Sound — 9
Wasting Light sounds like what you would expect from Foo Fighters, only more so. There is a lot of energy in this album and sounds like the interplay between the 3 guitars really creates some powerful riffs throughout. There is a touch of grunge in the sound of the album, but mainly it is straight forward hard rock with a dash of the indie sound. Wasting Light is full to the brim of hooks and killer riffs, but not in a bad way.
Every track on this album comes across with a huge powerful chorus. The chord progressions used aren't necessarily ground breaking, but they are all very well suited to their individual tracks and cause me to tap my foot along to the track.
Wasting Light was recording with analog equipment, literally in Dave Grohl's garage. The tape machines were placed in a garage closet and the control room was a small room above the garage. The analog recording methods definitely explain the warmth of the album, and the feeling that maybe the Foo Fighters are performing in the next room. For this album, analog recording was absolute genius.
Guesting on the album was Krist Novoselic on the track I Should Have Known playing bass guitar and accordion, and Bob Mould of Husker Du fame also guested on the album. Wasting Light was produced by Butch Vig, who has shown over a long career the ability to get the best out of the bands he works with. Alan Moulder (prominent work with Smashing Pumpkins, NIN, Marilyn Manson and the Killers) took on the mixing of the album. The end result is commendable and I believe my favorite Foo Fighters album, but only time will tell for sure.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, Wasting Light is very solid. None of the lyrics come across like they are just filling space, but instead they all come across like honest lyrics with a message. On the track Back & Forth it opens with the lines Once upon a time I was somebody else/ in another life I saw myself/ way back then, back when I was new/ somewhere down the line I started to slip/ Years gone by, biting my lip which is a poignant look at coming to terms with finding ourselves as strangers in the mirror.
On the track Arlandria the lines Ain't that the way it always starts/ a simple round of conversation/ became a shameful equation/ I flipped station to station/ Hey don't go and turn the other way/ don't say there's nothing more to...say really carry across the feeling of being inside the situation the lyrics are describing. The lyrics really put across the emotions behind them which is all you can ask for in a rock song. Also on Arlandria the lines Shame, shame go away/ come again some other day/ memories keep haunting me/ help me chase them all away really come across as powerful lyrics.
The lyrics on Wasting Light often come across as a clever turn of phrase and are often delivered in a very catchy cadence. Dave Grohl really exudes his passion in the delivery of his lyrics, from almost whispered verses like from the track I Should Have Known or the raw screaming lyrics of White Limo.
Overall Impression — 9
I really felt like the energy of Wasting Light was infectious and found myself smiling several times while listening to the album. The Foo Fighters have come full circle back to the original sound that made them such a strong band, but came out stronger and more powerful with every song on the album being worthwhile.
My favorite song on the album is probably a tie between Rope and Walk, but it was a hard decision to even narrow it down to 2 songs. There are 11 tracks on this album and every one is getting a semi-permanent home on my mp3 player. The intro to Bridge Burning builds up very nicely, and the vocals have a very intriguing cadence to them. White Limo is a super high energy track that gets my adrenaline pumping just listening to it. The track These Days almost feels like a conversation you, as the listener, are having with Dave Grohl. Emotion is conveyed very well on each song, and the interplay between the guitars several times comes across just on this side of chaos which, for me, makes the music of Wasting Light really sound alive.