It's been almost a year since E,S,P&G has run the Billboard Charts and more importantly, won the Grammy for Best Rock Album, and it remains one of my all time favorites. In my opinion, the Foo's are the best "Hard Rock" band presently in commercial existence. Track one, The Pretender is an instant favorite, in classic Foo Fighter's format, it's a quiet, demure beginning, crescendo-ing to the rocking, balls-out finish, a storyline to so many of their best songs. It won the Grammy for best rock PERFORMANCE, but it's not even my favorite song on the album.
I love the introspective, "Stranger Things Have Happened". It's the formula Grohl uses to succeed with an acoustic guitar and metronome song. We are forced to focus on the simplicity and deep introspection of his lyrical patterns. Very similar to the wonderful "Friend Of A Friend", a song he wrote early in his career while still with Nirvana. It's such a dramatic and underappreciated song. The sound of the metronome being wound and the subsequent ticking gets your attention, then comes the clean, deep acoustic guitar, carrying the simple rhythm into the lyrics. "I'm breathing in this silence like never before." We are lead into a likely wasted realationship with a disappointing outcome. "I can change, I can change, I can change, but who do u want me to be?" is the strongest line in the song, and is so symbolic of a guy trying to adapt to his mate's desires, but falling short. "I'm the same, I'm the same, I'm the same, what do you want me to be?" This solidifies the frustration felt by Dave, or the main character in this song, who has done nothing different, but apparently underperformed by the will of his suitor. That's my take on it.
"Long Road to Ruin" is my Ringtone, and I am probably responsible for selling at least 20 albums by this alone. It's most easily described as a CSNY song, but it's full of Genesis and other prog rock changes. Very refreshing and upbeat. I will end now, as I am sure that there will be others to come. I heard an interview with Dave when he said that he wanted to get out when he turned 30. I'm glad he has changed his mind. I actually like these guys better than Nirvana. Please don't kill me for that statement, I am just a bit overwhelmed with grunge and all of it's countless sound-alikes. Yes, Nirvana was a wonderful band and I was there for the whole 80's hair-band to grunge musical transformation, but this is the MOST serendipitous thing that has occurred in modern rock. Cobain's passing (Listen to "Too Cool Queenie by STP for their take on this), resulted in the formation of this amazing band. They are ever-changing, and are currently defining what AMERICAN ROCK IS in this new millenium. Tell me otherwise.