Sound — 8
The new album 'Wasting light' was recorded in Dave Grohl's garage. All analog. I really like the huge sound of all of these songs... And to get to the point: I like the album. I think it is a bit more poppy at times and some of the songs are really straight forward .. but I dont mind that. It kind of unites the style of some of the previous albums but still sounds pretty fresh on its own. Let's take a look at each song in detail. I'll start with the songs that I think are the best on the album: The best tracks for me are without a doubt 'Dear Rosemary', 'White limo', 'Arlandria' and 'These days'. These songs have either really nice melodies or rock out really good (White limo) and are just really accomplished tracks. Arlandria's lyrics are a bit ... "lame" here and there but it has such a good drive it is probably my favorite track along with 'these days' which could easily be a song from their third album. 'I should have known' is another good one. Krist Novoselic plays bass on that track! 'Walk' is not quite up there but a good track nontheless. 'walk' basically achieves that with good emotional content that I think really mean much to Grohl and the band. The riffs aren't that spectacular... And it reminded my of the "In your honor" stuff that I didn't enjoy so much but still think the song is a good finish for the record. "Back & Forth" has a catchy Chorus but seems to be quite forgetable ... and the prechorus sounds pretty off to me... The two songs that I dislike most and/or don't care for are 'Rope' (yes, the first single!) and 'Matter of time'. The chorus of rope and the interlude/solo section would make a decent song but I just really dislike the verses... The vocals in the verses in particular and how they interact with the quite interesting guitar riff. I just can't like a song just in parts ... 'Matter of time' is for me the weakest song on the album... I really don't like some parts and the rest is just not very special either... it also sounds like 'One by one' I think... probably my least favorite album of theirs... Miss the misery: This is kind of a disappointment. Why? Because when I listened to a live version of the song this was among my favorite tracks... And it is still good. But I really don't like the mix here that as I think really reduces its power. While in the live version we had very aggressive harsh guitar sound and also tight vocals the sound in the recording is a pretty muddy. I like that in the intro... But when the vocals kick in (that I think are too loud and eclipse the guitars too much into the background) especially in the prechorus. And also the vocals in the chorus should be tighter... Not that soft .. Bridge Burning: Don't get me wrong on this. This is a good song. But I think they have given away a chance for an absolute killer hard rock song. It had more potential. I respect their decision, it's their song so if this is what they wanted to do they fully succeeded. But still for myself this is one of the 2 "disappointments" on the record. It works and its good - I have to repeat that - but it is not the song that I expected and not the song that I wanted it to be and it is also not the song that the intro suggests. The intro is just so intense and kicks ass followed by a verse that I considered a big let down before I heard the record version but the guitar part is actually quite interesting and I could live with it IF ... afterwards the song would lead into a huge loud aggressive chorus again ... and that's where the song totally drifts away from what I was hoping for. The Prechorus ("whatever keeps you warm at night") and the Chorus ("the bridges are burning ..." are just way too soft and mellow and just NOT aggressive and intense. and I'm referring to the guitar part here but even more so the vocals! The "Gathering the ashes" part is absolutely fine! And there is this short part that goes "tell me what's in it for me... " this is great and should have been used more often or maybe as the prechorus followed by a harder chorus ... what do you think?
Lyrics — 8
I listened to the songs for the last two days but have not yet made thoughts about the lyrics a lot. Overall they did a good job again... Some of the more straight forward fun rock songs may not need very meaningful lyrics... Really like the lyrics for Walk. Really classic Foo song. Pretty uplifting as well just like 'These days'. For 'I should have known' there is already a debate for months if this is about Kurt Cobain... Honestly... I don't care if so or not... The lyrics that stand out for me in a negative way I can just think of is in my favorite song "Arlandria". Lines like 'Come now, take the blame, that's okay I play the game" and "shame, shame go away, come again some other day"... Not very well written I think. Sounds pretty cliche too... Tell me what you think...
Overall Impression — 8
Is this their best work? I don't think so... Is it it worth listening/buying? Absolutely. If I forget about the 'Miss the misery'- recording and accept 'Bridge burning' as it is this gives us 7 to 8 great to decent songs out of 11. This is right up there with their good stuff from the past... "The colour & the shape" still is their best album I think. To sum it up: Best tracks: Arlandria, These days, Dear Rosemary, White limo Other good tracks: I should have known, Walk Good with resevations: Bridge Burning, Miss the misery Forgetable/dislike: Back & Forth / Rope, Matter of time