Foo Fighters
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
August 22nd, 2008 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The Foo Fighters predominantly succeed in consolidating their previous Double Album into one disc by highlighting their melodic nature in amongst hard rock, soft rock, balladry & a little bit of folksiness.

Thinking back upon the Foo Fighters career, I came upon a realization… When they (or their record company) finally release a ‘Greatest Hits’ package, it is going to be one hell of a disc. You see, the band has arguably been responsible for some of the greatest rock songs of the past 15 years. But when it comes to their individual albums, it is rare to see overly positive reviews. This is mainly due to a lack of depth on each release. Their 2nd effort (1997’s ‘The Colour and The Shape’) probably comes closest to the mark, but the weakness really hit home when ‘One By One’ was released in 2002.

Sometimes you need a kick in the backside to rejuvenate yourself and this was obviously what The Foo Fighters did upon release of their 5th album ‘In Your Honor’. Splitting 2 discs up amongst rock and acoustic tracks, this was at worst an album which provided excellent value, not to mention some very good songs. With their 6th album ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’, The Foo Fighters have understandably attempted to consolidate their two disc effort into one, hopefully resulting in a “Best Of Both Worlds” approach that included less filler. To a large extent, they have succeeded.

The meshing of song styles can practically be heard in the first 30 seconds of this album. Continuing a pet hate of mine of having an album’s best track and 1st single as the opener, ‘The Pretender’ was quite simply my song of 2007. In a decade’s time, when someone asks what rock music was like back in 2007, look no further than this gem of a song. Cleverly beginning softly with lead singer Dave Grohl almost begging you to listen to him while a guitar is gently strummed in the background, the track doesn’t take long for an intense rapid-fire drumbeat to show you where it is heading. The remainder of the song is near-perfect. From the music to the vocals, the verses to the sing-along chorus, it’s difficult to imagine any improvements.

As with practically every other release by the band, they have no issue filling in the first 4 tracks with quality. ‘Let It Die’ complements the opener very well as it takes the quiet/loud structure further and is all the better for it. But it doesn’t just rely on that (for want of a better word) gimmick as it has enough substance behind it to make it work any which way. ‘Erase/Replace’ is a sufficiently solid rocker with enough intensity to get it by, while 2nd single ‘Long Road To Ruin’ is another of the band’s long line of melodic radio-rock tracks in the same vein as ‘Learn To Fly’ & ‘Times Like These’ from their back catalogue.

The remaining 8 tracks are what this album will ultimately be judged by. It’s a mixed bag, but there are thankfully more hits than misses. If anything, the underlying feeling that there is a certain formula that the band is working to is a concern. But there is sufficient variation included and the tracks are placed well for the most part. Misses include the overlong and anti-climactic ‘Come Alive’, the instrumental interlude ‘Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners’, the closing slow-motion piano-driven ‘Home’, and the dated ‘Statues’ (although the latter’s melody may win some over).

If listeners are willing to be patient though, there are some winners amongst the lot. ‘Stranger Things Have Happened’ is an acoustic driven song that may not win you over upon first listen, but has the ability to get caught in your head uncharacteristically for such a slower-paced track. ‘Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up is Running)’ is another sufficient rocker even if it could have been a potential highlight with a little more refinement. While penultimate track ‘But Honestly’ is another successful quiet/loud structured song that is a little more difficult to read than usual and pleasantly uses backing vocals well.

Finally, we have track 8 ‘Summers End’ which may well be the song that helps define the album and ultimately is it’s barometer. Part rock ballad, it includes a folky southern Americana feel to it that accentuates its melodic nature to the utmost. It’s sweet… It’s nice… It’s difficult not seeing this being a future single, but I can understand why it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’ is unlikely to be anyone’s album of the year (except maybe the Grammy Awards). Overall though, it is the successful next step in redefining the Foo Fighters current and future sound. That is to highlight the melodic nature of the entire band, while attempting to incorporate a little bit of this, that & the other… Namely hard rock, soft rock, balladry and a little bit of folksiness for good measure. In the hands of a lesser band, the result could have been a horrible hotchpotch. But in the hands of seasoned professionals like the Foo Fighters, it is an enjoyable and ultimately successful album that is very much worth a listen.

