Sound — 9
When the Foo Fighters (or simply Dave Grohl if you want to get technical) released their self titled debut album in the summer of 1995, Dave Grohl, the bands frontman, mustn't have had the faintest idea they'd even be around 12 years later, let alone becoming one of rock and music's most influential bands. Despite constant line-up changes and having controversy thrown in their way, the Foo's have not only sustained their lasting power, but have constantly evolved over each record, not staying on the same train of thought but still managing to keep their main fanbase loving them. That is the one thing any band on this earth dreams of. From the radio-hugging, quality songwriting of 'The Colour and the Shape' to the generally lacklustre 'One by One', the Foo Fighters are a seemingly invincible force in the rock world. So enter 2007. They're fresh off the back of touring stadiums for the 'rock' disk of 'In your Honor', their 2005 platinum selling fifth album, and of course the famous mini-tour on the back of the 'acoustic' disk of the aforementioned fifth album. They're in a position where they don't have to prove anything to anybody. Nobody doubts them, they still have all their adoring fans, and being a multi-million selling mainstream rock band is no hardship in the slightest. Why havn't they just quit while they're ahead? Simple. Dave Grohl, considered the symbol of all that is Foo Fighters by most, is no quitter. With their sixth record, 'Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace', the Foo's have done it again. They've branched to otherwise unexplored areas of music, but still kept it recognisably FF. Their trademark sound is still here ('The Pretender', 'Long Road to Ruin', 'Cheer up Boys (Your make-up is running)', 'Erase/Replace', 'But, Honestly'), but they have well truly evolved with this album, experimenting with Jeff Buckley inspired balladry ('Stranger Things have Happened', 'Home') and even bluegrass ('Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners'). 'The Pretender', the albums lead single, screams with energy. It's epic, it's catchy and it boasts quite possibly Grohl's best vocal performance to date. 'Let it Die' brings down the energy that 'The Pretender' left us with, but it's all in good reason, as this song has to be one of their finest works for quite some time. it's main riff when it finally kicks in will leave you breathless. There is something for everybody here, at least for rock listeners anyway. There's the slower and more epic stuff ('Let it Die', 'Come Alive'), there's subtle country influence ('Summers End') and even '70s influence, ala Baker Street ('Statues'). Whereas working with Gil Norton again didn't produce the 'Colour And The Shape' surpassing fans had hoped for, it's produced something far more fresher and exciting. It's a new Foo Fighters.
Lyrics — 10
As for lyrics, Grohl's lyrical genius is still on show. He's political, he's optimistic, he's exactly what we've come to expect. A f--king genius. He is the one of, if not THE most original lyricists in the world today. It tackles everything Dave Grohl is known and praised for. Love, hurt, depression, happiness. Emotion for emotions as I like to call it. He's still the mastermind of melody, and despite the amount of cigarettes he smokes, he can still belt out an incredible vocal work better than ever before.
Overall Impression — 9
On first glance, this record was a disappointment. It seemed inconsistent, boring. But from the second listen, I was hooked. This album is no 'Colour And The Shape' by any standards but it's without a doubt their best album since their 1997 magnum opus. From the pulse-racing dynamics of 'The Pretender' right the way down to settling moodswings of 'Home', this is the Foo Fighters that I have well and truly missed. In an age were rock music currently clogging up the charts is either over ambitious or completely unimaginative, the Foo Fighters are the new concrete slab that fills the gap in the bridge. Here's to hoping they may just bless us again.