Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sonic Highways! - Foo Fighters New Album, Breakthrough or Bust?


I am one of the biggest Foo Fighters fans I know of and right off the bat I have to say I'm a little disappointed with "Sonic Highways."  Let me start with the premise behind this album.  According to Dave Grohl and company they traveled the country and recorded these songs in 8 different studios hoping to be influenced by each city they visited.  That's all great, but all the songs sound the same.  There is no way to tell which studio was used for which song, other than in the liner notes.  Now I know I'm nit-picking a little here, but isn't the idea of recording across the country in different cities and studios to get different sounds?  Each studio sounds different and that is the reason for using them.  Hence the songs should sonically sound different, at least to a decently trained ear such as mine.  However they all sounded the same.  I was confused and miffed at the same time.

Now onto the songs.  They seem like leftovers from the "In You Honor" CD.  Besides the first two songs, which only halfway rock, the rest of the album is subtle and I hate to say it mostly boring.  Let me stop myself right here and say it's not a bad album (if it was by a new band), but this is the Foo Fighters and if you are looking for a sequel or continuation of "Wasting Light" you better check yourself before you wreck yourself, this isn't it.  I feel as though the documentary that is currently airing on HBO is more important than the songs.  There is only so much focus to go around and with Dave writing all the lyrics on the spot in each city, and directing the documentary, I think he's bitten off more than he can chew on this one.  I love Dave Grohl as a songwriter and lyricist but in both categories this album falls short. 

I found myself bored with the music.  After the first two or three songs, which like I said before, sort of rock, I was lulled into skipping forward to the next song.  If you want lyrics paraphrasing what the interviewees said in the show, than this is pretty good.  But as a whole the album lacks the normal shine and vigor of past albums.  Are they getting older and unable to rock like they used to?  I'm not sure.  But I know one thing, this is NOT a rockin' Foo Fighters album, this is a slowed down and droning excuse for a documentary.

I wanted to like this album.  I really did.  I LOVED "Wasting Light" incredible album, one of their best for sure, but this one fell flat for me.  I wouldn't rush out to get it, I would watch the HBO series and really listen to what they are doing and make your decision then.  I give this album a C-, but remember it's still a Foo Fighters album, so that leaves it leagues ahead of most new releases these days.