FOO FIGHTERS - ‘Concrete and Gold’ (2017)

02 October 2017
FOO FIGHTERS - ‘Concrete and Gold’ (2017)
  • Лейбъл: RCA
  • Издаден: 2017
  • Aвтор: Стефан Топузов
  • Оценка:

The world of rock music sure has changed in the 22 years since the release of FOO FIGHTERS’ debut. Today, everything is more independent, further divided into niches, and shrunk to a smaller scale. Yet, this band stands pretty much alone in defiance of this trend – as a giant, universally accessible rock band living in the present and releasing new and interesting music every couple of years.

Which doesn’t mean the band itself is not changing. FOO FIGHTERS are no longer the musicians that would use a low-key track like ‘Doll’ just as a counterpoint to an energetic rock explosion such as ‘Monkey Wrench’ (both from 1997’s ‘The Colour and the Shape,' as if you didn’t know that). For a decade no, they have been seeking more mature and expansive sound.

‘Concrete and Gold’
is FOO FIGHTERS’ most confident step in that direction yet. In this album, this is a different band – one that aims to unfold its ideas on a grander scale, to create multilayered songs, and to play with means of expression that it might have felt were out of its reach before. Here, FOO FIGHTERS use darkness and psychedelia, reflected through a pop perspective. At first glance, the result is your usual FOO FIGHTERS again. But under the surface, there’s the ban’s desire to reinvent itself and grow.

‘Run’ is probably the most typical song on the disc – although it features distinctly atypical things like screamed verses and the keyboards being brought to the forefront. But the bulk of the album is marked primarily by the echo of classical bands and approaches. In ‘Make It Right’ FOO FIGHTERS give their take on Led Zeppelin’s early days of bluesy hard rock, whine in ‘La Dee Da’ they do the same with the later, funkier version of Zeppelin from the albums where John Paul Jones wrote most of the music. ‘The Sky Is a Neighborhood’ is something of a mix between indie rock and gospel.

By around that point, at the middle of the album, FOO FIGHTERS have already set the boundaries of this experiment. The second half continues along these lines but feels less courageous at it (or you might have gotten used to it at that point). Among the brightest moments are the gradually unfolding and overflowing with harmonies ‘Dirty Water’ and the gloriously climactic ‘The Line.' As well as ‘Sunday Rain,’ which sees Paul McCartney behind the drumkit and Taylor Hawkins as lead vocalist.

The closing title track is more of a dark epilogue – stretched chords, strayed tempo, and eerie vocals by Grohl. It is the closest thing to doom this band has ever made, although as a song it doesn’t really go anywhere.

…But the fact that I just used the word “doom” in relation to a FOO FIGHTERS record, which also features Justin Timberlake as a guest, speaks loudly enough for the curious extremes in this album. ‘Concrete and Gold’ sounds different enough to be interpreted as the beginning of something new. Not every experiment in it works. Nor is it free of filler. But with it, FOO FIGHTERS make a claim to be remembered not only as the world’s last truly big rock band – but also as a classic one.
 

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