Foo Fighters
One by One


2.0
poor

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
August 16th, 2008 | 111 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Disappointing & overlong, the Foo Fighters diminish in practically every area that they were previously strong in. How this won the Grammy for Best Rock Album is bewildering. Maybe it was the 2 standout tracks.

I used to like awards ceremonies and still do pass them the occasional glance, but with pretty much every single award for the arts nowadays, I have stopped taking the eventual winners too seriously. This is because somewhere along the way, a recipient has completely confounded logic as far as I am concerned. With the Academy Awards, it was when Tom Hanks’ performance in ‘Philadelphia’ ousted Daniel Day Lewis’ in ‘In The Name of the Father’. With the Grammy awards, it was when the Foo Fighters’ ‘One By One’ won ‘Best Rock Album’ in 2004. Don’t ask me which album should have triumphed that year, but it should not have been this!

Disappointment always exists in life, whether it is due to an individual’s high expectations for something, the eventual occurrence or a combination of both. As a decent fan of the Foo Fighters, it is an understatement to suggest that I was disappointed with this fourth release of theirs. And I don’t believe that my expectations were too high at all. It is simply a very average album in all senses of the word, with very few highlight tracks. In fact, two songs stand out head and shoulders above the rest.

Of course, it isn’t at all surprising that the two highlights were indeed the first two singles, leading to this album still selling very well. Beginning the LP on such an ominous and menacing note, Dave Grohl’s practically spoken vocals bring 1st single ‘All My Life’ alive almost instantaneously. All the while, a repetitive guitar riff lurks in the background effectively, before the remainder of the song rocks hard. There is something deeper here though and it is an all-around hookiness to the track that ultimately results in it being such a memorable song that it is not too far behind the bands very best.

The other standout on the album is track 4 ‘Times Like These’, which is reminiscent of ‘Learn To Fly’ from the Foo Fighters previous release. Charming, melodic and very likeable, this is a catchy track that deserves high praise. The 2 songs that are sandwiched between these 2 singles are not too bad and were probably deservedly released as the other 2 singles from this album, even if they are a fair way behind the aforementioned highlights. That probably says as much for the depth of this album as anything.

Second track ‘Low’ is not too unlike ‘All My Life’ with its opening dark undertones that is very promising. But there is no second gear here to provide a satisfactory payoff. Meanwhile, ‘Have It All’ is a solid mid-tempo track that has good melody throughout and an engaging guitar hook. It just lacks that something special to make it in any way memorable.

Stacking the 4 singles as the first 4 tracks of the album immediately means ‘One By One’ is front loaded. And a harsh critic would almost suggest that there is literally nothing more worth hearing for the remaining 7 tracks! ‘Disenchanted Lullaby’ comes in at track 5 and fairly effectively uses the band’s well-known quiet/loud formula, but is nothing outstanding enough to lift it any level above a decent album track. And that last comment pretty much describes the rest of the album really. There is nothing too awful (although ‘Burn Away’ is pretty close), but it is all so disappointing and average.

The only other tracks that are possibly noteworthy are ‘Tired of You’ and closer ‘Come Back’. But even these two songs that have their moments highlight another glaring weakness that plagues this album; Over-length. The shortest of the last seven tracks is 4:30, with four of those being 5 minutes or longer. In fact, the shortest song on the album full stop is the opener at 4:23. While the shorter tracks of the band’s previous albums were only occasionally the highlights (For Example; ‘Big Me), many of them played their part in the bigger picture of assisting to make a more successfully cohesive album as a whole.

To sum it all up, ‘One By One’ is a disappointing and overlong fourth album from the Foo Fighters that has seen the band diminish in practically every area that they were previously strong in. The mix of rockers and ballads are uncomfortable, the song-writing has reduced in quality, the (over-)production is questionable and there are simply not enough memorable tracks when all is said and done. In a word; Disappointing.

Recommended Tracks: All My Life & Times Like These



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user ratings (1411)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SHOOTME
August 16th 2008


2393 Comments


good review Daveyboy, much better than the other negative review for this album.

Slaytan
August 16th 2008


1186 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This album is so boring. I do enjoy Tired of You though.

flamethisuser
August 16th 2008


395 Comments


the only foo fighters album i never bothered with. liked "all my life" though.

rasputin
August 16th 2008


14555 Comments


ITS TIMES LIKE THESE YOU LEARN TO LIVE AGAAAIN

AtavanHalen
August 16th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I actually don't think this record is that bad.

