Nothing new for the Foo

Critics have used a variety of terms to describe the Foo Fighters’ new album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace: top-heavy, eclectic and even “Beatlesesque.” The last term is probably the one that is repeated most in reviews, implying that the album is legendary, just as much of the Beatles’ music is.
While the Foo Fighters are indeed a credible rock band who deserve the recognition that they receive, they are also a band whose albums have not been consistently great. Are they worthy of being compared to one of the most legendary bands of all time?

10 years ago, the band released The Colour and the Shape, an album that is considered one of the band’s greatest accomplishments. Unfortunately, the Foos experienced a slump that a lot of bands face after releasing a well-received album. Perhaps working again with producer Gil Norton (who worked with the band on The Colour) gave the Foo Fighters hope that they would soon be free from their rut. This proves to be false hope, however, as Echoes falls short of what is considered fabulous.

The biggest problem with the album is that it opens on its strongest song, “The Pretender.” This song is so catchy that it takes away from the rest of the album. Listeners will find themselves pressing play again and again, and when they finally do pull themselves away to listen to the following songs, they will be disappointed. Sure, there are other songs on the album that are good, but none of them hold a candle to “The Pretender,” giving the illusion that Echoes is another failed attempt at an album.

The two songs following the first track, “Let It Die” and “Erase/Replace” are intended to be radio-friendly, but they come across as monotonous and boring. It is not until “Long Road to Ruin,” the fourth track on Echoes, that the album somewhat picks up again.

Another mistake that the band makes is the use of too many acoustic tracks. While this worked on its previous album, In Your Honor, it creates too much of a pop-punk feel on Echoes. You see the same type of set-up on Avril Lavigne’s albums; do the Foos really want to follow in the footsteps of what is polluting this generation’s tweens?

The band does pull through with other great songs such as “Summer’s End” and “But, Honestly,” the latter track being one that should have ended the album, rather than the sappy and melodramatic “Home.”

Overall, the Foo Fighters have created an album that fans will more than likely love, but will have a hard time winning over new listeners. The band should consider sticking with what they do best: fast, lightning-speed songs like “The Pretender,” and avoid trying to squeeze every genre into a potentially fantastic album.