Wasting Light review by Foo Fighters

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  • Released: Apr 12, 2011
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (290 votes)
Foo Fighters: Wasting Light
6

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.

75 comments sorted by best / new / date

    SOADriff
    Definitely their best since There is Nothing Left To Loose. Isn't the heavy/hard rock effort dave made it out to be, however. A few of the songs seem to be filler but they will probably grow on me. Also, the production is absolutely amazing, it kicks you in the teeth right from the get go. Best songs: White Limo, Allandria, I Should Have Known, Bridge Burning.
    Sladey
    EpiExplorer wrote: Dont trust Foo Fighters when they say they 'recorded it in a garage with analog'. I know for a fact that they use Pro Tools so much that all they do is record say, a snare hit, and use it for the entire album. Same with the guitars and bass. Sounds so robotic and inhuman..
    Don't be a douchebag. Unless you analysed the exact waves of each snare hit, you're not in a position to tell us you know this for a fact. Secondly, I believe Dave Grohl a lot more than I believe you.
    xstatic44
    EpiExplorer wrote: xstatic44 wrote: Sladey wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Dont trust Foo Fighters when they say they 'recorded it in a garage with analog'. I know for a fact that they use Pro Tools so much that all they do is record say, a snare hit, and use it for the entire album. Same with the guitars and bass. Sounds so robotic and inhuman.. Don't be a douchebag. Unless you analysed the exact waves of each snare hit, you're not in a position to tell us you know this for a fact. Secondly, I believe Dave Grohl a lot more than I believe you. And the fact that his name is EpiExplorer. I'll just go get my squire strat and practice amp real quick and show these lying idiots how to make a REAL album. Big fat phony, that Dave Grohl. Well then both be idiots together, but its true. They might as well have used EZdrummer and you would believe it was real. They've done the pro-tools job on all their recent albums, I've studied the sessions myself at MUSIC COLLEGE where I study MUSIC PRODUCTION, one of my lecturers sent us the pro tools files they used on In Your Honour because he PERSONALLY worked with the band on that album. That album and this album sound exactly the same in terms of production, the guitars are inhumanly precise, the drums are timed far too perfectly and everything fits in together all too well for it to be recorded on the spot by a person. All they did with the instruments was record one chord/note/drum hit and then Copy/paste and arrange.
    Do you play your Epiphone Explorer a lot at MUSIC COLLEGE?
    stueey
    Gibson1983 wrote: I'm a bit disappointed. I think it's too generic. I mean, it's good stuff, really, but it's good in the same way as everything since The Color and the Shape. It doesn't really go into new directions, despite White Limo and the opening riffs of Bridge Burning. Funny enough, the previews of those tracks made us believe that Wasting Light was going to be this crazy all out badass heavy rock opus, but it isn't: it's more of the same, it sounds pretty much like One By One and Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. That's probably fine, we know what the Foos do and we love them for it. But other than the Queens of the Stone Age, the Foos seem to have lost their ability to push the boundaries of their own music. Dave Grohl is still a rock icon and will probably still make some great stuff, but whether it is with the Foo Fighters, I dare to doubt.
    I challenge you to listen to Walk and tell me that song disappoints you. Because that middle section 27 - 39 is so intense I almost cried. Yes, almost emotionally jizzed from my eyes.
    cxrlxscr
    napsterfire wrote: This album is not that great. It didn't hit me like the colour and the shape. Scale the Summit and Defeater have put out far better albums this year. I think everyone is drowning in nostalgia with this cd. King of Limbs is better than this as well.
