Friday 17 November 2017

Review - Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways

Richie McCormack

This new album from Dave Grohl's band of merry men appears to be their most ambitious project to date.

4*

Each of Sonic Highways' eight tracks were recorded in eight different cities, with each city adding a guest contributor and heavily influencing Grohl's lyrics.

To use U2 parlance, there is definitely a sense of 'dreaming it all up again'. Lyrically that theme is woven through the record, with the 'Seattle-born Subterranean' seeing Grohl proclaim, "I've been digging in/I will start again", before asking, "Can we recover love for each other?" on 'I Am A River'.

The first half of the record finds the band unsteady on their feet. Although 'Something From Nothing' ends with the Foos 18-wheeler thundering into high gear, the preceding three minutes chop and change stylistically across four different genres when a more streamlined approach would do.

Their willingness to try different musical approaches is admirable, however, spacing them out and giving them room to breathe would be more beneficial. The most grandiose composition 'What Did I Do?/God Is My Witness' is a hybrid of souped-up Skynyrd southern rock, and Queen theatrics.

Neon lights in a Corvette windscreen are seen on the none-more-LA 'Outside', which is when the album really begins to settle into itself.

The band who wrote 'Walking After You' and 'Next Year' reappears on 'Subterranean' before closing on 'I Am A River'. It is a track delivered in NYC but conceived of New Jersey's most famous son, Bruce Springsteen, with its slow build leading to a big torch-holding chorus.

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