Foo Fighters
In Your Honor


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
August 19th, 2008 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A style-splitting double album of rock & acoustic tracks which enables the Foo Fighters to return to form despite the latter acoustic disc probably extending the band a little too much.

Sometimes you need a kick in the backside to rejuvenate yourself and this was obviously what the Foo Fighters required after their disappointing 4th album ‘One By One’, which saw them regress as a band in almost every way, shape & form. In order to practically revive the success of the band, the Foo Fighters decided to extend their 5th release ‘In Your Honor’ into 2 discs and split the styles of music contained on them as far as they possibly could. On the first disc, they took their rock music to a more aggressive level, while the 2nd disc was performed practically all acoustically.

Given this breathing space, Disc-1 is kicked off with a specialist opener. That is, the title track is not anything special in isolation, but builds up in an involving manner to make for a very effective beginning to any sort of album (as well as a live concert). Following it is 4th single ‘No Way Back’, which is an often forgotten track in amongst the huge Foo Fighters back catalogue that I would almost go as far as saying is their most under-rated song. Catchy throughout and fairly memorable, it is a very good mixture of rock and melody. Track 4 ‘D.O.A’ is not too dissimilar to it either and deserved to be released as the 2nd single from the album.

Sandwiched in between those 2 tracks though is quite possibly the Foo Fighters best song of all… ‘Best Of You’. Beginning with just vocals and strumming background guitar, it intensely builds up in an involving manner as layers of instrumentation are gradually added. Best of all though is Dave Grohl’s tremendous vocals that are ably backed up by impressive lyrics. Grohl delivers just the right combination of emotion, frustration and empathy into his performance to succeed in reaching every listener that has been in a situation where another person has affected them mentally/psychologically.

Elsewhere on the first disc, the quality doesn’t manage to equal the lofty levels of the opening 4 songs, but it does remain rather consistent as variation is effectively interspersed throughout the album sufficiently. Both ‘The Last Song’ and closer ‘End Over End’ are above average and include repetitively catchy choruses, while 3rd single ‘Resolve’ slows the pace down a little leading to a competently performed mainstream rock track.

There are a few average album tracks contained upon the first disc as well, but nothing is at all awful. Track 5 ‘Hell’ probably sounded better in theory than in reality, as it is a drum-driven 2 minute interlude of sorts that doesn’t quite come together. ‘Free Me’ is overlong and fairly unmemorable apart from some effective guitar-work and screaming during the middle section. While penultimate track ‘The Deepest Blues Are Black’ is a bluesy song which is solid lyrically and has a decent chorus, but is probably unnecessary considering the second disc that is to come.

As for Disc-2, any doubts as to the Foo Fighters intentions to compromise it are instantaneously dismissed with the soothingly calm and effectively atmospheric 5 minute opener ‘Still’. It is nice and satisfactory, but a little unmemorable which is what plagues most of the disc, as can be seen by follow-up ‘What If I Do?’ which is impressive lyrically, but overlong at 5 minutes in length.

The best individual song on the acoustic disc is track 3 ‘Miracle’. Deservedly released as the 5th single from the album, this is a successfully hooky tune which is ably assisted by strings and a cameo by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones on piano. The song is also helped by the fact it is kept under 4 minutes in duration. Unfortunately, any momentum gained by ‘Miracle’ is halted by the next 5 tracks which all could be classified as average and rather boring. That might be a little harsh on the decent instrumentation of ‘Over and Out’ as well as the duet with Norah Jones on ‘Virginia Moon’, but as a group of 5 songs these do not sit well together at all.

While things are not exactly saved by the final 2 tracks of the acoustic disc, they are thankfully a nice way to end the album as a whole. ‘Cold Day in the Sun’ is a mini-revelation as drummer Taylor Hawkins takes on the vocal duties and performs surprisingly well. Hooky and melodic, this song is most importantly upbeat, adding some life to the disc. Closer ‘Razor’ isn’t too bad either with its strength being the finger-plucking guitar assist by Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age.

Double Albums are always tough to rate as it is often difficult to consider them as one complete package as compared to an album with a bunch of bonus tracks to add value for money. Would this album have rated higher if it was say 14 tracks with 4 of the best acoustic songs added to the 1st disc? I would answer “yes’ as the band extended themselves a little too far on the latter disc. However, those who liked the acoustic tracks better than I did could understandably disagree.

The point to always keep in mind with this album is that it is what may have been required to get the Foo Fighters back on track. To that end, it has achieved its objective well. More emphasis was placed on taking up the rock aspect of disc-1, while the band honed their skills for bluesy folksy, yet still accessible, ballads on the latter disc. Furthermore, both sides of the spectrum show a return to form lyrically and vocally more often than not. Throw in some killer highlight tracks and ‘In Your Honor’ is simply a solid and very good album.