    Yes, and this apple is so much better than this orange.
    napsterfire
    This album is not that great. It didn't hit me like the colour and the shape. Scale the Summit and Defeater have put out far better albums this year. I think everyone is drowning in nostalgia with this cd. King of Limbs is better than this as well.
    queenslander47
    Personally my favourite track from the album is Walk. That middle section may be the best they have ever done in my opinion. Very good album.
    plugedinbaby
    thebyccenter wrote: I like the record a lot ... I even found a piece of the record tape in the booklet of this record. Does anybody else have one?
    yep i got one too pretty cool with them doing that wonder if there is actually a small clip on it?? i doubt it though
    the_resistance
    I bought the album in Poland 2 days before 11th. I've got a piece of tape inside. There are 2 versions of an album. First - EcoPack version without booklet and tape (about 12$-14$); and second version digipack with full booklet inside (~~20-23$). I dunno how about US. I came to the shop and I saw about 50-60 WL copies.
    there's only one version shown on there website and on amazon
    LedFender
    if you think its humanly impossible to be so precise.. you must be ... just.. stupid... Dave IS also a drummer, drummers have to have some kind of rhythm right? plus, not only that, playing for years and years, your timing will get more precise.. and for as long as foo fighters have been touring and playing, im gonna assume they are pretty dang precise.. it has NOTHING to do with whether he was taught how to play guitar.. what happened to common sense these days...
    Bezza27
    Love it how by this point the comments aren't about the album. But are about whether or not they used pro tools. The site is total guitar. Argue about this on a music production forum or something. And stop takin the piss out of EpiExplorer. Just cos he may not have a USA Jackson Custom Shop Randy Rhoads or whatever half the people on this site APPARENTLY have.
    BuffysPregnant
    Love the album. I was hoping since people were saying it's their heaviest ever that there wouldn't be any slowing down or shutting up. Even though my expectations weren't exactly met I still loved the album. I loved Back & Forth, it reminds me a lot of The Cars which is a favorite of mine. The chorus is just so ecstatic and upbeat. White Limo and Rope are two other great songs. I love the raw power of White Limo and the drums on Rope are just great. The biggest disappointment was I Should Have Known. When I heard Krist was joining in recording of it, I was expecting something really heavy showing off Krist's skills, but the bass never really stood out to me. Most of the songs that were softer or slower didn't appeal much to me. White Limo, Arlandria, Back & Forth, Rope, and Burning Bridges are mainly the only songs I liked particularly, but they're so great they just make the album. I'm so glad they still have such a great sound and they never lose it.
    Hells.Mascot
    EpiExplorer wrote: Dont trust Foo Fighters when they say they 'recorded it in a garage with analog'. I know for a fact that they use Pro Tools so much that all they do is record say, a snare hit, and use it for the entire album. Same with the guitars and bass. Sounds so robotic and inhuman..
    You're definitely wrong about that in the instance of this album.
    Slap-happy
    Seems to be an awful lot of nay-saying in terms of the analogue versus digital debate... There's enough footage online, in the documentary Back & Forth and photos and video posted on Twitter and Facebook to confirm that it is purely analogue. Sure, they've used ProTools in the past, but this is all real. I was listening last night and there are descernable differences in parts of the sounds (snares, hi hats, various guitar parts) that don't match up 100%. If those of you studying music production still seem to think that this is digitised and not analogue then I suggest you seek an alternative career path. Oh - and I got the digipack edition with some master tape, too.
    Slap-happy
    robertito696 wrote: I thought this didn't come out till the 12th, how do so many people have it? Did they base the review off the stream that's been on their website?
    It was released in Australia on the 8th April.
    ibanez-bitch
    How entertaining this is to read :p ... Love this album, I enjoy every album for different reasons, their own little qualities. Fav songs, Bridges Burning, White Limo, but for some reason in I Should Of Known the huge sound of guitars brings it full circle.
    hamsteroceros
    I feel like a 15 year-old listening to Eponymous again. Fucking stellar album on so many levels.
    thebyccenter
    I like the record a lot ... I even found a piece of the record tape in the booklet of this record. Does anybody else have one?
