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Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Oct 20th, 2017

Foo Fighters: Concrete and Gold

Foo Fighters
Concrete and Gold
(RCA/Roswell Records)

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Dave Grohl is settling into his role as rock n roll uncle nicely. There aren’t many musicians in the world that can call up Paul McCartney and ask him to jam, play drums for Queens of the Stone Age, or continually play Tom Petty (RIP) songs on tour just as comfortably as a Motorhead banger. Grohl has never been one to reinvent himself on a regular basis and there is formula that he has perfected over time. His more ambitious projects like the HBO documentary Sonic Highway, which he directed, was pretty awesome (the album not so much). And he’s so damn funny, I watch any and all moments of Dave Grohl tomfoolery. Unfortunately I can’t say that I have that same interest in all Foo Fighters records.

That doesn’t mean the band isn’t interesting. Grohl’s enigmatic and contagious personality propels the Foo Fighters forward and their new record Concrete and Gold continues that drive. The record is really good, and doesn’t veer too far from that Grohl formula. 90% of the songs are just well written, immediately detectable, Foo Fighters anthems. I would argue that this record is the band’s best since The Color and the Shape.

Right off the bat the short, minute long “T-Shirt” showcases the light/heavy/light with the tongue-in-cheek lyric “I don’t want to be king, I just want to sing love songs, pretend there’s nothing wrong” before exploding. “Run” is a chemical experiment of guitars and Grohl’s rasp, leaving you wondering how long he can keep his voice. “The Sky is a Neighborhood” is a moving, earwormy, brilliant piece of songwriting with a chorus ripe for a singalong. “Dirty Water” is reminiscent of a 1995 B-side from the band’s debut. “Arrows” and “The Line” follow suit with scrumptious 70s tinged rock n roll.

“Sunday Rain” is where it’s at though. A song with a very capable Paul McCartney on drums and equally capable Taylor Hawkins handling lead vocal duties with a Beatles-esque chorus. It’s a great song, and a high point for the album and the band.

Did I mention that Justin Timberlake appears on the song “Make it Right”, and Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men fame, makes an appearance on album closer, and title track “Concrete and Gold?” Apparently, Stockman was invited for an impromptu barbecue thrown at the studio where both he and the Foo were recording. It all just makes you wonder what’s next for a band who has reached the summit. Whatever it is, the formula still works.

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Foo Fighters: Concrete and Gold