Review Summary: The Foos remember how to rock again.13 of 16 thought this review was well written
I wasn't the only person to give up on the Foo Fighters. After 2009, a year which saw super-frontman Dave Grohl pursue a new project with Josh Homme and John Paul Jones, as well as the release of the dismal and boring "Wheels", prospects of even a new Foo album, let alone a return to form, seemed slim. The band's previous few albums were disappointing and generic, and it seemed that if a new Foo album did happen it would be shunted into the same "band past its prime" category. I definitely wasn't the only person who was relieved and excited when "White Limo" and its frantic video were revealed. Thankfully, this album lives up to its first single and then some.
This album does pretty much nothing new, but that doesn't prevent it from being extremely enjoyable and catchy. The Foo Fighters have always been a mainstream rock band, and other than a few genre-bending moments this album does nothing to change that. This is poppy and catchy, but hard-hitting music (think Monkey Wrench). The choruses are recognizable as the bands' work, but it comes off as more familiar than repetitive and off-putting. Some songs, like "Rope" and "Burning Bridge" have hints of Them Crooked Vultures
in them, but instead of feeling intrusive, if anything it makes the Foo's traditional rock music sound more fresh and interesting.
The sound of the album is very 90s, like the video to "White Limo" suggested it might. There are a few slower songs that straddle the line between rock song and outright balladry, but the balance between the two makes them fit in much better with the album. The album itself is extremely consistent, with no real stinkers and only a few relatively weak tracks ("Arlandria" sinks a little bit, but still isn't without its enjoyability). The overall quality of the music is a bit tilted towards the albums' front, but not by much, and it is a very rewarding album to listen to in its entirety. With Wasting Light
, the Foo Fighters manage to put out a rare extremely consistent album and save themselves from the "singles band" label they had owned for a few years (until "Wheels" came out... you can already guess how much I detest that song). Every song on the record is worthwhile, and even the weak ones have a catchy hook or chorus to their credit.
What this album does achieve is being the bands' best since the landmark The Colour and the Shape
, and one of the best mainstream rock albums in recent memory. I hope (wish more like) that somehow-popular radio-rock bands like Nickelback will take notice of this album as a guide in creating fresh and interesting rock and roll.
A very shocked and happy 4.5/5.
Fresh, consistent, entertaining as hell.
No real stinkers.
Just generally not good enough for a five. Nothing really wrong with the album, just not 5
Bridge Burning, White Limo, Rope, I Should Have Known, Back Forth