Overall Score: 8/10 Massive Choruses: 9/10 Consistency : 8/10 Replayability: 8/10 Pros: Big epic moments and gorgeous melodies Cons: Could have been a couple of songs longer
Foo Fighters are one of the biggest bands in the world. Now 9 albums deep into a nearly 25-year career, they have earned the right at this point to do pretty much whatever they want. There is always a sense of expectation with each new Foo Fighters album as every one of them is completely different. Some favour the more upbeat balls out rock approach whereas some are more introspective and require multiple listens to really get inside of. Somehow though every album manages to sound like them.
Concrete and Gold attempts to mold both styles together and for the most part, it works. This is a much more stripped down album that the first single ‘Run’ would suggest. With that being the heaviest moment on the album and a classic in waiting that harkens back to the bands finest moments from their earlier works. ‘La Dee Da’ and ‘Make it Right’ keep the blood flowing nicely, the latter being a mid paced stomper with a bit of dirty glam in its riffs, providing just the right amount of swagger to keep it ticking along. Whereas as ‘La Dee Da’ is the storming fuzzed up jam that Queens of The Stone Age’ wished they could still write, blasting out of the speakers like the MC5 on steroids.
But as in most cases, it’s in the quieter moments where the album is allowed to breathe that Foo Fighters really shine. Tracks like ‘Dirty Water’ which coasts in on a low-key beautiful melody that draws the listener in and then comes alive in the second half, allowing new permanent member Rami Jaffee a chance to shine with some stunning instrumental work that really pulls the whole thing together. It’s in these moments of which there are many on the album that you can really feel the harmony and sincerity that still exists in this band even after all this time, even with new members still being involved in the writing process, it somehow elevates them, instead of hindering them.
Concrete and Gold is an album that plays to the Foo Fighters strengths, which is writing big massive rock anthems and also providing some more tender moments in between. It’s a more consistent record than Sonic Highways and hardcore fans will find something to love hear, whereas the uninitiated might find it takes its time to win them over. But either way, it’s still great to see a now legendary band still running on such a creative high.
Concrete and Gold is released today (15th September 2017) on RCA Records.