Finding Foo In New Places
The Foo Fighters’ new career-marking double-album, In Your Honor, finds the band perfecting their developed hard rock sound and experimenting with their acoustic side. The opening title-track builds from low hum to crescendo before plowing into nine other (mostly) quality rock songs for which the band is known. The first few songs, especially the exuberant â€šÃ„ÃºDOAâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and the short, but inspired, â€šÃ„ÃºHell,â€šÃ„Ã¹ are Foo at their finest. They stall a bit with â€šÃ„ÃºFree Me,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a song that despite a lot of screaming and sweat, is unremarkable. The album regains momentum with the more melodic â€šÃ„ÃºResolveâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and the album closer â€šÃ„ÃºEnd Over End,â€šÃ„Ã¹ which fades out in a familiar droning hum.The acoustic albumâ€šÃ„Ã®essentially Dave Grohlâ€šÃ„Ã´s soft solo debutâ€šÃ„Ã®is a mix of the frontmanâ€šÃ„Ã´s best songwriting and most personal lyrics as well as his most forgettable moments. Some tracks fail to register while others are instantly engaging. The most effective songs are the barest. â€šÃ„ÃºStillâ€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºRazor,â€šÃ„Ã¹ the equally stunning opener and closer respectively, both buzz with kinetic energy created by Grohlâ€šÃ„Ã´s lyrics and persistent rhythms, suggesting an underlying urgency his soft vocals and subdued guitar disguise.
Unlike the rock album, the acoustic disc holds some surprises. Norah Jones guests on the samba-flavored â€šÃ„ÃºVirginia Moon,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and her ever-understated presence is the perfect complement to Grohlâ€šÃ„Ã´s downy voice. Drummer Taylor Hawkins impressively handles lead vocals, â€šÃ„ÃºCold Day In The Sun,â€šÃ„Ã¹ with a weathered and gently rasped voice.
In Your Honor is a fine definition of the Foo Fighters: They are capable of crafting intimate lullabies as well as slick, popular rock, and, overlooking their occasional missteps, they are consistently worth the listen.