Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First Impression: Foo Fighters: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

Instead of doing a traditional review, I'm going to kind of blog through this album leaving a few notes about each track.

Let me get this out of the way first. I adore the Foo Fighters. I think Dave Grohl may be the coolest man in rock and roll right now. I think his musical talents go above and beyond any other person out there today. I've been a fan of theirs since I first heard Big Me way back in the day, and have followed them pretty closely ever since.

I love this record. To me, its on par with 1997's The Colour and the Shape . And with that, let's move on to the first track and first single off the record, "The Pretender".

1. The Pretender - What an absolutely perfect way to kick off the album. It starts off with moody "stairway" kinda riff and just when you think you're going to get a slow opening track, Taylor Hawkins comes in with a drum beat that will leave you tapping your foot throughout the whole song. This is exactly why I love the Foo Fighters, their ability to craft catchy, rock songs without coming off as horribly cliche and watered down.

2. Let It Die - I read an interview that this song was about the whole Kurt Cobain/Courtney Love fiasco and was basically written out of Dave Grohl's love for Cobain and hatred for Love. The lyrics are incredibly poetic and I think it's a really solid track.

3. Erase Replace - For me, this was one of the weaker songs lyrically on the album so far. The music more than makes up for it though. Grohl's rough, howling voice more than make up for the sub par lyrics and there is a nice little build-up at the end.

4. Long Road To Ruin - The Foo switch it up a little bit on this one. More of a midtempo kind of song (think Times Like These). The one thing that makes this song less generic is the fantastic guitar solo at about the 2:44 mark. Why is it that everytime I hear a guitar solo in a song I try to picture how bad I would play it in Guitar Hero?

5. Come Alive - One of my absolute favorite songs on the album. You can tell right from the start that its not going to stay slow and it has an outstanding build up. Dave Grohl prooves yet again that he can take any song (mellow or not) and turn it into gold.

6. Stranger Things Have Happened - This track could easily have been taken off Disc 2 of In Your Honor. The Foo slow it down a bit and give our beating little hearts a break with this acoustic number. I know it seems cheesy when bands add the obligatory "slow song" in the middle of an album, but honestly they can do no wrong in my eyes.

7. Cheer Up Boys (Your Makeup Is Running) - Just going by the song title, I wanted to LOVE this song. Maybe I got my hopes up too much. Its good, but not great. It does have a very heavy "classic rock" vibe to it which I dig. It just feels like there is something missing here, or maybe it just doesn't feel like it fits in with the rest of the album. Maybe this would have made a better b-side?

8. Summer's End - This song starts off and immediately reminds of one of my favorite tracks off of One by One, "Disenchanted Lullabies". I keep changing my favorite track, but it may be this one. I absolutely adore the lyrics in this one, especially the line "meet me in the summertime, we can know the end. sweet virginia countryside, i will meet you then". I think of songs with great lyrics in terms of how mix-tape worthy they are, and this one is high on the list. Also a pretty nice guitar solo towards the end.

9. The Ballad Of The Beaconsfield - This acoustic instrumental was written before Dave Grohl met with one of the miners that were trapped in the Beaconsfield mine collapse. Its got a very country twang to it, and its one of the few instrumentals I could listen to over and over again. I thought it was really cool that he named and wrote a song about these guys, just goes to show you what kind of class act Dave Grohl is.

10. Statues - This song is a definite step forward for the Foo's. The piano in it really gives it a Ben Fold's kinda vibe that I really dig. Other than a few soft spots, this album is really surprising me musically. They are doing what they want and I can really appreciate that.

11. But Honestly - Is it me or can most of these songs be related to a break-up? Maybe its fitting that I'm listening to this with my present situation, but I can relate to almost every single song lyrically. There is always a special bond when you listen to the lyrics and feel like they are being sung about your life. Another great build-up track, I was hoping they would step it up one more time before the album ended.

12. Home - I could go on and on about how cliche it is for a band to write a song about living life on the road. But you know what, some bands can pull it off. The truth is, this song is by far the strongest song lyrically. The line in which the album title is derived from is one of my favorite lines in any song, ever. "Echoes and silence, patience and grace. all of these moments I'll never replace". The piano compliments this song beautifully.

So there it is. I hope you like this more than a regular old review. Likes? Dislikes? Leave them in the comments or shoot me an email. I hate giving out grades, or number scores for an album so I'll just say that I highly recommend you pick this up today. The album is in stores now and can be bought at Best Buy for $9.99 and it is well worth it.

I think the last line of the album sums up the mood perfectly:

People I've loved, I have no regrets
Some I remember, some I forget
Some of them living, some of them dead
All I want is to be home

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