Friday, November 04, 2005

Essentials #2: Foo Fighters

Earlier this year, Foo Fighters released In Your Honor, an ambitious double CD project that featured one half of rock songs and mellow songs on the other half. While many may say that it is a case of self-indulgence, no one can fault them for their ambition. After all, the Foos have been around for ten years now and they have a solid track record, balancing commercial with critically-acclaimed fare.

Having emerged from the shadows of the most seminal rock band of the 90s, Dave Grohl took centrestage and fronted Foo Fighters. While he was known for his tight and aggressive drum work in Nirvana, this was the first time he would be fronting a band--not only singing but playing guitar and writing most of the material as well.

Their first self-titled album was an unexpected hit and produced the hit singles I'll Stick Around, This Is A Call and Big Me, for which the video spoofed the Mentos advertisement to great effect.

They followed it up with The Colour And The Shape, which had a very different sound courtesy of producer Gil Norton. Where their first album sounded raw and low-budget, Shape was clean and highly-polished. The sonic quality seemed to be a mirror of Nirvana's first two albums (Bleach was recorded for $600 and sounded like a basement recording whereas Nevermind came under the hands of uber producer Butch Vig and glossed it up ten notches).

Shape was an ever bigger success and spawned a slew of hit singles. However, it was their third album that solidified their status as one of the best bands in the US today. There Is Nothing Left To Lose contained a mix of radio-friendly and experimental songs, and many critics have unfairly labelled it as a pop rock album. While it is true that some of the songs took a more commercial slant, it just goes to show how versatile Foos are.

Their fourth album, All My Life, started off well with the kick-ass title track. It was the perfect song to open their tour and it brought the Foos back to their aggressive side. This was followed by the superb Times Like This, which many fans consider to be among their best works. However, the rest of the album was mediocre and Grohl himself admitted that it was his least favoured Foos album.

With In Your Honor, the Foos are back and they have decided to have the best of both worlds and satisfy their cravings for musical growth. The first half features some of the heaviest songs the Foos have ever recorded, while the second half is more mellow, showcasing their musicianship as well.

The Foos have shown that they have been able to keep up with the times and managed to stay relevant in the music industry. It's no easy task to be credible without being commercialised, and the Foos have done a good job at that. Here's the absolutely essential Foo Fighters...

1. All My Life
2. Monkey Wrench
3. Hey, Johnny Park!
4. My Hero
5. Best Of You
6. DOA
7. Stacked Actors
8. Breakout
9. I'll Stick Around
10. This Is A Call
11. Learn To Fly
12. Times Like This
13. Everlong
14. Walking After You
15. February Stars
16. Ain't It The Life
17. Big Me
18. Aurora
19. Virginia Moon


At 4:05 pm, Anonymous guile said...

you've got good taste in music :)..


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