Recommended Tracks: Best Of You, No Way Back, DOA & Miracle.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
O.J. Simpson
August 19th 2008


408 Comments


most foo fighters albums after There Is Nothing Left To Lose are pretty bad, still good reivew.

ninjuice
August 19th 2008


6760 Comments


Reads kinda like a tbt but good review nonetheless.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the positive feedback on the review Watershed.
Ditto Steve (ninjuice). I had a tricky time with this review and found it difficult to adjust to writing for a 2 disc album. I actually had an additional couple of paragraphs originally but the review was too long and some editing eventually got it down to what you see now. As for it being a little too track by track'ish, that's most likely because I actually wrote the original version of this review about 2-3 months ago when I reviewed The Fooey's first 3 albums. I think I have gone further away from tbt's since then.

Spamue1G
August 19th 2008


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, informative and quick to-the-point. Thing is, I completely disagree about the 2nd disc. Over And Out is one of my favourite Foo Fighters songs of all time, it's incredibly powerful. I would call Miracle overrated, but Still underrated. The only song that I don't really like is Virginia Moon, and as for Friend Of A Friend, you have to remember that Dave Grohl wrote it when he was much younger, I find it has a nice innocent charm about it. As for the first disc, the title track is one of my favourites, and though I mostly agree with you, I find No Way Back is overrated, seeing as so many people say it's underrated and I only find it to be a pretty good song, rather than a great one. But as I say, really good and concise review, well done!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the positive feedback on the review Spamue1G. And I know that you would not be the only person that likes the acoustic 2nd disc more than I do. I think that is very much up to individual tastes.
I was going to go into more detail on some of those tracks (EG: the back-story behind 'Friend of a Friend'), but it would have unfortunately made the review too long I think.
As for 'No Way Back', it just doesn't seem to get mentioned much when The Fooeys better songs are listed, hence my "under-rated" tag. It will be very interesting to see if it makes their 'Best Of' when such a compilation finally comes out. My guess is that it will not.

Spamue1G
August 20th 2008


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I see what you mean about No Way Back, when you put it like that. They played it live when I saw them, though, although seeing as their setlist was about 2.5/3 hours long, it's no surprise. I can also understand why you wouldn't like the 2nd disc, a lot of the songs seem to be written around one riff/hook/motif/whatever you want to call it, which includes Over And Out, so it gets a bit drawn out.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

From memory, 'No Way Back' was not played at the live show I attended in April.
And yeah, well said on the 2nd disc. I suppose that's what separates the better acoustic artists out there from the also-rans. I'm not suggesting that The Fooeys are generally "also-rans", but I definitely don't think they are anywhere near the best acoustic band going around.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh man, how freaky is this: You know how I was talking about a 'Best Of' the Fooeys just yesterday on this comments page? Well, I open up the music section of the local newspaper today and there amongst a whole batch of planned 'Greatest Hits' packages is some sort of Foo Fighters singles collection to be released later in the year!

AtavanHalen
August 21st 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They deserve it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 21st 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I think it's a fair argument to suggest that they are a Singles Band for the most part. Anyone who doesn't own more than 2 of their albums would be wise to get said Singles Collection.

AtavanHalen
August 21st 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's a good call. I hope they include some of the Skin and Bones acoustic stuff, too.

Spamue1G
August 22nd 2008


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The bad news is, that might just mean ESP&G is their last album The good news is, I get to slate the list for not bringing forth the whole Foo Fighters experience!

However, with the way they played the live show I went to, it doesn't sound like they're planning on finishing any time soon. Dave Grohl just seems incredibly confident, and they've only just really broken through into British general awareness. They could release another 2 or 3 albums on the back of that, and I hope they do, although perhaps a change of sound is in order... However, I wouldn't complain at the release of an album similar to ESP&G, although I know 99% of the sputnik community would

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Spamuel, just to reiterate, the newspaper article I saw (which was by no means official by the way) specifically said it would be a 'Singles Collection', so I suppose we already know the track listing then, so you can begin slating the list immediately. LOL.
I doubt ESP&G will be their last album. Like you say, their live show is currently terrific and there just seems to be a lot of motivation in their playing.
I actually am in the minority and believe they have sufficiently changed their sound (to a more mellower kind) over the past 2 albums. Do they need to change again on their next release...??? I wouldn't say "need", but like you say, I think it would be preferable.

Spamue1G
August 30th 2008


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Phew. I was worried there. Well, I guess the track listing's probably gonna be obvious, like you say. I'll save the slating for now...

ChopSuey
July 3rd 2013


2392 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah I'm not a huge fan of this either

jtswope
March 15th 2014


2449 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this band tends to get incredibly boring and generic

tresm87
August 25th 2014


1288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Revisited this and realized the softer disc is way better

Digging: Midnight Clear - Midnight Clear:A Solid State Christmas Compilation

plasmacoil
November 27th 2014


44 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No Way Back.



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