Review Summary: Ummm...ya it's decent!
Foo Fighters, if you haven’t heard of them, then you’re probably living under a rock. Even for pop radio listeners, Foo Fighters is a band they have heard of from songs like “Everlong”, “The Pretender”, “Best of You”, or “My Hero”.
They have been known for a lot of friendly radio hits through the years that even Top 40 radio stations will play. But to sum it up, Foo Fighters are the king of playing it safe. Record after record they produce basically the same grunge sound and pop sound mix that always leaves a sour taste in my mouth, and in music critics mouths alike. That’s not to say The Colour and the Shape (1997) isn’t a great album, because it was. It was energetic and hard-hitting. But, this same sound went for four albums until there 2011 record, Wasting Light made everyone take a step back and realize that the Foo Fighters can still make unique and different music. The album was whimsical and powerful. But, then came their worst album and EP the band has produced in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The band saw the response from it and they knew they wanted to do something. Taking three years off and not touring a lot, to sit down and write something to get back there ratings.
Now, here we are in the present day with Concrete and Gold and it is something they should, for the most part, be proud of. First is that the production is a lot more muddy and dirty than in past records.
Songs like “Run”, “La Dee Da”, and “Arrows” just feel so grimy and energetic. The band took inspiration from the late 80’s and early 90’s punk bands. It’s not all muddy sounding either like in songs like “T-Shirt”, “Muddy Waters”, and “The Sky is a Neighborhood”. These are much more of a traditional Foo Fighters song, with a decent chord progression, pop, and catchy refrains, and grunge feeling vocals and instrumentation. Also, “Run” and “La Dee Da” has the most hysterical, but oddly satisfying, screams I have ever heard. They are so auto toned that it sounds like David Grohl is being chopped in a blender. It’s a cool touch to make the record have more of an edge to it.
Now, this record does have a good deal of downsides. One is that the lyrics are a bit cheesy at parts. I’m not one to hone down on lyrics as much as I used to in high school, but man they are just a bit cringe at points. Second is that David Grohl has a great voice and knows what he is doing when he is singing, but in some of the songs they let the drummer, Taylor Hawkins, sing and it just isn’t as crisp and soothing as David’s is. I just don’t know what the band was going for when they did that. Third and lastly, is that the album gets to be a bit one dimensional. Especially in the middle parts of the album. The songs just feel a bit too flat and lifeless, especially the closer “Concrete and Gold”. The six minutes is not justified and it just feels awkward by the end of it.
Overall this is a happy addition to the Foo Fighters catalog and a happy owner of it. There is energy, guts, and power thrown into the Foo Fighters blender to change up their sound a bit. But, with its one-dimensional approach at points, and cheesy lyrics don’t make it a great album. It’s a good album.