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Foo Fighters - Wasting Light Album Cover

Foo Fighters - Wasting Light

Reviewed by
9.4
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light
Release Date: April 12, 2011
Record Label: RCA
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Rock and roll in its truest form is something of a lost art form among most bands these days. Groups that still present the masses with a worthwhile substance that can be called rock and roll are usually fairly widely recognized for their services. And while newer bands like The Gaslight Anthem continue their rise up the rock and roll ladder, fans of the genre will warmly embrace the familiar sounds of the Foo Fighters - because if we couldn't expect a rock and roll record out of these guys, we never had much hope anyway.

With Wasting Light, the Foo Fighters' seventh studio album, we get perhaps the most purely rock and roll record from Dave Grohl and Co. Recorded in Grohl's garage - yes, those Foo Fighters recorded this album in a garage - using only analog equipment until post-mastering, Wasting Light comes across as a rare shiny gem of brilliance among towering waves of radio rock that constantly threatens to drown all things listenable.

Sure, the sound is still as mainstream as ever. There will be singles on this record that penetrate the top of Billboard's charts. But this isn't news to any of us, and the Foo Fighters are still serving up the best radio rock bar none. Featuring guitarist Pat Smear for the first time since 1997's magnificent The Colour and the Shape, the Foo Fighters are stronger than they have been in years. 2007's Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace wasn't by any means a disappointment, but Wasting Light has no problem overshadowing its predecessor after a few listens.

In fact, I have no problem making this statement early on: the Foo Fighters haven't written a record as good as Wasting Light in over a decade. This is the band's best work since The Colour and the Shape.

"Bridge Burning" is as intense and blistering an opener as one would expect from the ever-aggressive Grohl. The guitar lines and pounding drum fills rock listeners down to their core right from the outset, and Grohl's fiery cry of, "These are my famous last words," kicks off Wasting Light with a feel-good injection of Foo Fighters' punk edge straight into the blood stream. The verses are rhythmic, perfectly setting up a grand slam of a chorus that exemplifies everything anybody should like about this band.

Throughout the entire opener, one can't shake the veteran feeling behind the music; like Foo Fighters have just done this shit so many times before that they're out to make everyone else look silly. Taylor Hawkins never messes around behind the kit, be it on this song or first single "Rope," which does nothing to quell the feeling that this band knows something others are missing. Equal parts aggression and rhythm, "Rope" is just part of a stellar first half of this record. "Arlandria" is the first-half standout, however, bringing in a huge guitar hook and a signature Grohl buildup in the prechorus, hitting home with a sing-along chorus for the ages.

"Back & Forth" proves to be the best track on Wasting Light, a certain future radio hit that lands as a more rough-around-the-edges "Long Road to Ruin." "Miss the Misery," the track which gives the record its name, is another decent number, but it leads into "I Should Have Known," which may prove to be the only skip-worthy track on the album. Closer "Walk" is another potential hit, a catchy and heartfelt anthem that finds Grohl at an introspective point: "I'm learning to walk again / I believe I've waited long enough / Where do I begin? / I'm learning to talk again / Can't you see I've waited long enough? / Where do I begin?"

Wasting Light isn't perfect, but its flaws are essential to its being. Butch Vig's production is the remedy for any problems Grohl has had in the last few years coming across too clean; perhaps only Vig can properly capture the correct balance between melodic classic rock and purely unadulterated BOOM that the Foo Fighters so easily throw down.

The Foo Fighters and Grohl get heavily compared, for obvious reasons, to Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. But while Nirvana was something of a shock to the mainstream's system, Foo Fighters play right into what the mainstream likes the most. Grohl has an uncanny ability to pen anthems that you aren't afraid to hear on the radio. In fact, if music like this was on the radio more, you would probably actually have the radio on in your car every once in a while. The process of horrible, horrible music becoming popular has left us with an inevitable conclusion; the Foo Fighters are one of the only big-time rock and roll bands left on the planet. Dave Grohl should be doing what Bruce Springsteen did in the 1970s: stepping in and filling an empty void as America's beloved rock and roll superstar. But America doesn't want that void filled. It would rather sing the chorus of Katy Perry's "Firework" another dozen times. But Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters won't mind; they'll keep rocking on with their heads down while they make music that we'll remember long past the inevitable demise of all things shining in the light of the flickering mainstream.

