Skin And Bones
UG Team, on november 10, 2006 7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Foo Fighters latest acoustic release Skin and Bones once again solidifies the band's ability to transition easily over to the acoustic world. While the softer side has been explored before on In Your Honor and many of that album's songs are performed again on Skin And Bones, listeners are also given the chance to hear some of the distortion-driven songs given a completely different life.
Vocalist/guitarist Dave Grohl, drummer Taylor Hawkins, bassist Nate Mendel, and guitarist Chris Shiflett are some of the few musicians who actually appear as comfortable in an unplugged setting as with a roomful of amps. The first track Razor is almost like a mirror rendition of its original on In Your Honor, which gives the CD a familiar feel. While at first you might feel short-changed, thinking you're just getting the exact same material you got a year ago, hang in there. Even when their previous acoustic releases are played, the band manages to bring a little something different to each number. An example would be Walking After You, which actually seems more upbeat and percussion-oriented than the original.
Probably the most impressive work, however, comes when the Foo Fighters decide to take songs like My Hero and Best Of You to the acoustic side. While plenty of other bands' acoustic numbers only seem like muted versions of the originals, the Foo Fighters' songs almost seem like they are completely new tracks. If you're going to do an acoustic version of anything, you might as well take the song in a different direction. In My Hero, the lyrical content almost seems to fit better without the distortion. The version from The Colour And The Shape was undeniably powerful, but acoustically -- and backed up by a beautiful piano as it build up to the climax -- it seems to convey Grohl's emotions tenfold.
Drummer Taylor Hawkins gets to showcase his vocal talents live as well, performing Cold Day In The Sun. This is one of the few tracks on the CD that actually doesn't shy away from uses electric guitars, but it still has a mellow Eagles-esque feel to it that doesn't throw the whole record off. This tiny break from slower-tempo songs actually does keep the momentum on Skin and Bones going. The fans who primarily enjoy the Foo Fighters' harder songs may get bored while listening to the latest CD, but the band still is able to relay just as much intensity with their acoustics. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics will be familiar to anyone who has purchased previous Foo Fighters' albums, and Grohl's delivery is captivating as usual. The words are beautifully concise, without being overdone. While some may feel them to be overly simple, the meaning usually comes across as moving regardless.
Probably the most powerful lyrics come in My Hero, which will continue to fuel the debate of whether it is about Kurt Cobain or not. Regardless of Grohl's inspiration, the lyrics are ones that connect with plenty of people. He sings, Too alarming now to talk about; Take your pictures down and shake it out; Truth or consequence say it aloud; Use that evidence race it around; There goes my hero.
Everlong is another classic with lyrics that say a lot in a few lines. Grohl sings, And I wonder when I sing along with you; If everything could ever feel this real forever; If anything could ever be this good again. He hits on emotions that are relatable to anyone who has ever been in love but was scared of it ending, which is likely a pretty universal feeling. // 9
Overall Impression: While some might complain that the Foo Fighters are just rehashing what was already done on disk 2 of In Your Honor, it is still amazing how the band is able to keep the songs fresh. Some songs like Razor do feel extremely close to the original, but most of the other tracks take on a new life. And if you're just curious how the band performs songs like My Hero or Big Me as acoustics, you'll likely be glad you took the time to find out.
Just because the Foo Fighters decided to tone down their sound on Skin And Bones doesn't necessarily mean that there is less there than before. With the addition of a violin, organ, and mellotron, the concert has a rich sound that accentuates the band's playing. If anything, the CD proves that even when you do leave the band with just a few acoustics and vocals, there are solid songs underneath it all. // 9
Skin And Bones
Dylanis, on november 10, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Foo Fighters had expanded to an 8-piece for the show taking in 3 guitarists, bassist, drummer, organist, percussion and violin. Although the album is an acoustic and live, the sound is very full and rich. The sound of the album itself is very clear, one of the best I've heard for a live show. Somewhat new for Grohl's band, the acoustic set sounds simply great, an excellent showing of the former-Nirvana drummers versatility. One of the strongest parts of the album is the ability to hear every note, and every intonation. // 9
Lyrics: All of the lyrics have been used already because this is a live album. Non-the-less, many of the older songs sound fresh with the new, acoustic sound. Dave Grohl's skill on the microphone is fantastic, as is that of backup vocalist Petra Haden, who played the violin with the band. // 9
Overall Impression: If I had to compare this album to another, I'd have to compare it to Nirvana's "Unplugged," which is widely considered one of the best acoustic recordings around. Highlights of the album are the Foo's "My Hero" and "Times Like These." However, the song that sticks out most is "Best of You," in which Grohl, all alone, blasts out the lyrics with emotion that can hardly be matched. I would have bought the album just for that song. I consider this a must-buy for any Foo Fighters fan, and a solid buy for any music fan. // 9
Skin And Bones
unregistered, on may 03, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: So many songs get the ultimate overhaul on this album. The problem with saying this seems to suggest that they needed it, this is not the case. The Colour and The Shape changed my life for the better, and I've been happy ever since. Perfect examples of overhauls include My Hero, building through to a massive crescendo, with that fantastic keyboard-work adding ambience, and then coming to the fore to offer a new dimension to the Foos. (Did anyone else notice a little similarity in the openings to Marigold and My Hero). The same beautiful ambiance is visited on February Stars, which is a song that never gets enough goddamned praise (Februrary Stars, followed by Everlong, seriously, what the hell were the guys on when they dreamed up that perfect little duo). Unfortunately, the only way to describe it is in cliche form. It brings the tears to your eyes, and yes, I do get tingles on the back of my neck as I sit here listening to it. The little bluesy solo at the start changes the song again, and I only lament that I can't play the main guitar part and throw that in on top at the same time!! Perhaps the only thing that stops February Stars being the best song on the album is the slight lack of fluidity to Dave's vocals, they seem a little punchy at times. However, still awesome to hear him singing it, because some Cee you Next Tuesday screamed that it was 'boring' after he played it live, and he said he'd never play it again. Everlong, seriously, what do you want me to say? Then there's 'the hawk' uping the tempo on Cold Day In The Sun, the original now sounds pale by comparison. // 10
Lyrics: Gotta love the lyrics. Honest, simple, and yet so open to interpretation. Everlong, what do you want me to say? I think the thing to say is that Dave writes so that people can find their own meanings in them, saving the meanings for himself as a way of catharsis. I do suspect him sometimes of poor lyrics, but I believe that every song on this album has been well picked from that stand point. // 8
Overall Impression: I read a Q magazine review, and it said something along the lines of "there was an 800lb gorilla on the stage, Kurt Cobain." there were always gonna be comparisons with Unplugged, but far as I'm concerned, this blows it away. I've always thought this about the Foos, and people will disagree, I respect that, but respect my opinion. The overhauls of the songs gives them a good new dimension, sometime surpassing the original (Cold Day in the Sun), sometimes doing something new with a old favourite, see above. If I lost this and deleted it from my computer, I would go out and buy it again. I wouldn't even contemplate not having it. The ambience, the willingness to change songs and obvious talent of all 8 members, it's a must have. I've not been this happy with music since I saw Everlong live for the first time. // 10