McP3000
August 16th 2008


3941 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

The first four tracks are fun

the rest is horrible

Spamue1G
August 16th 2008


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

5 or 6 tracks are worth it- the 1st 4 (particularly, as you said, All My Life and Times Like These) as well as perhaps Tired Of You and Come Back (I really like Come Back, but it's too long without any real progression). The rest are ok, but it's not the best Foos album by a long shot.

Sciroccu
August 16th 2008


784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A great album, I don't understand your ratings.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 16th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ok, mixed feedback all around for this album. The general concensus does seem to be that the first 4 tracks (& singles) are a fair way ahead of the rest.
I'm actually surprised that there are so few ratings under 3 for this album. It's clearly The Fooeys worst for mine.

taylormemer
August 16th 2008


4944 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album's not too bad.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Of those people who feel this is a 3.5 or higher, I'm interested to hear which of the final 7 songs they like. The only 2 mentioned thus far are the 2 I gave a brief mention to; 'Tired of You' & 'Come Back'.

AtavanHalen
August 17th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Disenchanted Lullaby is awesome.

Spamue1G
August 17th 2008


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Disenchanted Lullaby, Tired Of You, Come Back, Halo, Lonely As You. Overdrive and Burn Away are the ones I don't like. I just felt that Come Back really deserved a mention as one of the best on the album and Tired Of You was my favourite after that, although Disenchanted Lullaby is close. Halo's good and enjoyable, but nothing special. Lonely As You is really relaxing, although I do tend to skip to Come Back about halfway through the song. I would give it a 3 if it wasn't for the unbelievable awesomeness of Times Like These.This Message Edited On 08.17.08

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 17th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

In a way, I suppose 'Disenchanted Lullaby' is this album's barometer. I'm neither here nor there on it myself, although looking through some other reviews of this album, it gets some love and hate.
I agree that 'Come Back' is pretty good Spamue1G... Maybe it was the fact that there are 6 pretty average songs before it that makes it lose it's shine a little.
'Burn Away' is pretty bad, while 'Halo', 'Lonely As You' & 'Overdrive' are all pretty blah.

Sciroccu
August 25th 2008


784 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really like disanchanted lullaby's too. As for me it's the first foo fighters album I heard and i didn't really like the others when I listened to them after this one. The 4 rating is maybe a bit high but when I was into it this album really moved me. But i can't really talk as a foo fighters big fan and i can't make comparisons with other albums (as I said i didn't really like them but i didn't much listen to them too so i can't really talk...). I remenber that I liked all tracks except for (as spamue1G) tracks 9 and 10. Special mention to "all my life", "times like these", Disenchanted lullabies" and the great "come back". By the way i've just baught their dvd "everywhere but home", I'm gonna listen to it to remind me how good they are.This Message Edited On 09.01.08

Fugue
January 31st 2009


7354 Comments


Davey I respectfully disagree. Although not the Foo's best there are at least 5 tracks worth listening to (first four and Lonely As You) which makes it at least woth a 3 in my book.

It is interesting to read your older reviews to see how you improved as nowadays your writing is the model of consistency.

Edit: This album reminds me of playing FFX :D Also Low has one of the funniest music videos ever.This Message Edited On 01.31.09

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

Douchebag
January 31st 2009


3624 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is definitley a weak album. and I agree, only a few strong ones. But remember, Colour and the shape was good , was the previous one any good? I neevr got it because I was scared of dissapointment.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 31st 2009


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ross, your respectful disagreement is noted! I know this is never the be-all & end-all, but when seeing them live last April, it was only the 2 lead singles that they now play in concert. And it was a long 2 hour + set too. I think that does say something. While 'Low' does indeed have one great video, I sometimes wonder if that video actually makes the actual song seem better than it is!
And yeah, I'd like to think I have improved my writing over the months. Although I hope these early reviews of mine are still very much readable.
Croc, I have reviewed all 6 Foo Fighters albums, so take a look through them when you get a chance. 'The Colour & The Shape' is clearly their best for mine & this is clearly their weakest. Everything else is in between (including the LP you ask about; 'There Is Nothing Left To Lose').

Phantom
January 31st 2009


8930 Comments


and Everlong is their best song, which coincidentally comes from The Colour and The Shape

Fugue
January 31st 2009


7354 Comments


Oh Colour and the shape is miles better than this band have ever done (and seemingly will do). Ahh, well no I think Low is great, surprised they didn't play it as its bette than most of the stuff since.



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