    LightxGrenade
    Anyone else think its a little ironic that Foo Fighters have 3 guitars now? For a guy like Grohl who has a DIY, bordering on traditionalist attitude, this seems somewhat odd. I'll check this out, I feel as if with FF I like every other album they come out with.
    gquady09
    There is no way the would record ONE damn snare hit/guitar chord/bass note, then cut and paste. Most bands lay down their tracks, then the audio is edited and cut to the grid in Pro Tools so the timing is near perfect. Some bands have great timing by themselves, so you wouldn't have to do a whole lot of editing. Other times, they really need help. In the case of the Foo, I'll go with the former.
    LesThanPaul
    bassistofdeath wrote: ThornHyperdeath wrote: I think these guys are going to be pretty big in a couple years. Aren't they already? I mean they have been around for 15+ years now.
    Haha, I think he was joking....at least for his sake I hope he was
    cypherdid
    the_resistance wrote: there's only one version shown on there website and on amazon
    Yup...and amazon is a Polish e-store (sarcasm). I wrote how it looks like in my country. We've got two options...first called EcoStyle without booklet in it (ecological pack,less paper used or recycled paper)...and 2nd option - full booklet like everywhere in the World.
    Gibson1983
    Ok I gave it another try, and I must say it's a very solid album, every song is strong. When I get over the initial expectation that the entire album would be like 'Bridge Burning' or 'White Limo' (still feel tricked), I must admit this is probably going to be high on my 'last played' list in iTunes throughout the year. 8/10
    soulflyV
    While this album is pretty good, I don't think it deserves anything more than an 8/10.
    JJ1990
    Slap-happy wrote: robertito696 wrote: I thought this didn't come out till the 12th, how do so many people have it? Did they base the review off the stream that's been on their website?It was released in Australia on the 8th April.
    Also here in Europe, or at least where I live. Anyway I love the album, love Bridge Burning, Arlandria and Walk. Those are my favorites!
    cypherdid
    Overrated?? I don't think so. It's hard to release a Greatest Hits album cuz this is kinda 'format c:/' thing for rock bands...and it's so much harder to record something new after that. FF did everything that pop-post-grungy band can do. They're great band with great skills and WL record proves it from first riffs, to the last screams. They're doing good and sometimes agressive marketing to promote an album...but it's worth it...it's worth an attention.
    sebast_abt
    This album is superb! I find it amazing how they can keep giving us somthing different on every album and keep the Foo Fighter vibe goin. I will charish tht piece of the master copy for the rest of my life lol. LONG LIVE THE FOO'S
    thatrooksguy
    This album really brings the Foo Fighters back to a sound that made them who they are. The power of songs like White Limo literally scream memories like Breakout, or Monkey Wrench. The soulfulness of songs like Walk takes me back to the days of Times Like This. And my favorite off the album, Arlandria, is poweruful, booming, and catchy to the extent that All My Life still is. The Foo certainly don't disappoint in Wasting Light, and in a market dominated by online downloading and sharing, this is an album that is more than worthy of being bought in stores.
    EpiExplorer
    xstatic44 wrote: Sladey wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Dont trust Foo Fighters when they say they 'recorded it in a garage with analog'. I know for a fact that they use Pro Tools so much that all they do is record say, a snare hit, and use it for the entire album. Same with the guitars and bass. Sounds so robotic and inhuman.. Don't be a douchebag. Unless you analysed the exact waves of each snare hit, you're not in a position to tell us you know this for a fact. Secondly, I believe Dave Grohl a lot more than I believe you. And the fact that his name is EpiExplorer. I'll just go get my squire strat and practice amp real quick and show these lying idiots how to make a REAL album. Big fat phony, that Dave Grohl.
    Well then both be idiots together, but its true. They might as well have used EZdrummer and you would believe it was real. They've done the pro-tools job on all their recent albums, I've studied the sessions myself at MUSIC COLLEGE where I study MUSIC PRODUCTION, one of my lecturers sent us the pro tools files they used on In Your Honour because he PERSONALLY worked with the band on that album. That album and this album sound exactly the same in terms of production, the guitars are inhumanly precise, the drums are timed far too perfectly and everything fits in together all too well for it to be recorded on the spot by a person. All they did with the instruments was record one chord/note/drum hit and then Copy/paste and arrange.
    cypherdid
    I bought the album in Poland 2 days before 11th. I've got a piece of tape inside. There are 2 versions of an album. First - EcoPack version without booklet and tape (about 12$-14$); and second version digipack with full booklet inside (~~20-23$). I dunno how about US. I came to the shop and I saw about 50-60 WL copies.
    bassistofdeath
    ThornHyperdeath wrote: I think these guys are going to be pretty big in a couple years.
