Nothing good can ever come from death. All it brings is sorrow, misery, and sometimes anger. However, if anything good came from the death of someone it would have to be Kurt Cobain. Hold on now. Some of you may know how much I dislike [band]Nirvana[/band], but that is not exactly the reason for why I’m saying something good came out of the frontman of the bands death. No, the reason is that if he had never died at the time then chances are that Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters would never have come to be. Even though Nirvana had already broken up before his death, Kurt most likely would have continued making music, therefore overshadowing anything that Dave would have attempted and most likely keeping him from even getting signed.
Foo Fighters could be called the definition of good mainstream rock. Almost every single the band has released has become popular and I’ve personally enjoyed all of them. The thing though is that while their singles are utterly outstanding the rest of their albums have a tendency to flounder in terms of having material to match the singles. The one single that causes me to say almost instead of every single being good is the first one from this album. It seems these days that a lot of bands have changed and their single would represent a change. [band]Thrice[/band] did it with “Image of the Invisible"
. They had a song represent an album of change while it was like their older songs. It could viewed for Foo Fighters that “Best of You"
represents the older side of Foo Fighters and the lack of strong material; it’s its own anthem in a way.
The first disc is an avalanche of catchy mainstream rock music. “In Your Honor"
opens things up nicely and is essentially a simple introduction to the electric side of the album. The drum beat keeps up a fast and steady pace while Dave sings, “Mine is yours and yours is mine; I would die for you tonight". The later part of the song is great though because of the bass playing. It’s not the greatest way to start things off, but is okay to listen to a couple times and the energy the song contains is an exciting pre-cursor to the album. The last minute of “In Your Honor"
was the greatest part of the introduction and the energy it built up needed to be released somehow and couldn’t have been released any better than on “No Way Back"
. Dave Grohl’s singing is a key element to both this song and the whole album. The most memorable moment on the album is here when he sings, “Pleased to meet you, take my hand there is no way back from here". At that moment it feels and seems like “In Your Honor" really is going to be an epic album.
The feeling that “In Your Honor" is going to be a standout record continues with “DOA"
as well. Dave’s voice is a lot more subdued on this song compared to “No Way Back"
, but remains smooth. The music in the Foo Fighters seems to always rely on guitar riffs and they continue to follow that line throughout this disc. It seems strange that when the Foo Fighters had been right on track to having an excellent album they fit a short filler song right after “No Way Back"
. Dave Grohl had most likely initially planned to make a double album of twenty-songs half electric, half acoustic and it seems that he had trouble even reaching that much so he stuck some filler songs in the middle of each disc. Hell
is less than two-minutes long and feels completely recycled to meet the ten-song set. Directly after it is a three-minute song, “The Last Song"
, which is one of the worst songs on the whole album where Dave repeatedly states, “This is the last song". It’s hard to believe that the Foo Fighters bungled such a great moment by putting two incredibly boring and unoriginal songs in a row. Any flow that “In Your Honor" had gathered before these two songs is completely disrupted. As stated before, it seems that the Foo Fighters like a lot of their songs to concentrate on having catchy guitar licks be the driving force behind their songs. “Free Me’s"
guitar and bass riff are amazingly simple and short, but manage to encompass most of the song and be a main part of the four-minute song. Dave’s singing is particularly hoarse throughout and he mutters a lot, which is a nice difference.
The acoustic side is almost not even worth mentioning. It’s sad to put it so bluntly, but a lot of the songs here are boring and completely worthless. There are a few fantastic standouts though. Such as, “Cold Day In The Sun"
, an acoustic track that would even make Sir Paul McCartney proud. The keyboard and guest vocals from Taylor Hawkins along with drums and acoustic guitar make it the greatest track on both discs. Other than this song and one other the acoustic side could very well be thrown away. The somber “Razor"
ends the acoustic disc and album as a whole. Josh Homme’s single picking on the guitar lasts the whole song while Dave sings back to it sweetly. It’s easily the most relaxing song on the album and it at least manages to end “In Your Honor" on a happy note despite the disruptive behavior of the album.
The separation of electric and acoustic tracks into two discs was something that hurt the double album more than helped. As with seemingly all double albums, this could have been cut to one disc and contained about thirteen tracks and would have truly been an excellent album. The problem is that twenty songs don’t even warrant much of a double album anyway. Not when bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beatles have both released double albums with twenty-eight and thirty songs, respectively. Heck, with the running time of both discs combined just going over an hour-and-twenty-minutes two or three songs could have been cut to make the album one disc. This is indeed an over hyped album (especially by Grohl himself), but it’s still a worthwhile purchase for those who have been fans of the band for a while already because the material before this album it could be said is even weaker. For those who have bought the Foo Fighters albums in the past and enjoyed them to some extent and don’t own this yet they should buy it. Those who’ve only heard the singles and enjoyed them, but haven’t been convinced enough to buy any of their albums yet most likely won’t care about this, or any other Foo Fighters album for that matter. The quality of many songs is exceptional on “In Your Honor", but the filler songs drag it down to only being slightly above average. It may be a weak double album, but it still is the best Foo Fighters album nonetheless.
+Good electric disc with lots of single worthy tracks
+Great guest spots on the acoustic disc from Taylor Hawkins and Josh Homme
-Most of the acoustic disc could be trashed
-Does not flow at all
-“Cold Day In The Sun"
-“No Way Back"