Foo Fighters Don’t Deliver

Music Review

          Sonic Highways

Sonic Highways

Bennett Brase

Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways

The past few years have been a roller coaster for the Foo Fighters. Shortly after their highly anticipated 2011 release, Wasting Light, they announced that they would be going on hiatus, with frontman Dave Grohl going to play drums on the new Queens of the Stone Age record and several other members spending time on solo projects. This hiatus was short-lived, however, as earlier this year they announced the release of a new album – accompanied by an eight-part documentary on HBO – entitled Sonic Highways.

This album is a bit different than anything the Foos have done before, as each of the eight songs was recorded in a different city, with the lyrics of each song reflecting the history and the musical atmosphere of the city it was recorded in. When the first single, “Something From Nothing,” dropped a few weeks ago, I didn’t immediately fall in love with it, but it certainly piqued my interest. I was expecting a lot from an album with such an amazing concept, but sadly, I didn’t really get it. Although they did take a more tame, rock ‘n’ roll approach to this album, experimenting with more sing-songy melodies and major-chord oriented song structures, it just sounded like a whole lot more of what you’d expect from the Foo Fighters ever since they acquired a more commercial rock sound in the 2000s.

On Wasting Light, they brought a lot of edge and in-your-face instrumentation, but the lyrics were often cringe-worthy. The lyrics this time around were a drastic improvement, but everything else felt overwhelmingly boring. This whole album seems like more of an awkward bump in the road, as it is doubtful that the Foo Fighters are anywhere near done making music, but if this really is an unintended grand finale, it would be a shame to end their careers on such an anticlimactic note. Sonically, this album is in correlation with what the Foo Fighters have put out in the past: loud guitars, big drums, simple vocal melodies, and bass lines that are just used as a filler to add more thickness to the sound.

If you’re looking for a progressive alternative record that will challenge your expectations in any way or give you something new and exciting, you can safely pass this one up. I had high hopes for this record, but it ended up earning about a five out of ten in my book.

Favorite song: “Outside”
Least favorite song: “I Am A River”