FOO FIGHTERS pull off new experimental album CONCRETE AND GOLD.
A review by Diego Becerra
The wait is finally over.
This year on September 15th the Foo Fighters released their 9th full length studio album titled Concrete and Gold, produced by Gregg Kurstin (Adele and Sia).
The special guest appearances in this record are Justin Timberlake, Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men, and Alison Mosshart from The Kills. They can be heard as backing vocals in different tracks. In addition Paul McCartney plays the drums in the track Sunday Rain and Dave Koz (a Saxophonist) can be heard in La Dee Da.
Along with the new album release, the Foo Fighters also confirmed that touring keyboardist (since 2005) Rami Jaffee is officially now as 6th member of the group.
The band influences that can be heard from Concrete and Gold are Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and AC/DC.
CONCRETE AND GOLD.
Breaking Down Each Track
The first track, T-Shirt starts off very soft and has Dave Grohl singing in a very smooth voice. But when all of a sudden the guitars and drums kick off you have that whole feeling to have a short but fun intro jam song! It’s short but it offers a lot of creativity for the listener to imagine what the rest of the track would be like! Not much but it’s a great intro to the record.
The Second track, Run was the first single off Concrete and Gold. This song is one of the heaviest Foo Fighters’ tracks ever. But it also has a nice chorus with beautiful back up vocals in the middle of the track. This is an amazing stadium sing along song to rock out to! The song is basically about following your dreams and running away from the current life you live in.
The third track, Make It Right has an AC/DC like riff that’s very groovy and up beat to the high-hat symbols in background. During the guitar solo in the middle of the song you can hear Justin Timberlake on back up vocals singing “la la la”. It’s not much from him but it’s a nice little touch to the song.
The Fourth track, The Sky Is A Neighborhood has a very We Will Rock You. It was the second single from the record.
The Fifth track, La Dee Da starts off with these distorted guitars in the beginning as Grohl sings his way through this crazy song. When he sings up to “dear God” the track starts to get crazy. Having Grohl scream singing as the guitars instantly burst to life blasting everything away from the beginning of the track. Later the guitars get their own solo that will have you headbanging until the song jumps instantly back to the chorus. This song is one of the main highlights of the whole record and it is sure to bring new Foo Fighter fans as well.
The Sixth track, Dirty Water starts off with these very light acoustic guitars that have a Beach Boys like vibe. Grohl sings in a very soft tone in the beginning like how he does in their hit song Everlong. But half way through the track and after the second chorus, this song gets really crazy! Everything soft that happened in the beginning completely vanishes and fades away from existence. The drums and the symbols get louder and are cranked up to the max! Grohl gets abruptly interrupted by the guitars that have this rock and roll like riff that is simple yet complex at the same time! The song now has evolved into a very Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace vibe and it rocks! During this Grohl sings the words ” bleed dirty water! Breathe dirty sky” six times and each time he yells it louder and louder. Another highlight of the record and an instant classic for the Foos.
The Seventh track, Arrows sounds like a classic Foo Fighters’ song. The song is about someone being depressed. Grohl sings “fear where her heart should be! War in her mind! Shame in her cries.” The drums are very pounding and at certain point pretty laid back. The guitars have little mini solos after the choruses. It’s a really great track and it allows for great lyrics about depression.
The Eighth track, Happy Ever After (Zero Hour) is a slow acoustic track. The track is about there is no hope on this planet and we all will die eventually. As Grohl sings “The weeds are swallowing all the flower beds, roses in a whiskey jar, blood on the thorn, drink until the taste is gone.” What you can gather from this is that Grohl is saying that death (the weeds) is swallowing life (flower beds) and drink until the taste is gone (when you can no longer use your 5 senses because you are getting old or about to die). He then sings “there ain’t no super heroes there underground.” He is saying that all hope is gone and no one else can save us because they are gone or faded away. It’s a sad song but it gets you thinking that no one else can help human life and that it’s only up to us.
The ninth track, Sunday Rain had the drummer from the Foo Fighters (Taylor Hawkins) singing the whole track and Paul Mccartney from the Beatles drumming on the entire track. In an interview the Foo Fighters said it only took a couple of takes for him to perfect the drums on the track. The song has a very 70’s like sound and has Hawkins singing in a very soft and cool tone. The song is about suffering through lots of tough moments in life as he sings “don’t leave me drowning in your Sunday rain.” He then sings ” a little afraid, a little alone, a little exhausted, do you give it away, do you let go, how do you find it!” This means that he is struggling getting over an obstacle in life and he is trying to figure how to get over it. The end of the track is a little weird to end on because it has Jaffee playing a fast piano at the very end. Other then that the song is great and Taylor Hawkins shines on this one.
The tenth track, The Line is another classic like Foo Fighters’ sounding track. It was the third single to be released before the record was released. It has these awesome drums that happen during the chorus that just go crazy and sound amazing throughout the whole track! Grohl sings in a great powerful tone through the track.
The final track, Concrete and Gold starts off with these slow distorted guitars and slow drums. The whole song has a very Pink Floyd like vibe and is a slow burner. Grohl sings in a soft tone in the beginning. The song is very inspirational and talks about each individual having something special to offer to the world. Grohl sings “I have an engine made of gold, something so beautiful the world may never know, our roots are stronger then you know, up through the concrete they will grow.” Claiming that we as people are strong and we can break through the concrete and make a change on this planet!
Overall Concrete and Gold is one of the best albums the Foo Fighters ever made! The Foos pull off all their influences and experiment with it in the best way possible. With heavy tracks like Run, La Dee Da, and Dirty Water! The Foos prove that they haven’t lost their touch or their steam in the music industry and they prove it in one of their best new records. The only problem with this album is that the sound quality is a little muffled on all musical platforms but it isn’t that big of an issue.
This is one of the best albums of the year and it truly is Concrete and GOLD! 9.5/10
Think of your favorite Foo Fighters record and now combine it with The Beach Boys, AC/DC, and Pink Floyd!
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