Producers: Butch Vig; Foo Fighters
You can readily tell that Foo Fights’ seventh studio album, Wasting Light, is concerned – and more than a bit too much so – at being a hard, heavy, rock album. Recorded using analogue equipment in Dave Grohl’s garage, Wasting Light seems more at home in a filled-to-capacity amphitheater or stadium.
Generally, the songs are precision tight and have hook-laden choruses. The bad news is that the songs are each about a minute or so too long and repetitious, contain at times laughable lyrics that border on REO Speedwagon doing bubblegum rock, and rely on the adding and subtracting of instruments to introduce musical highs and lows. And even then, most of the album’s volume levels can be categorized under one of three headings: Loud, loud or loud.
There are some very good moments worthy of Grohl & Company: The album’s opener, “Bridge Burning,” is a ferocious call to arms; “These Days,” which is the best song on the album, begins as a beautifully moving, pentatonic church hymn that breaks into an honest, non-formulaic work; and “I Should Have Known,” featuring a guest appearance by Krist Novoselic, takes the listener on an emotional rollercoaster of soulfulness, mourning and anger.
But then comes the repetition. “Back and Forth” (yawn) and “A Matter of Time,” (yawn-yawn) I’ve already heard earlier in the album. Other songs just try too hard to BE hard, resulting in any genuine identity the song could have had being lost: The piece of garage recorded “ORIGINAL MASTER TAPE” I received with my CD probably sounds just like all the other pieces (I will say, however, the idea of including a snip of the master tape as a souvenir is a brilliant marketing gimmick – bravo!)
Also, I can’t get passed the fact that there is a “deluxe edition” that features one song remixed, one cast-off and two promotional videos that I can probably see anytime online. Guys, come on – you’re Foo Fighters. Give me the extra two tunes and promotional videos for the same price because I am a fan of your music and am probably the last man alive “stupid” enough to buy music CDs, rather than steal your music from one of my friends.
If you are a cold, hard Foo Fighters fan, you’ll probably enjoy Wasting Light. If not, you might just be wasting your money.