Recommended Tracks: The Pretender, Long Road To Ruin, Summers End & Let It Die.



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user ratings (1474)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
IAmInsect
August 22nd 2008


3799 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

something is fucked up

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2008


17945 Comments


the ampersand always adds the album a second time

it's retarded

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yep, the '&' symbol struck again. But it has already been fixed by someone faster than Usain Bolt!

SimplyKickingAss
August 22nd 2008


20 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is there best album since the Color and Shape.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I have rated three of their subsequent albums all a 3.5. It's a pretty close call to suggest which one is the best since 'The Colour and The Shape. If I had to get off the fence & pick one, I'd probably go with 'There Is Nothing Left To Lose'. But it's much of a muchness really and pretty much depends on personal opinion.
Hey, I just realized that this was my 50th review. Happy milestone to me!

Spamue1G
August 22nd 2008


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Again, great review! If I didnt already own this, I would buy it, seeing as you describe it so well to my tastes. I like it a bit more than you though, it seems. Come Alive is a little bit anti-climatic, I agree, and the first half of the song is better than the second half, but I still consider it a fantastic song. Cheer Up Boys is a miss for me, I think. Still not bad, but it's in the weaker half of the album. I don't really see (apart from the pointless bridge section) why Home is a miss, but I noticed that you're not a fan of the Foos acoustic stuff so much, so I guess that could be an explanation. I'm not too mad on Long Road To Ruin, though I do like it. Let's see... nope, no criticisms that I can find! Nice job again, and happy 50th review! Oh yeah, my favourite release since TCATS is In Your Honour, just beating this (JUST).This Message Edited On 08.22.08

PayneTiger777
August 22nd 2008


4409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought this album was alright but not one of their best albums. "The Pretender" is a really great song even though it gets played over the radio way too much. Nice review.

Kage
August 22nd 2008


1172 Comments


well-written review

Oddsen
August 22nd 2008


1127 Comments


loving In your Honor, i've always meant to pick this up but never have

SHOOTME
August 22nd 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

happy 50th

Normal
August 22nd 2008


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Foo Fighters always at their best , never could say that I can pass the day without a song from them From this album The Pretender a fine tune. Aw yes and a good review I might add .

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Once more, a good summation of everything Spamue1G. You have pretty muich answered any questions you had for me yourself... And that's one of the main reasons why I like to review multiple albums from the same artist; It promotes consistency and allows the reader to have prior knowledge of where the writer is coming from when reading the review.
Thanks to all who have given positive feedback (& votes) on this review. Looking back over it with as unbiased an eye I possibly can. I actually feel it is one of my better reviews that I have written full stop.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just as an aside (& for those who have not seen the comments section of my previous review for the Foo Fighters' album 'In Your Honor'), I recently saw a newspaper article which suggested that a "Singles Collection" of the Foo Fighters was not far from being released. I can assure you that I wrote the opening paragraph of this review without prior knowledge of that. Freaky timing.

AtavanHalen
August 24th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Awesome album. These bastards are yet to release a bad record.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I thought you'd like this album Dave. Seems like your sort of thing. I'm unsure about the comment on their parentage though. ;-)

AtavanHalen
August 24th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Why so LITERAL? Let's put some AMBIGUITY on that face.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh come on, nothing says "AMBIGUITY" more than a semi-colon placed in a smiley face!

SHOOTME
August 24th 2008


2393 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i like Foo Fighters, but i think this is their second worst next to One By One. It just doesn't go anywhere, it's just a collection of kinda boring songs. I love "The Pretender" and "Long Road to Ruin" though.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 24th 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, fair call Rosella Max. You've still rated the album a 3 which I think balances up well. Personally, I think 4 of their 6 albums are all around about the same mark, with 'The Colour & The Shape' being clearly their best & 'One By One' being clearly their worst.

AtavanHalen
August 24th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

One By One really wasn't that bad, man. This is much better, though.



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