Album Review: Foo Fighter’s Concrete and Gold
Written by Alex Johnson on November 21, 2017
Artist: Foo Fighters
Album: Concrete and Gold
Label: Roswell Records
Released: September 15th, 2017
The long-running band Foo Fighters has returned to the world of rock for the ninth time, and in the process, they seemed to have returned rock to the world. The September 15 release of the album Concrete and Gold, produced by Greg Kurstin, has marked a turning point in the group’s discography, one in which they bring the spirit of classic rock back to life while embracing experimentation with other forms of music.
In an age of catchy, musically-safe pop music, the band has given the world the gift of their traditional, gritty Foo sound, but with a twist: they seem to be incorporating elements of blues rock, electronica, and even good old-fashioned grunge into their music. Something deep within the post-grunge DNA of the album seems to pay homage to to the late greats Chris Cornell and Kurt Cobain–who were contemporaries of Foo Fighter’s frontman Dave Grohl back in his Nirvana days–but melodic callbacks to pioneering bands such as The Beatles, The Who, Beach Boys, and Pink Floyd are also plentiful.
Featured artists like Sir Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Shawn Stockman, and Taylor Hawkins pop up around the tracklist subtly. The last time the group tried experimentation on a scale anywhere near this was on their album Sonic Highways, however it still seemed like they were afraid to stray too far from their typical musical environment. Now, it seems like the Foo Fighters have found the change in sound that they’ve been looking for.
None of these names or comparisons to other bands are to say the album is perfect, though. Make It Right, the second song on the tracklist, seems to be the low point of the release, as it has a strong sound, but relies on a rhythm that grows old very quickly–and fails to experiment with anything new… like, at all.
Arrows, Run, and The Line all have similar issues, and rather than feeling like new songs that toss in the usual Foo Fighters sound as a compliment to the new music, it instead feels like they threw in tracks that they forgot to add to Sonic Highways.
It feels like these songs use simple, repetitive riffs to try and wring every last drop out of the nostalgia rag that they can. So, while the album proves that the Foo Fighters still have, without a doubt, what it takes to hold their own in a rapidly-changing music industry, they seem to be clinging onto the same old sounds that got them to greatness in their prime, and which are now overused and weighing them down some.