I bought this album soon afterward, and it has become one of the mainstays in my musical collection ever since, even years later. The atmosphere of the album is what makes it so breathtaking, and ironically, I listen to it most on long late-night flights, where it mellows me out and puts me to sleep. It is relaxing and mature, and superb. This is what defined Dave Grohl to me, and what a perfect record to do it with.
That said, even though most of the music here is about as radio-friendly as you can get ("Next Year" was used as the theme song for the NBC chick comedy-drama "Ed," for crying out loud), Grohl delivers most of it with the kind of energy and sincerity that you don't often hear in this type of music.
"Stacked Actors" actually starts the album on a fairly raw note, with a heavily-distorted riff giving way to swirling, ethereal guitars behind lounge-sung lyrics. This, "Breakout," and "Learn To Fly" form a solid beginning to the album that declines in quality somewhat with "Gimme Stitches" and "Generator"--two songs that, though not bad per se, don't really hold the listener's attention, vocal distortions aside. "Aurora" is really the masterpiece of the album. A slower tune, with interesting instrumentation, and one of Grohl's better vocal performances to some of what I think are the best Foo lyrics ever ("I just kind of died for you, you just kind of stared at me.")
Throw in some more ballads and an energetic closer ("M.I.A.") and you've got a solid album that never pretends to be anything else.