Buenos Dias, My Friends. Special Thanks To My Good Friend Chris; He Has A Last Name But It Dosen' Matter. Wait, It's Sigler. Chris Sigler. He Is A Mean Person, But Found Time Between Hitting Me And Telling Me He Won't Give Me Any Money, To Write A Review Of The Foo Fighters Latest Installment.
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Contributor: Chris Sigler
Foo Fighters "In Your Honor"
BMG Entertainment 2005/ Producer: Nick Raskulineez
Double album releases have always been an enigma to me. I love the possibilities of a reasonably priced, mother lode of music. The expectance being that it's good, maybe even great. It's always intriguing.
Yet, time and time again double albums seem like an economical windfall for record companies. An attempt to parlay an affably recorded live concert, mostly of already released material, into ka-ching! from the pockets of eager fans.
Industry overlords of said band, filtered from said record label, swell immensely from the aftermath.
Lead singer gets Porsche, record executive gets house, fans get mediocre and overpriced swill, disappointment ensues. Or, the first disc is full of great music only to have the second disc sprinkled with outtakes and B-side fodder not fit for a single disc release.
Later on when you listen to the double album again you notice that the second CD is always left in the case.
You've heard enough recording studio antics and rough draft songs the first time. I have found the exception.
Maybe the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl is blessed.
Maybe he carries the Grunge pixie-dust he was covered in as the drummer of the fabled Nirvana everywhere he goes. Maybe, just maybe, he and his band are talented and driven enough to make great music.
I believe the latter to be they way, the truth and the Foo. "In Your Honor", the band's fifth release, is a divining rod of capability and devotion in music. While countless bands are trying to vary each new release as "new and different" and "not the (fill in the blank) you've ever heard!" Foo Fighters stick to a narrowly defined, yet easily attained genre: Rock-n-Roll.
Yes, that storied creature your parents told you about in bedtime stories.
That mythical thing you always heard the ol'folks referring to. Yet, every time you turned on the radio or bought an album it alludes you.
Yes Virginia , it does exist, just like Santa Claus. But just like the cherub Saint Rock-n-roll is a very real thing only to the faithful. "In Your Honor" is a fitting example, maybe even an apropos prototype of what rock should be.
By that gushing accolade you would think to find two discs of full-out rock: following the rich tradition of a band that has made no qualms over the fact that they make great, sometimes gut-bustingly funny, post-punk, rock for the masses.
These two CD's, surprisingly, vary greatly in contrast with each other. A just comparison to this could be comparing Dave Grohl and Foo Fighter drummer Taylor Hawkins former groups (The melancholy and brooding Nirvana and quasi-melancholy, quasi-brooding pop princess Alanis Morrissette respectively)
Simply put, disc one is rock and disc two is roll.
The rock of disc one is guitar heavy and lyric driven. Executed so well as to not take its sound too seriously yet convey its message. Track number 3 "Best of You", already a popular radio single, explodes. A pulsating, pounding chorus of anger, admiration or an enormous hybrid of both, the words are barely controlled by Grohls vocals as the music is harnessed deftly by Hawkins, Nate Mendel on bass and Chris Shiflett on guitar.
Every song takes on the same hard-rock, theme laden tempo yet all seem easily distinctive from one another. It is that abiding ethic of sticking to a certain sound where I find some fault in the first disc. Songs such as track #4, "DOA" and #6, "The Last Song" rip and roar.
Yet after listening several times to disc 1 I found it a little blueprint, a little too familiar. Echo's of Foo Fighters earlier release "The Colour and the Shape" (1998) come to mind. Disc 2 is a stark opposite of Disc 1.
Mostly acoustic and sometimes single-guitar the songs are masterly crafted and include a very non-rock guest star Nora Jones supplying co-vocals on "Virginia Moon" and the surprising John Paul Jones of Led Zepplin fame playing mandolin on several tracks. In the recent spirit of Beck's "Sea Change" Grohl has proven quality of music is what counts.
Whether it grunts and sweats or sweetly flows it all comes from someone that understands how good music works. If you want to rock out, "In Your Honor" definitely fits the bill.
If you want to mellow out it does that too.
Foo Fighters have assembled a fine example that good music is always being made anew.
Roll the windows down, turn the volume up a little more than your mom would like and enjoy.