Dave Grohl and Co. return for the ninth Foo Fighters album. Concrete and Gold sees new member Rami Jaffee (The Wallflowers) join the fold on keys and delivers 11 tracks of their inimitable mix of hard rock (there’s some serious riffage in here) and sing-along-ability. Double LP and CD on Grohl’s own Roswell label and RCA.
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4/10 Tom Customer review, 22nd May 2018
As a fan of the first two Foo Fighters albums, there's always a part of me that's secretly interested whenever Dave Grohl and co release a new album in the hopes that they might re-capture some of that early magic. When Pat Smear re-joined the band for 2011's Wasting Light, the Foo Fighters tried to make it sound like they'd gone back to their rock n' roll roots by re-enlisting their most punk-rock member and recording the album 'in Dave Grohl's garage.' However, Dave Grohl's garage is probably bigger than most studios anyway, plus the album was produced by uber producer Butch Vig on the Neve console from Sound City. It's easy to DIY when you're a multi-millionaire.
Indeed, every Foo Fighters album since then has had some kind of gimmick attached to it, as if required to maintain the public interest. To be fair, it has worked very well for them, but the albums themselves have been disappointing. The roll-out for Concrete and Gold was slightly less gimmicky than previous albums (there hasn't been a HBO-show or movie attached to it for one thing), but there was still a lot of hubbub about guest appearances from Paul McCartney (who drums on 'Sunday Rain'), Justin Timberlake and one of the dudes from Boyz II Men. The album is also produced by pop producer Greg Kurstin. The result is an underwhelming album of songs with overwhelming production that makes certain tracks almost unlistenable ('Run' for example is just dripping with vaseline-on-the-lens effects and compression as the noise-war continues).
Obviously, Foo Fighters aren't making music for the grungers anymore - they're writing songs that will reach the back of stadiums, which is all well and good and has worked for them in the past, but this time round even the anthemic songs are in short supply.
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