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Foo Fighters - There is Nothing Left to Lose Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 8.5
Production 8.25
Creativity 8.75
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 88%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.75
Lyrics 8.83
Production 9.67
Creativity 9.33
Lasting Value 9.83
Reviewer Tilt 9.33
Average: 95%
Inside AP.net

Foo Fighters - There is Nothing Left to Lose

Reviewed by: Vance Mook (05/13/14)
Foo Fighters - There is Nothing Left to Lose
Record Label: Roswell/RCA Records
Release Date: November 2, 1999


Many will argue that The Colour and the Shape is, and always will be, Foo Fighters' magnum opus. Alas, music is subjective, and therefore someone like I would instead argue that, while TCATS is a landmark album (and probably their second best), the closest Dave Grohl and co. have come to perfection was 1997's There is Nothing Left to Lose.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar, a brief history lesson: Foo Fighters' self-titled debut was recorded by Dave Grohl alone on cassette tape in his home shortly after fellow bandmate, Nirvana frontman, and MTV martyr Kurt Cobain decided to end his life (though not before shooting up one last time and indirectly creating one of the greatest musical conspiracies/"murder mysteries" of all time). Grohl handed these cassettes out to friends for feedback, despite initially recording them "just for fun" and as a "cathartic experience". Foo Fighters became a critical and commercial success, leading to a record deal and Grohl recruiting members of then dissolved emo-legends, Sunny Day Real Estate. Together, they recorded Foo Fighters' sophomore record, The Colour and the Shape. TCATS is a classic rock album (notice the lack of hyphen) if there ever was one, shooting off of the debut with edgier, focused, and refined material. The album has spawned singles such as the repetitive "Monkeywrench," fan-favorite "My Hero," and teenage make-out anthem "Everlong," but if you are trust my musical tastes (as you absolutely should), the real hits (and make-out anthems) were just on the horizon.

I'm speaking, of course, about "Aurora", a breezy six-minute ode to summer and young love that reeks of teenage drinking and campfires. It's Grohl's favorite Foo Fighters song to date, as well as mine and countless other fans', and it's just the tip of the iceberg. TINLTL received generally positive reception from critics but feels consistently and unjustifiably forgotten. Just look at songs like "Learn to Fly," which unintentionally inspired thousands of teens in abstinence assemblies across America and simultaneously kickstarted modern-rock radio with the perfect hint of crossover appeal and pop sensibilities. If the singles are good (the infectious hook of "Breakout" rivals almost anything the band has done since), the albums' key tracks lay even further between the cracks. "Headwires" is the best 80's homage never used in a John Hughes montage, with Grohl's low-mix vocals and distinctly muted guitars signalling an almost completely experimental change in direction, and the upbeat foot-stomper that is "Live-In Skin" contains one the best riffs in their catalog.

Yet the grit remains as much as ever, with respective opening and closing tracks "Stacked Actors" and "M.I.A." carefully balancing old Foo with new, boasting equal amounts of distortion and Grohl's familiar howl. The former even acts as an aggressive call-out to Courtney Love, a woman who throws around just as many crazy accusations as she does mediocre records. Even when the record makes minor missteps (the annoying bass distortion at the beginning of "Generator"), they continue to produce something that feels unlike anything you've listened to before. How is that possible? Throughout the seamless transitions and variety that There is Nothing Left to Lose provides, it somewhere, somehow becomes one of the only rock records to ever successfully walk the line between "rock star" and "regular dude".

Dave Grohl took the post-grunge (soon to be "cock-rock") genre and became its liaison to good music. He writes music for the everyman in all of us, be it your average rock-radio fan or the intellectuals that consistently dissect music too much to ever enjoy it. He found a way to please them both. With Grohl giving his A-game, perhaps TINLTL is forgotten because an album like this is such a rare occurrence. Even when Grohl sings about unrelatable topics such as fame and touring ("Next Year," "Ain't It the Life"), he does it with a sarcastic solemness that relays the feeling of wanting to be a normal guy- for him, normal being void of fame, and for us, feeling popular and unalienating. Everyone relates. Everyone wins.

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Displaying posts 1 - 14 of 14
03:03 AM on 05/15/14
#2
TheUpside
It All Feels Like an Ending
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Love this album. At the time I thought it was weird that it won a Grammy and color didn't but all became clear in time.
09:09 AM on 05/15/14
#3
Vance Mook
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Love this album. At the time I thought it was weird that it won a Grammy and color didn't but all became clear in time.
The Colour and the Shape is fantastic, and I can absolutely see why it's a landmark album. I just feel that this album is something completely different for them and I prefer it over anything else they've done. Disc two of In Your Honor, though...I guess I just have a soft spot for mellow Grohl haha
01:37 PM on 05/15/14
#4
augibudogida
daddy is home
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This album is my absolute favorite of theirs. Aurora is an amazing song, among their best.
01:54 PM on 05/15/14
#5
HogarthHughes
Paint the Streets in White
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While TCATS is my favorite Foo album, this one is a very close second. As Grohl has said, this album really focuses on melody, and I love that. Every song is as catchy as can be, yet you still have songs like "Aurora" and "Headwires" that offer interesting departures from the straight-ahead rock that the band excels at.
02:06 PM on 05/15/14
#6
Vance Mook
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While TCATS is my favorite Foo album, this one is a very close second. As Grohl has said, this album really focuses on melody, and I love that. Every song is as catchy as can be, yet you still have songs like "Aurora" and "Headwires" that offer interesting departures from the straight-ahead rock that the band excels at.
Echoes my thoughts a lot. Love that it focuses on melody and successfully varies itself (the songs you mentioned are my favorites, although I believe TCATS had its fair share of variation as well) without losing all of their grit. "Everlong" will forever be my favorite rock radio single of all-time, but I don't think "Learn to Fly" would be far behind.
02:06 PM on 05/15/14
#7
Vance Mook
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This album is my absolute favorite of theirs. Aurora is an amazing song, among their best.
One of my all-time favorite songs.
05:37 PM on 05/15/14
#8
Grohl
RATA
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This album doesn't get as much appreciation as the others. Good review.
07:30 PM on 05/15/14
#9
Vance Mook
Fastest Kid in School
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This album doesn't get as much appreciation as the others. Good review.
Thanks!
08:08 PM on 05/15/14
abusedcat
Long Gone Before Daylight
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One of my favorite bands, and easily my favorite record that they've put out.
Totally agreed on "Live-In Skin".
"Gimme Stitches" is another great, and Nate's bass runs in the bridge and outro make that song for me (it's a shame that, if my memory serves me right, he doesn't play it this way anymore).
08:08 PM on 05/15/14
stupidtyonparad
next week's weather.
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has always been one of my favorites, if not my favorite, foo record.
07:45 AM on 05/20/14
iamalexenglish
Whats a user title?
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Nice writing Vance
11:05 AM on 05/20/14
Vance Mook
Fastest Kid in School
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Thanks man!
04:38 AM on 05/21/14
gatoraid666
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Love this album so much
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