Review Summary: Foo Fighters offer some uniqueness for a change, and are much better for it.
I'll start off by saying, Dave Grohl is a good guy. Not just because of his music, but he just seems like a swell person. The man has contributed some damn fine music, being the only good thing in Nirvana, to making Queens Of The Stone Age cool, to finally taking the role of a leading man in the Foo Fighters. He hasn't stopped working since 1991, and I truly do respect him. Now of course none of his music is all that amazing, and he writes pretty conventional stuff. But as far as conventional stuff goes, Dave Grohl, and more specifically Foo Fighters, the music is hard to surpass.
Now Dave Grohl is a rock musician, always has been and always will be. But after 16 years of doing rock music, a little bit of acoustic balladry fits in quite nicely. In Your Honor is a double disc release; rock, typical Foo Fighters songs on one side, stripped down acoustic songs on the other. Both have their positives and the songs are nice, but I think it's fair to say that disc 2 pretty much slays disc 1.
Maybe its me, but the loud side does get quite boring after a while. The tracks are fine and all, but the reason the Foo Fighters have never really been thought of much is because of their traditional, mainstream rock sound. That's not to say that the tracks are bad or anything, because there are some great songs on here. The title track is incredibly commanding, with a very powerful chorus. DOA has some good funky vibes in it. The Deepest Blues And Black is touching and one of the most serene tracks in the Foo's discography. And everyone is sick of Best Of You. The issue simply is that the songs just play out the same boring rock formula that the Foos are famous(infamous) for.
On the other hand, the second disc of In Your Honor is my favorite thing ever from the Foo Fighters. On here they actually achieve some unconventional beauty and push their boundaries as musicians. The songs are very stripped down, where the exceptional passages can be played more naturally and expressively. Still is one of the most peaceful and mesmerising songs I know, with some terrific lyrical delivery. Friend Of A Friend is an incredibly interesting piece of music, telling a very interesting story, using the simple riffing to its greatest extent. Razor just might be Foo Fighter's best song ever. Using complex finger picking guitar melodies, an incredibly gentle and moving vocal delivery, with breath-takingly awesome lyrics; “sweet and divine, razor of mine” The Foos also mix in some by-the-book and fun folky tunes; Another Round, Miracle, Over And Out, Cold Day In The Sun. All of these songs have some charming qualities, but aren't all that astounding.
This album is quite the mixed bag, in approach and in quality. The rock side is good, but boring and falls into the same pattern as every other Foo Fighters album. The acoustic side is incredible, featuring some of the best songs of the band's career. So, taking the bad with the good, the mediocre with the awesome, I can conclude that the acoustic side of this album more then picks up the slack of the first disc, which isn't exactly bad, just painfully typical. Without the addition of the acoustic songs, the first disc would probably recieve a 3, and the acoustic side on its own would get a 4.5. So together, the Foo Fighters offer a mixed experience, and comes out with some quality.