June 3rd 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the positive feedback TCaporale. 'Consistent' is definitely the main word I would use to describe this album. I've never been as high on Stacked Actors as others, although I must admit to my opinion of it increasing after I heard it played live this past April.
I probably downplayed Ain't It The Life a little too much in this review as I really like that, while I'm fine with Breakout mainly due to the way it successfully combines all of what make The Fooeys so good.
Once more, thanks again for the positive feedback. It's appreciated.
DaveyBoy

MythenTHEking
September 19th 2009


30 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, pretty much what I think about the album, great. The only thing I'll have to disagree with would be Aurora...this song is their most beautiful and emotional..bring back so many memories... ah.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2009


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks MythenTHEking. Fair call on 'Aurora'. I guess those type of songs can always be personal & it sounds like that is one that is personal to you. And don't get me wrong, I like it a fair bit myself.

MythenTHEking
September 25th 2009


30 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, my opinion may as well be biased( and it is :D), but there is the kind of songs that tends to 'stick' your feeling you had at the time you first heeard it to the song and brings it back everytime you listen to it. To me, there are not many song like that.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2009


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, we all have some personal songs & most wouldn't have a great deal for them. If someone had heaps of them, it would tend to devalue them in a way. But if there's only say 1-5, it makes them all the more important.

rodrigo90
January 4th 2012


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i would say that if the people thought that this album is too "cheesy" i would probably said that you need to listen more to the smashing pumpkins, my favourite tracks are: headwires, live-in skin, stacked actors and breakout

Auschwitz
January 4th 2012


1285 Comments


breakout is terrible.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2012


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That comment makes me wanna BREAKOUT.

tiesthatbind
January 4th 2012


7380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One of their weaker albums imo

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2012


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's all relative ttb. It's definitely better than 'One By One', that's for sure.

tiesthatbind
January 4th 2012


7380 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah that's my least favorite too. This one's not bad, I just never feel like listening to it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2012


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

There's a few under-rated songs on here, but it otherwise just provides 2-3 great songs for their live set/Greatest Hits compilation.

rodrigo90
January 5th 2012


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

totally agree with the one by one comment i think that the album was pointed to a much more experimental side of the band but not losing their heavier touch

rodrigo90
January 5th 2012


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's obligatory that stacked actors had stayed as an "essential" song for their concerts, it is also my favourite track of the album if you want to choose one song from the album

rodrigo90
January 5th 2012


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think i listened nirvana too much IMO

KILL
January 5th 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

stacked actors and mia rule

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2012


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I've seen them twice & 'Stacked Actors' has appeared both times... & both times to a huge response.

rodrigo90
July 14th 2012


210 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Because Stacked Actors is probably the heaviest song foo fighters did along with some tracks on the self-titled album and the colour and the shape

KILL
July 14th 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

weenie beenie fo sho



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