Sound — 9
Famously becoming known as the album that rock giants recorded in a garage on old school analog equipment, "Wasting Light" is Foo Fighters first release in over three years. While the band retains much of the pop elements found in their later records, you can also hear the band getting back to the loud, grittiness their well known for. Hitting a perfect balance between clear and rough, "Wasting Light" is much more successful in offering up a wide variety of sound, especially when compared to the over-the-top division found on "In Your Honor" and the completely tame "Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace". While the songs themselves may not sound completely original, they do throw in a curve ball every now and then and surprise you with something that turns a good song into a memorable one. This album is full of those.
Lyrics — 8
When he started Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl was fresh out of his tenure with Nirvana. Lyrics to many early pieces were very angst-ridden and fueled by cynicism. Beginning with "The Colour and the Shape", songs took a turn to a more rebellious side, Grohl no longer content to living in a shadow. With each subsequent album, Grohl's writing has matured as he's grown into an adult. Themes of regret, loss, hope, mortality, and rebellion (now in a new light) fill the tracks. While some of the lyrics stumble on each other at times and noticeably feel like useless filler, the greater number of lines that do resonate well feel all the more powerful and contain some of the best writing Grohl's done since "Everlong" and "February Stars".
Overall Impression — 10
Most Foo Fighters albums, with the exception of "The Colour and the Shape", filled with hits and misses. Their bad songs normally aren't so bad compared to other bands out there, but then again there have been some that truly sucked. "Wasting Light" is no different; there are a few tracks most people can do without. But for any fan who has been calling out for the true Foo Fighters to return in all their glory, our time has come. "Wasting Light" is the best record the Foo Fighters have released since the band-defining second album. And in some ways, its even better, serving as the definition to what Foo Fighters are to become.