Recommended If You LikeThe goddamn Foo Fighters.
Follow Me On TwitterI'll probably tweet some Meatloaf lyrics as I study for finals.
Bare Essentials1. Bridge Burning
2. Rope
3. Dear Rosemary
4. White Limo
5. Arlandria
6. These Days
7. Back Forth
8. A Matter Of Time
9. Miss The Misery
10. I Should Have Known
11. Walk
Run Time: 48 minutes, Produced By: Butch Vig
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 171
01:04 AM on 04/13/11
#2
PeeDster
@alextranslantic
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really like that last paragraph.
01:07 AM on 04/13/11
#3
mrnegativezero
You wanted to set the world on fire
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Quote:
In fact, I have no problem making this statement early on: the Foo Fighters haven't written a record as good as Wasting Light in over a decade. This is the band's best work since The Colour and the Shape.

Very bold statement, and although I feel the need to instinctively disagree somewhat, it does really drive home what I feel this album achieves.

Pretty good review, love the point you make about the role the Foo's should take on and the RIYL.
01:15 AM on 04/13/11
#4
ThrownAwayKyle
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good review! glad the album is getting the reviews it deserves. it is an incredible record and i love it.

only surprised you didn't mention "White Limo" in the review, i think its an interesting statement from the band, and one of the main songs on the record that show that they are doing whatever the hell they want now and they think its awesome! haha no, but im very surprised to hear a foo fighters song with more screaming than singing in it! and i think they are one of the only bands that could bring screaming to mainstream, and thats an interesting thought
01:18 AM on 04/13/11
#5
Thomas Nassiff
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really like that last paragraph.
Thank you sir
01:19 AM on 04/13/11
#6
phaynes1
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Great review, Thomas. Easily their best in over a decade.
01:21 AM on 04/13/11
#7
CheckeredFloors
nah
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Cause baby you're a firework, come on show 'em what you're worth.
01:29 AM on 04/13/11
#8
WhoSaidThat?
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What a review. This is such an awesome album.

Am I the only one who still isn't ready to say this is better than TINLTL?
01:31 AM on 04/13/11
#9
Mochem
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Quote:
..."I Should Have Known," which may prove to be the only skip-worthy track on the album.

Wow, really? I couldn't disagree more.
01:37 AM on 04/13/11
IamTheINDUSTRY
glory glory
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record owns. one of the best things i've heard this year.
01:49 AM on 04/13/11
Paulb-182
opentofire.bandcamp.com
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Wouldn't say it's better than There Is Nothing Left To Lose. That album is brilliant. But thank God they're back anyway, another great album from them.
02:03 AM on 04/13/11
W/O a Parachute
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really like that last paragraph.
seriously. so many reviews on this site feel rehashed, like they are following a particular (monotonous) formula. This last paragraph was legitimately refreshing to read - like the first breath after a bite into some powerful minty gum. I was smiling as I read it.

(exhale)
02:08 AM on 04/13/11
W/O a Parachute
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Wow, really? I couldn't disagree more.

I'm with you, though the only form in which i've heard the record was at the 3-D concert after the documentary on the 5th, it was one of my favorite songs that night.

My opinion may change after i hear it on the record though.
02:10 AM on 04/13/11
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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seriously. so many reviews on this site feel rehashed, like they are following a particular (monotonous) formula. This last paragraph was legitimately refreshing to read - like the first breath after a bite into some powerful minty gum. I was smiling as I read it.

(exhale)
Thank you! I hope my reviews don't come across as formulaic.
02:21 AM on 04/13/11
LetterBomb31
// I M P O S S I B L E S O U L //
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I don't know if I'll pick this album up or not. I feel like this band are just going in circles.

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