    Aren't they already? I mean they have been around for 15+ years now.
    xstatic44
    Sladey wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Dont trust Foo Fighters when they say they 'recorded it in a garage with analog'. I know for a fact that they use Pro Tools so much that all they do is record say, a snare hit, and use it for the entire album. Same with the guitars and bass. Sounds so robotic and inhuman.. Don't be a douchebag. Unless you analysed the exact waves of each snare hit, you're not in a position to tell us you know this for a fact. Secondly, I believe Dave Grohl a lot more than I believe you.
    And the fact that his name is EpiExplorer. I'll just go get my squire strat and practice amp real quick and show these lying idiots how to make a REAL album. Big fat phony, that Dave Grohl.
    Gibson1983
    I'm a bit disappointed. I think it's too generic. I mean, it's good stuff, really, but it's good in the same way as everything since The Color and the Shape. It doesn't really go into new directions, despite White Limo and the opening riffs of Bridge Burning. Funny enough, the previews of those tracks made us believe that Wasting Light was going to be this crazy all out badass heavy rock opus, but it isn't: it's more of the same, it sounds pretty much like One By One and Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. That's probably fine, we know what the Foos do and we love them for it. But other than the Queens of the Stone Age, the Foos seem to have lost their ability to push the boundaries of their own music. Dave Grohl is still a rock icon and will probably still make some great stuff, but whether it is with the Foo Fighters, I dare to doubt.
    RocknRory
    Man, stop comparing new, fresh albums to previous ones. This record is NOT meant to be "pushing the boundaries" or exploring completely new territory. Wasting Light sounds pretty good, some songs aren't as strong as others, but overall it's a great album. It all comes down to "Does this sound good to you?" Whether it does or not is up to you.
    Lion_Slicer
    This album is spectacular. Burning Bridges, Arlandria, White Limo, and so many others hit me with just as much impact as any of the Foos' greatest work... This year has been unbelievable in terms of new releases.
    Gibson1983
    @ RocknRory: sure, I agree. In that sense it's a pretty decent album and there are definitely some good tracks. I am not disappointed about the decent songs. I am disappointed because the advertisement around this album, the hype-building, made us believe this was going to be a boundary-pushing album. But it's not. That's why I'm disappointed. It's like the trailer for the film S.W.A.T.: that is a 2-minute collection of all the action, making you want to see the film, but then you see it and all the other 90 minutes are decent, but pretty quiet dialogue. Then you feel tricked. I feel tricked by the campaign preceding this album.
    Eli4s
    Can't one update a review? ... anyway. wanted to add after listening to the album for over a week now that I like it a bit more now. I got really into it. "Bridge Burning" got better the more often I listended to it ... I think lyric-wise the record is not too strong to be honest. Some songs are, some are not ... I also apologize for my review being horribly formatted ... rock on ... kind regards ...
    blake1221
    SOADriff wrote: Definitely their best since There is Nothing Left To Loose. Isn't the heavy/hard rock effort dave made it out to be, however.
    How hard is it to spell "Lose" correctly? Shit people, we learned in first frickin' grade. napsterfire wrote: This album is not that great. It didn't hit me like the colour and the shape. Scale the Summit and Defeater have put out far better albums this year. I think everyone is drowning in nostalgia with this cd. King of Limbs is better than this as well.
    That was a perfectly fair and balanced review, I applaud you. I hope everyone's telling the truth about going back to Color and the Shape though, the earlier CD's had a different feel than the newer stuff that made them feel a lot more...tangible..idk. Can't wait to listen.