Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Everyone loves the Foo Fighters and with good reason. The last 12 years have seen Dave Grohl's post-Nirvana hobby project become rock's most reliable source of comic rage, feelgood anthems and stadium fun; rock gods who never come close to taking themselves too seriously, too busy having a good time to bore everyone with experimentation and emotional baggage. Always ready with a knowing nod and a goofy grin, Grohl & co are now the must see band for barrelling riffs and a good time.
All of which makes sixth album, the thoughtfully titled "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace", something of a risky move. At first glance it may seem like just another Foo Fighters record. Single, "The Pretender" does what all good Foo Fighters songs should, careering from quiet to loud to vein-popping, guaranteeing to have any stadium pogoing as one. "Let It Die" and "Erase/Replace" confirm it as the trick that just keeps on giving, yet for all the familiarity, this stands as a daringly brave record.
The first clues that "Echoes…" marks a major sea change in Foo Fighter standard operating procedure comes with the realisation that the above mentioned scream-alongs aren't fun. They aren't comic. They aren't knowing. They won't come with a self-depreciating video and they don't leave you second guessing whether they mean it or not. They're raging, bitter and make no apologies for it. There's a melancholy that's as big as the guitars and just as flooring.
The second hint is in the running order. For a while now Dave Grohl, the man who lest we forget gave us the lump in the throat that is "Everlong", has suspected that he may have more to offer the world than volume and humility alone. He tried to go there with the last album, 2005's two disc opus "In Your Honor", but bottled it last minute, banishing his sensitive side to the second acoustic disc so it wouldn't get in the way of the proper Foo Fighters tracks. Here, it's front and centre, firmly holding its own.
Their shouty charge may have made the Foo Fighters a household name, but here it's the anguish and introspection of the intimate acoustic tracks which screams the loudest. The sweetly bruised "Come Alive" and pleading "Stranger Things Have Happened" are both profoundly sad. Meanwhile, closing piano lament "Home" is surely amongst the starkest tracks Dave Grohl has ever committed to tape.
Maybe being reunited with "The Colour And The Shape" producer Gil Norton has instilled the confidence needed for Grohl to fully realise his songwriting potential. Maybe it was inevitable he'd get there eventually. Either way, there's no getting away from the fact that the goofy guy who used to play drums for Nirvana just made a classic album.
A solid gold, 5 star classic....
Album number 6 finds Foo Fighters in an enviable position in rock's current pantheon. Able to sell out arenas the world over and dominate the charts they also maintain a level of rock credibility that most other bands would sell their roadie's children for.
The Pretender kicks of a trio of strident stompers, leaping out of the speakers with energy and excitement to mug the listener. Let It Die follows suit with similarly explosive results. Erase/Replace is less successful, lacking a decent tune to accompany the volume. Long Road To Ruin, though not quite scaling the dizzy heights of its pop-rock forebear Times Like These, has a killer chorus and is destined to be a live favourite. Come Alive is an album highpoint, going from gentle strum to thrillingly full on rock bombast. Moody, country-esque slow builder Stranger Things Have Happened sounds like it escaped from Tom Petty's Highway Companion and with its sugary melodies and breakneck guitars Cheer Up Boys... wouldn't have sounded amiss on Earth Vs The Wildhearts. Summers End's evocative lyrics deftly recall hazy sunshine, lost youth and lazy days. Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners welds Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore to Duelling Banjos to great effect while Statues is 70's pop radio in the best possible sense of the word. When the electric guitar bursts in towards the end of But, Honestly it is the single most thrilling moment in Foo Fighters entire career. Home is an unexpectedly beautiful, piano led song, extolling the virtues of hearth and, yes, home. It is the perfect album closer.
Foo Fighter continue to make albums you can immerse yourself in. Echoes.. outdoes previous efforts by simply having MORE great songs. The Colour and The Shape still stands as the high point of their career but this comes pretty damn close to topping it. Reminiscent of 70's rock titans Led Zeppelin and The Who, Echoes... once again shows why Foo Fighters are the best band in the world.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Foo Fighters rock!
Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace is the sixth studio album by the Foo Fighters, released on September 25, 2007. Produced by Gil Norton who worked with the group on their second album, The Colour and the Shape.
Reached number 1 on the UK album chart, selling 135,685 albums in the first week. It also achieved the number one spot on iTunes through pre-orders alone. The album went platinum in just 5 days after its release in Australia. It also went platinum in New Zealand after a week. In the U.S., it entered the Billboard 200 album chart at #3, selling 168,668 copies in it's first week and giving The Foo Fighters their third straight Top 3 studio album in their homeland.
"Let It Die"
"Long Road to Ruin"
"Stranger Things Have Happened"
"Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)"
"Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners"
"Once & for All (demo)" (Japan, iTunes and UK bonus track)
"Seda" (iTunes pre-order and Japan bonus track)
"The Pretender" (live @ Wal-Mart Soundcheck)
"My Hero" (live @ Wal-Mart Soundcheck)
B-sides (available on "The Pretender" single):
"Come Alive (demo)"
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
What a great Album...
...This is just brilliant!
This is the most thought about and refined Foo album of the lot and it benefits from this no-end. After the Acoustic side of 'In Your Honor', the Foos are now not scared of creating ballads and acoustically themed tracks. Why they were scared of doing this before I'll never know because the ones on this album are just superb and eclipse anything off of In Your Honor.
The album starts in classic Foo Style, 'The Pretender'. This is what the Foos have made a career on, producing fast paced, rock anthems that are built for playing Live. The chorus will have you singing along in seconds and it's one of the best songs the guys have ever produced.
This is followed by 'Let It Die'. This starts slow and ends up as a screaming rock track. It's probably my least favourite on the album (I don't get along with Dave Screaming), but that's not to say it's a bad song at all. 'Erase/Replace' is another classic rock track from the Foos.
'Long road To Ruin' will definately be the next single, it's radio-friendly rock at it's best and is istantly likeable.
I'm going to skips the next few tracks as they are all superb, but I'm itching to get to the last 3 songs!
'Statues' is the first taste we get of Piano Foos. It's a great track that will perhaps get overshadowed by the 2 that follow it.
'But, Honestly' has already become one of my favourite Foo songs ever. Very similar to 'Come Alive' in it's structure, but the excellent melody and backing vocals from taylor just make it stand out so much. Starts of slow and acoustic, ends up with classic rock riffs and solos. Probably would've been my favourite track on the album is it wasn;t for what followed it...
'Home' is basically Dave and a Piano. The first time I heard it I could feel the shivers down my neck for the whole song, Incredible. It's the most open and intimate Dave has been on a song and it's such a beautiful track. I really hope that they will continue to produce tracks like this as it's clearly another talent of theirs.
You can tell that Dave still had reservations about ending the Album on a slow song though as it is followed by a 'Bonus track' called 'Once & For All). It's a classic Foo Song but it just seems so normal when compared to what it followed.
This is what the Foos can produce when they seriously think about the songs and the album in general. Also, when they are not scared to have quieter songs and acoustic songs present.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
FANTASTIC ALBUM A+++
One of the best rock albums released all year. I liked nearly every single song on there. It includes the great single "The Pretender". If you do buy this album make sure you look out for "Let it die" and "Long Road To Ruin" which really make this album great.
A must for any foo-fighters fan.