Review Summary: Wasting Light contains an immediacy, an intensity, an emotional impact power that has been missing from their catalog for quite a few releases.
Seven studio albums for a rock band is an accomplishment that Dave Grohl and Co. should be proud of. More so, they should be proud that they've created one hell of a seventh album, and probably their best since The Colour and the Shape
. Stripping down to the knuckle-bone on Wasting Light
has the inherent dangers of the band creating an album that sounds like another band trying to duplicate the Foos, but with a deftness of melody and covert pop prowess the old-timers manage to crank out a corker.
"Pop Prowess? Have you even heard "White Limo", you kindey tickler?" you may be saying. Despite the snarling, revving intense punk-laced hard rock that is the veneer of the disc, there is a firm, underlying pop sensibility throughout the disc that is unwavering. It's an adherence to basic melodicism and an understanding of how to make it work in your favor that makes this disc and, indeed, this band, such a stone-headed survivor in a music world full of come-and-go garbage. On Wasting Light
, the band have a stranglehold on these concepts and use them to the fullest, creating rock-solid compositions from the abrasive, caustic "Bridge Burning" all the way through to the cathartic jangle of "Walk". Despite the thick fabric of grunge, rock, old-school metal, and punk that has been woven, there is a thin pink thread of pop shot through the whole fu
cking thing that holds it all together.
It's not just simple compositions, either: All throughout the album we find the subtle touches that make the album work. "Dear Rosemary" has a hi-hat stutter that drives the verse, and the guitar/vocal tradeoffs in the chorus really create that melancholic-yet-optimistic emotive sweet spot the Foo Fighters should have, somehow, trademarked by now. The songs they create always seem to be on the sadder edge of the spectrum, but looking towards the light in the tunnel. All eleven excellent tracks here are no different, and contain an immediacy, an intensity, an emotional impact power that has been missing from their catalog for quite a few releases.
The incorporation of riffs that Tony Iommi would be proud of creep in here and there, on tracks like "Arlandria" and "Bridge Burning". Even songs that start off on the lighter side of rock gravitate towards cascading distortion and walk away with a pocket full of groove, for example "These Days" and "I Should Have Known". The dynamics at work here are workable, although sometimes they can be a bit flat.. but the songs are so well written I'm not sure it even matters.
If you like what you've heard (And I'm assuming you've heard "White Limo", "Walk", or "Rope"), then I'd say there's no reason not to pick this album up. It's as good as the singles make it out to be.