Review Summary: Welcome back, Foo Fighters.
What a pleasant surprise.
Yes, the Foo Fighters have come a long way since albums like Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace and In Your Honor where the best songs were what we were used to hearing from the band and the worst ones were just... odd; songs like "Wheels" don't appear, at all, to be this particular band's cup of tea. The boys, mainly Dave Grohl, were at a point where they could no longer make a solid studio-album but still had the power to make powerhouse tracks like: "Best of You", "The Pretender", etc. Still, that was never enough... and thankfully the boys paid attention.
Wasting Light is their latest album. Kicking off with the pitch-perfect opener, "Bridge Burning", the Fighters waste no time in telling their audience that they're back to rock their stereos with some great ease and simplicity. If past records weren't an indicator, Grohl's songwriting was beginning to turn stale and predictable. Wasting Light makes no apologies for the past, but makes you forget and focus on the new, and Grohl pulls out all the stops in writing some deliciously infectious choruses ("Gimme some rope / I'm coming loose", etc.) for fans to sing to the heavens about. The album's singles "Rope", "White Limo" and "Walk" are all phenomenal, but it's "White Limo" that really shows that the band can rock louder than most. Sounding almost like a Deftones track off of Diamond Eyes, but much lighter and fun to listen to in context, "White Limo" provides that extra kick of diversity so that listeners won't be checking their watches in preparation to change the station.
One thing I mentioned before was "simplicity" and that's what makes this album so much fun to listen to. The band isn't trying to reinvent the wheel. It almost feels like an accident that this is such a great album. Even with some of the album's lesser tracks, like "Arlandria" and "Back & Forth", they all somehow shine because of the energy that the band ignites into them. If anything, this album is all about the hooks and it definitely does have it's hot-spots. The closing track, "Walk", has one of the best hooks I've ever heard when Grohl suddenly leaps into an onslaught of one liners, repeating "I never wanna die / I never wanna die / I'm on / My knees / I never wanna die" just until you're satisfied and leaps back into it's simple chorus of "Learning to walk again".
Along with the excellent hooks comes tracks, like "These Days", which lets there be breathing room between the rocking singles which we anticipate. The breathing room, however, doesn't feel obnoxious or predictable. The album starts out high on the rock-meter then lets it smooth-sail back down a bit with the second half of the album. For those looking to play this album back on repeat, the first half is easily-accessible. For those looking for some lyrical-depth to their tunes, the last act is the way to go with "I Should Have Known" which showcases a theme that everyone should be able to relate to: "I should have known / That it would end this way / I should have known / There was no other way / Didn't hear your warning / Damn my heart gone deaf / I should have known". Of the disc's two-halves, my personal favorite would have to be the last because of it's steady balance between simplicity and rock which is... just beautiful.
That's what it's all about in the Fighters latest album: simple rock 'n roll. Never have the Foo Fighters rocked finer and it's a welcome return after looking back at The Colour and The Shape as being their best album. Some may disagree, but this is the Foo Fighters best album. It displays all of the talent that the band has at their disposal and also plays a great role-model for bands like Weezer and Oasis in showing how you return to form...
You don't. Just turn to the garage for answers.