I’m thinking about making a new series on this blog called “Right Again” where I talk about all the things I predict that end up coming true. The latest is the new Foo Fighters album Wasting Light.
About two months ago, after hearing a leak of two songs on the album, after watching their little “viral video” and after repeated listenings of “Rope”, I decided that the new Foo album may be their worst (which, to be fair, is at least an order of magnitude better than any other album by any other artist; it’s like saying “This rotten orange may be the worst in the bushel, but it’s much better than any of these turds I’ve found). I was right.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad album; just about every song on there is listenable and there are a few I can’t get out of my head. But it’s not a good Foo Fighters album. Grohl and company excel at turning a phrase, making connections between lyrics and music, and providing exciting, original, catchy riffs. But not on Wasting Light.
With the exception of “Bridge Burning,” “Arlandria”, and portions of “Back and Forth”, I feel like I’ve heard at least some of each of these songs before. Listen to the beginnings of “A Matter of Time” and “Walk” and tell me you haven’t heard them before.
Also, the lyrics of the Foo are usually spot on: straight-forward enough to understand what they’re trying to say yet cryptic enough for individual interpretation (“breathe out so I can breathe you in” from “Everlong” or “I’m your fool” from “Best of You”). Wasting Light is just full of clichés:
These are my famous last words
Whatever keeps you warm at night
Tell me now what’s in it for me
Shame, shame, go away. Come again some other day.
The ground will drop out from beneath your feet
You got a lot of nerve
And that’s just three songs.
So, I think if compared to most other albums out this year, Wasting Light gets 4/5. Compared to other Foo Fighters albums, it’s comparable to There is Nothing Left to Lose: maybe four good songs on a list of ten mediocre ones.
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