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Foo Fighters – Wasting Light

After nearly a four-year break, the Foo Fighters are releasing a new album. On April 12, Wasting Light is to become available to the general public. Foo Fighters have struggled to put out something unique and refreshing for quite some time now (at least in my opinion). Though this will not be revered as highly as The Colour and the Shape, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Wasting Light is certainly one of the stronger Foo Fighters records up to date.

The Music (rating: B+)

  1. Bridge Burning
  2. Rope
  3. Dear Rosemary
  4. White Limo
  5. Arlandria
  6. These Days
  7. Back & Forth
  8. A Matter of Time
  9. Miss the Misery
  10. I Should Have Known
  11. Walk

With this album, one can get what is expected out of the band in terms of sound. It is hard rock with a fair deal of power chords and some mild riffing along with the gruff vocal stylings of Dave Grohl. There are some pretty heavy moments (“White Limo”) as well as some more mellow ones, but nothing too soft (like the bare acoustics in disc two of In Your Honor). Basically, Wasting Light is filled with some nice radio rock written at a higher level.

The album starts of very strong with “Bridge Burning” and “Rope,” making an appropriate introduction as to what the rest of the record is to showcase. However, there is an unfortunate slump towards the middle of the album. Many of these songs are much more standard and forgettable, albeit still nice to listen to. In fact, this is quite similar to the previous Foo Fighters album which very front-heavy with the strong starters “The Pretender” and “Let it Die”. Following that, there is nothing much else to hold the album on its feet. But with Wasting Light, the filler tracks are much less “filler” per say than in its predecessor. They are basically songs that could be on the radio for one week and never heard from again.

Key improvements with this album are more subtle; such things as scope and layering are done much better than some of the band’s previous works. Whether or not the apparent return of Pat Smear to the guitarist was a factor or not, I cannot say. But what is clear is that there are some nice instrumental “conversations” throughout the record, like in “Dear Rosemary”. Also, the cymbal work in the drums are better than on previous albums in some of the better songs, though progressively less so throughout the album. Such seemingly small things as the aforementioned make an apparently large difference in the overall quality of the album. Also, more specifically referring to the first two songs, there are some excellent build-ups and passage placement that creates simple moments in them which make a world of difference, such as the breakdown at the end of “Rope”. There are some subtleties that are very well incorporated into this album, but there are many sections which are unnecessarily devoid of them.

All in all, Wasting Light is a very good album. Still, it seems that some of it can do more to bring itself out of the grasp of standardized radio rock. That being said, there are some gems to watch out for, particularly the first two tracks (“Bridge Burning” and “Rope”). The overall quality is also a fair deal better than many of Foo Fighter’s previous releases, but there is still definitive room for improvement. Nonetheless, it is a job well done by the band.

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