Concrete and Gold is the Foo Fighters’ 9th studio album to reach our ears, and no doubt it won’t be the last. Grohl’s combination of some soft yet hard-hitting tracks, and some head banging certain classics, really polish this album off. The first track to the album is a 1 minute and 20 second ice-cream Sundae to the mouths of our ears, we indulge into the Foo Fighters’ familiar style and sound which they never fail to bring to every album. ‘T-Shirt’ kicks off the album with a slow and steady start. The pure sound of Dave Grohl’s voice along side soft acoustics, makes it hard for us as listeners not to hear the emotion pouring out of his voice. Raw emotion sways us gently with lyrics such as: ‘I don’t wanna be king, I just wanna sing a love song’. Then on the break down Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and new member Rami Jafee join in with Dave and turn the song completely around. With hard and dynamic instrumental patterns, we are reminded what the Foo Fighters are capable of and reassured that it will be plentiful throughout the album. You see it’s great to have a variety of song styles and experiments, however as fans we will still always want that authentic Foo Fighters rock and roll sound.
The second song on Concrete and Gold is the first song that was actually released before any of the others. (And it was probably the best song to release first, so well done to the Foo Fighters for tempting their fans with this master piece.) ‘Run’. Run is probably one of my personal favorites from the album because of how immensely empowering it is. ‘Wake up! Run for your life with me!’, you find yourself screaming: ‘YES DAVE I WILL, SCREW EVERYTHING’. The capability of empowering people through music is an amazing thing. You don’t hear or feel it in every song, however when you find it in some songs it’s the best thing ever. For me, ‘Run’ is one of those songs. As soon as it plays, you are enticed and interested in the opening riff, the vocals come in and you’re even more enticed and excited for the rest of the song to come. Foo Fighters have created a savage, rebellious, groggy, empowering fight song and I would gladly like to hear it used in some kind of high-speed, cool action scene. Again though, this song brings the authentic Foo Fighters feeling similar to songs like ‘Bridge Burning’, ‘White Limo’ , ‘Monkey Wrench’, ‘All My Life’. No doubt they have mastered another hit.
Track 3 starts with an inevitably hooking drum beat, lured in with riffs and vocals followed. (Personally I thought the first verses of this song of sounded like Lemmy’s voice? Or is it just me? Nevertheless, this song is still a banger.) ‘Make it Right’ combines groovy and rocky elements. With stubborn lyrics such as ‘How you gonna make it right? Gonna make it right’, Grohl mentioned in some interviews that some of this album had political meaning. Could Make it Right’s lyrics be linked to the USA’s new president? It’s well-known Grohl isn’t a fan of the man. This song however portrays stubborn, manic, rebellious views extremely well. Track 4 is then ‘The Sky is a Neighborhood’. Ah this song. The opening is introduced with some harmonies, a rather underwhelming start if I’m totally honest. However Dave’s voice then follows and in comes the rest of the song. I do however love this song, it’s just that right amount of different to what their music usually sounds like. It has a rustic, easy listening, jagged yet smooth rhythm to it. The song refers to ‘Heaven’ a lot, giving it some religious meaning maybe? Despite a few flaws, I do love this song and appreciate it for being so fundamentally great.
‘La Dee Da’ is most definitely a political outrage song. The band perfectly portray a rebellious yet serious opinion that many of the world’s population also possess. That Donald Trump is a bad president basically. The rough and untamed guitars alongside Dave’s angry snarl and Taylor’s hardcore drumming, show their outrage! You can feel it oozing out of the track, the people don’t agree! Who’s a better spokesman then Goody-Guy Grohl? ‘Turn up the American Ruse Whitehouse, Death in June.’ Go on! Track 6, titled ‘Dirty Water’ and Track 7 titled ‘Arrows’, are equally thick with Foo Fighter’s energy and lyrics with an edge to them. They are again a product of the Foo Fighters sound and I love both tracks. Grohl has definitely put a spin on this album (like he does for every album) and it’s a weird, spooky, grinding, full of emotion kind of spin if that makes sense?
‘Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)’ is a lovely song. It’s truly the baby if the album in terms of dynamics. But does that make it bad? Does that mean it lacks that secret Foo Fighters’ ingredient? Not at all! This song captures Dave’s Voice in all it’s beauty, him and his band mates truly are amazing musicians. Having such range and ability to do different things so well is incredible. Take this song with slow, warming, calming and heart-felt sounds and compare it to ‘White Limo’ from Wasting Light, a combination of Dave’s screaming, immensely hard guitar and drums, insane chords and a solid head banger’s track. Both amazing tracks, and listening to them oblivious to the creators, you’d think they are by different artists. All I’m saying is that the Foos never fail to amaze us and ‘Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)’ is a perfect example of that.
Track 9 is ‘Sunday Rain’. This song has such a good diverse library of sound throughout it. Taylor Hawkins sings this, showing off his vocal ability. It’s a complex array of rhythmy goodness and honestly I listen to this song a LOT. ‘Dont leave me drowning in your Sunday Rain it’s always a shame oh no’. Here again the Foo Fighters face us with gripping and cleverly crafted lyrics. We find ourselves having an empathetic moment with Taylor in this song, we can all relate. ‘A little afraid? A little alone? A little exhausted?’ Again, it’s the Foos showing us how they can move us by the talk of their instruments and vocals.
‘The Line’, this has to be my favorite song on Concrete and Gold. As soon as the song kicks off you are there, you are in the rhythm you can feel it. The complexity of 6 instruments and Dave’s voice is just honestly art work in this song. ‘Somewhere, are you there? Deep in your eyes, some day will dry We fight for our lives Cause everything’s on the line’. These lyrics are again empowering, upon hearing them I just want to change my life, fight for what’s right, you know? The kind of things that you see only happening in life or death situations are the kind of things I want to take on when listening to this song. Is that too much? I don’ know, I just love this song so much.
Finally the ending song to this album is the self-titled song: ‘Concrete and Gold’. So judging by the emotional and inspirational roller coaster this album has taken us on so far, surely they should provide us with an equally thrilling and smirk-provoking song? Honestly the last song to this amazing album was a let down for me. Where I was wanting/expecting some groovy, grungey, rock and rolly extravaganza, I instead got a slow, borderline depressing, melancholy performance. I mean don’t get me wrong it’s not a bad song altogether, there are some vivid lyrics and a good, stable rhythm (plus I love a good moody, depressing song from time-to-time). I just mean it was a bad idea to end the album with. The other songs are empowering hits that I obsess over, however the self-titled concluding song should stereo-typically be an amazingly wowing end to the album. I just feel like that wasn’t delivered. Anyway that is only one minor flaw to an amazing album produced by the Foo Fighters once again. (definitely topping Sonic Highways).
Overall I love this album and highly recommend giving it a purchase and a listen. The deluxe CD comes with a booklet containing lyrics to all of the songs and some cool artwork to accompany the album. I’d give this album an 8/10 and reccomend to anyone considering listening to the Foos!
Thank you all!
Favorites of the week playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLX3jxL70kJDHxzP_OiGvFkSEdOASWoMP