Upon first hearing ‘Run’ I was underwhelmed by the sound of the Foo Fighters trying to be the Foo Fighters. The disappointment of Sonic Highways followed by a bland new single didn’t fill me with the hope that the Foos had avoided reaching a career plateau. 2011’s Wasting Light packed a refreshing punch which the soundtrack that resulted from their documentary failed to achieve. So have the Foos, along with producer and multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin, managed to sweep these aspersions aside with Concrete and Gold?
The appropriately titled ‘Make It Right’ immediately remedies the situation, adopting a blues-rock persona not dissimilar from Clutch’s ‘X-Ray Visions’. This is different from anything I’ve heard Foos do before. However, what isn’t a surprise is their masterful balance of mood, switching from raucous rock ‘n’ roll (La Dee Da) to acoustic ballads (Happy Ever After). This is something Dave Grohl and co. have always done well.
Concrete and Gold isn’t as predictable as I first thought it would be.
Concrete and Gold isn’t as predictable as I first thought it would be. The alt-rock serenity of ‘Dirty Water’ and the seductive funk of ‘Sunday Rain’ show the Foos still have more to offer than what’s come before. The latter sees drummer Taylor Hawkins take over lead vocal responsibilities, something which I think turns them into a completely different band. Perhaps a better one? Sorry, Dave. I always look forward to ‘Cold Day in the Sun’ appearing in their sets and their tribute to Queen at Glastonbury was beautiful.
I’m glad the ‘The Line’ is left until (near) the end – it stands out as the strongest single on the record and succeeds in being both moody and uplifting. It might have been more fitting as the finale rather than the title track. For an album filled with vitality and fresh surprises, it’s a shame that it ends with a slow and self-indulgent trudge to the finish line. But much like the credits of a Marvel film, make sure you stay until the end of the song.
Full of great riffs and melodies
Classic Foos with a refreshing edge
Taylor Hawkins lends his lead vocal to ‘Sunday Rain’
For the full story on how Concrete and Gold came together watch this animated interview with Dave Grohl below:
|3. Make It Right|
|4. The Sky Is A Neighborhood|
|5. La Dee Da|
|6. Dirty Water|
|8. Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)|
|9. Sunday Rain|
|10. The Line|
|11. Concrete and Gold|