Monday, July 07, 2008

Foo Fighters in Review

On Saturday we watch some of Saturday Night Live, which was a rerun, with John Bon Jovi hosting and Foo Fighters as additional musical guests. This got me to thinking, the Foo Fighters have been around for a while now and I seem to like of their stuff. Since Rachel and I subscribe to Rhapsody and use it every single day I am listening to the entire Foo Fighters catalog. I do this when I get into a band late. I did this with Radiohead last year.

Foo Fighters Discography
* Foo Fighters (1995)
* The Colour and the Shape (1997)
* There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999)
* One by One (2002)
* In Your Honor (2005)
* Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007)

This post is really a recap of my twitter updates.
I found the album
Foo Fighters to be rather juvenile in both lyrics and harmonic progression.
The Colour and the Shape album was rather blase and uninspired. The Foo Fighters seemed to have gone through quite a few personnel changes in the early years and perhaps it shows in this album.
There is Nothing Left to Lose was a great step forward in maturity of lyrics and musicianship. I would say this album is where the Foo Fighters really fell into their own. The album started out very strong but eventually petered out towards the end leaving after tastes of the previous album.
One by One was on par with the previous album with evidence of a further developed song writer in Dave Grohl and a further cohesive band unit.
In Your Honor was overproduced and somebody turned up the compression way too far which resulted in a wash of sound, which is much different then Pink Floyd's Wall of Sound. For more information on compression and the effect thereof see my previous post. This album seemed lost in the sea of mediocre alt. rock from the early part of this century. This album falls into many cliche patterns of song forming and lyric writing.
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is by far the most intricate and complex album. This album is definitely the high point in the Foo Fighter's song writing and musicianship. There may be some recentcy effect with this album but I am trying to remain objective and analytical. The Pretender, which is one of the singles from this album, is the most interesting and powerful song. The lyrics, while not telling a complete story do portray a mature sense of defiance to the man. I like the lyrics except for the last phrase "who are you". I don't think it fits and detracts from the emotional peak of the chorus. This album flattened out in the middle. But came back nicely with a song highly influenced by John Lennon, Statues.


Anonymous said...

You have quite a flair for this album reviewing business. I could see you writing reviews for publication, if you wanted to do that. You are a man of many talents.

Question: Did you mean "objective" and analytical, rather than "subjective"?


Tony said...

cool review. Have you checked out FF on Wikipedia? Your critique follows step by step what was going on with the band.

su-tang 3000 said...

i feel the complete opposite about the Fighters of Foo. The first record is the best. Completely sincere, uninhibited, straight to the point. The others, as they have gotten more complex, seem to lack that initial punch for me. "Everlong," from the second album, is still just as awesome however many years later.

thanks for the review.

Tony said...

Sure, the first album is good (break from Nirvana, new sound all the stuff Mr. Grohl was hiding...) but the lyrics and musicianship lack in comparison to later albums. The second album with the help of the Sunny Day dudes was a giant leap forward. C'mon the lyric "fingernails are pretty, fingernails are good..." from This is a Call are not exactly mature. Same can be said for the mostly simple arrangements (a la Big Me). Don't get me wrong, I like the album and respect that the entire thing was of DG's own material and he performed all the instrument but the Fighters of Foo have grown in many ways over the past decade and a half.

Jeremy said...

well Mr su-tang, you like punk rock more than I do these days so it seems fitting that you would like their first album.

James said...

Hey Jeremy!

I have never been into Foo Fighters at all, nor have I heard much of there music despite a song here or there. What I have heard has never enticed me to explore any further.

What I would be interested to hear is your take on Radiohead. They have very little music that is not brilliant, in my opinion. Have you posted your Radiohead reviews anywhere? If not, you should.