“Concrete and Gold,” The Foo Fighters’ ninth LP, shows up to the Halloween party with the same costume as last year. Since the release on Sept. 15, fans like myself have had the chance to consume and assess The Foo Fighters’ latest installment in their discography. With a heavy heart, I must confess I was underwhelmed by this effort.
Dave Grohl is a legendary rocker known for producing powerful tunes featuring his harsh, screeching vocals while also giving contrast to each album by showcasing his unique, clean vocal talent. From The Foo Fighters’ origins in ‘94, they have provided heavy metal, grunge and alt. rock listeners the inspiration needed to progress from a garage band to the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. However, their formula for producing heavy to cliché classic rock ballads can seem a bit stale on the third or fourth regurgitation.
“T-Shirt” kicks off the first track while giving you the signature Foo’s soft vocal build-up into a chorus saturated with harmonies and riffs. The classic rock feel takes one back to simpler times when one could listen to Journey with one’s hair down.
“Run” features the post-hardcore vocals from Grohl that differentiates himself from more traditional rockers. His signature battle cry is still holding up after years of stressing his everlong boyish tenor. Midway through the track, Taylor Hawkins smashes the hi-hat to create a raw, washy tone that drives the rest of the song to completion. This is easily one of the best choruses The Foos have made in years.
“The Sky Is A Neighborhood” and “La Dee Da” feature Alison Mosshart of The Kills and remind me of a mix between power rock hits by Muse and Imagine Dragons.
“La Dee Da” blends 80s synth and song composition with 2000s thrash punk. Nonetheless, there’s only so many times your brain can accept lazy lyrics produced as a sub-par rock track.
There’s an empty feeling after listening to “The Line.” The message becomes repetitive and is synonymous with singing the “Don’t Stop Believin’” chorus for the thousandth time.
The mood and chilling chords of “Sunday Rain” are reminiscent of Grohl’s previous band, Nirvana. Paul McCartney, one of Grohl’s dearest friends, makes a guest appearance by playing drums that compliments the angst-filled track. The lyrics echo an expression of resentment toward a figure that is self-centered and repeats the phrase “Don’t leave me drowning in your Sunday rain.” This track makes you wish you were a Portland local that could listen to this jam while blissfully gazing out of your window that is covered in water droplets.
Shawn Stockman, of Boyz II Men, helps conclude the album with his mature harmonies on the self-titled track, “Concrete & Gold.” The melancholic pace gives the song an eerie, yet triumphant sound that blasts power chords over soft spoken vocals.
The Foo continue to glorify their rock ‘n’ roll roots with “Concrete & Gold.” However, this is the same song, different verse. Since their last LP, “Sonic Highways” sealed their signature sound as mature musicians, fans can expect to hear this on repeat. This is not to say that I am done listening to The Foo. Grohl is one of my rock idols and they have truly solidified their spot as #4 in my personal top 10 bands of all time. This may not be my favorite work of theirs but I’d recommend this rock album to anyone with ears.