Tuesday, May 31, 2011

CD Review: Foo Fighters - Wasting Light

I love Foo Fighters. They are easily one of my favorite bands of all time. Not only do I love their sound, but I've loved their clever music videos and they are an awesome live band. Dave Grohl was named as Big Sexy Artist of the Decade for the Naughts. But I was very nervous for this release. The best I could hope for is that the Foo Fighters would maybe start to age gracefully and I would enjoy a new sound from the Foos much like Pearl Jam has evolved. I've liked the last couple of Foo Fighter albums, but they would include many songs that seemed to come out of a random Foo Fighter song generator. Whisper to shout vocals and hard songs that still have a bit of a pop crossover sensability. In 2009, the Foo Fighters released the dreaded "best of" set. That is usually the retirement of great bands. It included a couple of less-than-inspired new releases.

I am thrilled to report that Wasting Light is the Foo Fighters best album since 1999's There is Nothing Left to Lose and is the Big Sexy album of 2011. The album kicks you right in the nards with the blazing Bridge Burning. It builds up the tempo by adding one instrument at a time before finally getting to the kickass opening line of "These are my famous last words. My number's up - bitches will burn". Ok, maybe he says "bridges and not bitches" but ever since Mrs. Sexy made that mistake, I always hear that (as do all the cars with the window down next to me at any intersection). All of the first five songs rock hard, maybe a little too hard on the full-on metal assault of White Limo. The next 4 songs are very good songs that are a bit too reminiscent of the 21st century Foo Fighters that I really like but am not passionate about.

Song 10, I Should Have Known, is the track that has received much of pre-release buzz as it is supposed to be the first song by Dave Grohl that addressed Kurt Cobain's suicide. Without knowing that, you could certainly hear the song as just someone who has had their heart broken. Dave conveys a lot of emotion in the song. He ranges from the quiet acceptance of the heartbreak to more and more anger as the song goes on. What I think makes it even more wonderful is the song directly after it, Walk. Maybe on it's own it wouldn't be so special. But hearing it right after I Should Have Known, makes the uplifting and positive song about getting on with your life so powerful. I honestly get goosebumps and end up with a big joyful feeling when I hear the album in context at this point.

The deluxe version of Wasting Light comes with the electronica/club re-mix of the first single Rope as produced by Deadmau5. The only thing I knew about Deadmau5 before was the cool head he wears during his shows. I like this re-mix sometimes, but I love the original version of the song. It's cool to hear this version though. The better bonus is the excellent song, Better Off. I don't know how that isn't just on the album. Another excellent track.

This album is easily my number one album of the year, so far, in a year that includes many other excellent efforts. Despite it's horrible album cover, I'm pretty sure this horse is going wire-to-wire. 5 big hands from the Everlong video out of 5.

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