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Music Foo Fighters

Published on September 19th, 2017 | by voxx

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Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold

A prosaic ninth album from the world’s biggest rock band…

Behind the goofy grin, Dave Grohl is a shrewd operator who knows the value of having a hook to hang an album on. For 2011’s Wasting Light, the shtick was a back-to-analogue-in-my-garage bro-down. The follow-up, 2014’s Sonic Highways, went several steps further with its all-star album-within-a-TV series approach.

The pitch for the Foo Fighters’ ninth album is two-pronged: recruit an A-list pop producer (Adele and Sia collaborator Greg Kurstin) and cook up a record that, in Grohl’s words, “sounds like Slayer making Pet Sounds.”

While the idea of teenage symphonies to Satan sounds appealing, the reality is more prosaic. Concrete And Gold is a straightforward Foo Fighters album, albeit one that does occasionally fulfill its promise to deliver both aural lavishness and maximum heaviosity.

At its best, as on the alternately corrosive and chiming ‘Run’ or the industrial wah-wah of ‘La Dee Da’, the combination works perfectly. But elsewhere, Kurstin’s production trickery merely papers over the cracks of average songs – ‘The Sky Is A Neighbourhood’ is a turgid dirge that all the weaponised vocal harmonies in the world can’t enliven.

For all of Grohl’s grand talk, there’s ultimately nothing here to scare the horses. ‘Arrows’ and ‘The Line’ are the kind of million-dollar stadium anthems only the Foo Fighters seem to write these days, while the charms of ‘Dirty Water’ depend on your propensity for sleepy, middle-of-the-road rock ballads. Either way, Brian Wilson and Beelzebub can sleep easily.

- By Jake White


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