5.0 out of 5 stars Revisionism can be a very good thing...
I've long held this album is high, very high esteem (ever since I bought it as a $13.99 impulse purchase when it first came out)... but now with the impending release of "Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace" and the return of a radio track that catches my ear on the first try (leadoff single "The Pretender"), I was compelled to return to musing on why "There is Nothing...
Published on Sept. 7 2007 by Glen Burg
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, worth owning
There Is Nothing Left To Lose shows a predictable turn by Dave Grohl and the Foos from poppy but still raw-ish melodic rock of the previous album, The Colour And The Shape, to more melodic and less raw radio rock. Riding the hit single "Learn To Fly," this album continued the mainstream success that "Everlong" and "Monkey Wrench" had brought...
Published on Dec 30 2003 by Andrew J. Gossett
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5.0 out of 5 stars Revisionism can be a very good thing...,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)I've long held this album is high, very high esteem (ever since I bought it as a $13.99 impulse purchase when it first came out)... but now with the impending release of "Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace" and the return of a radio track that catches my ear on the first try (leadoff single "The Pretender"), I was compelled to return to musing on why "There is Nothing Left to Lose" immediately hit me, and then retained its charm over the years.
This is the point of view of a guy who's listened to little other Foo Fighters (apart from the singles and the "One By One" album, which did not captivate me as much as TiNLtL or Grohl's absolutely excellent drumming on Queens of the Stone Age's "Songs for the Deaf"). The reason for my limited knowledge of the rest of FF's canon is simple: most FF singles did not hit me the way the songs on TiNLtL did. "Big Me" and "This is a Call" didn't register highly on my radar, and "Alone and Easy Target" struck me as a catchy _Nirvana_ song... So how did this album measure up on first listen?
After basically skipping over "Stacked Actors" the first time I listened to the album, I gave "Breakout" more of a chance due to its lighter, vocal-and-clean-electric intro. Both tracks employ a "lighter in the verses, dramatically heavier in the chorus" technique that Nirvana adopted from (amongst others) the Posies, and in both cases Dave goes the extra mile by writing a different chord progression for each of those two sections, but the real treat on "Breakout" for me is the sudden nod to power pop composition (without adopting the genre's "feel" in terms of instrumentation) at the end of the chorus and the release immediately following the chorus (which morphs into a "2nd verse" of sorts, turning the original verse chord progression into a bridge in comparison)... and then hitting Nirvana volume (and chords) for a temporary screaming fit.
With this one song, my receptivity towards the album improved impressively. "Learn to Fly" and "Next Year" were the obvious singles from the gitgo, floating closest to the familiar jangle of "power pop" territory. "Aurora" and "Ain't It the Life" are dreamy expeditions to some remote, summer-night beach, with their easy-going melodies and arrangements. "Gimme Stitches" and "Generator" are a bit closer to the familiar "Foo Fighter" territory I presume them to have (judging from the other albums' singles). And "M.I.A." registers as a surprise: though I usually would not give a song of this sort a second glance, its placement at the end of such an enjoyable set of tunes not only enhances its value, but impressively hooks me into the first track on the CD again, allowing me to enjoy that track as well and giving the CD a much appreciated "repeat listening" quality. A rare feat, I actually listened to this album pretty much all the way on a 3.5-hour car trip.
After many listens, my impression of this album is basically one of Dave & company leading the Nirvana-type sound away from grunge into a more bonafide power-pop territory... and injecting extra amounts of melody in the process. Despite its modern sheen and sound, it still retains the feel (perhaps due to choice of chord changes?) of the lesser-heard side of '70s classic rock... notably, the album tracks that didn't sell oodles of 45's to the single-purchasers, but still had that charm that gave them long life on late-night FM radio. Either way you look at it, Dave is playing revisionist to either Nirvana's sound or that of '70s classic rock/power pop, but in my book revisionism is good if it actually _consolidates_ or _improves_ on what is good (no, great) about a musical style, or brings the sound/style into new territory... in short, an album that ends up seemingly surpassing all that came before it (not necessarily talking about the band's previous albums). Sloan, The Darkness, and the Strokes all succeed in taking styles gone into "disuse" by the music industry and bringing them back. Foo Fighters goes one step further by dressing classic-styled hooks and melodies with modern-type riffs and instrument sounds.
After this album, I thought my enjoyment of the Foo Fighters was pretty much a done deal. "Not so," said my first listening of "One by One", when "All My Life" seemed the sole memorable tune of the set. I repeat, this point of view is not from a standard "Foo Fighters fan" (and I've only listened to _parts_ of "In Your Honour" once, if at that, while driving along with a friend), but the appearance of "The Pretender" as the first single off "Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace" leads me to think that there may be more for me to enjoy from this band just yet.
Okay, so a wordy review... but if you have any difficulty believing me, just listen to the samples!
4.0 out of 5 stars radio-friendly but doesn't stink,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)Great tunes! Foo Fighters can produce radio-friendly songs like "Learn to Fly" that aren't garbage, and nothing wrong with that, says I. Let's not slam talent just cuz the alternative punk is a little popy, come on :). And somebody please shoot me for using all these "genre" words. Good music should just be called "good music", period!
p.s. that breath mint video or the one for Learn to Fly are hilarious. I love it when a band has a sense of humor.
4.0 out of 5 stars Live in Skin, Aurora...Really good stuff,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)While I am a very big fan of the Foo Fighters, I will not be a homer to this bands every song. Sure, "Learn to Fly" got overplayed and old quickly, but there are some very "catchy" songs on this compilation. "Stacked Actors" grabs you quickly and doesn't really ever let go. Aurora has a nice spacey sound (Best song that they do live-lights, mood, whatever, if they don't play this song live...boo), and "Live in Skin" is one of those songs that you hear and at the beginning you go "is this just a filler song or something?" it turns out to be one of the better compositions that they have done. Real mellow songs like "Ain't it the Life" and "Next Year" were songs that I initially loved but they have worn on me to the point that I don't feel bad skipping them. If you like a rock c.d. that doesn't sound like AC-DC or Nickleback, these guys and this c.d. is for you...otherwise, just listen to your area rock station and get sick of the stuff that you get to hear time and time again...these guys aren't as big as Mt. Everest, so they still have that "small time" niche to them.
2.0 out of 5 stars Listenable Rock FM,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)The third Foo Fighters album is a well produced product that isn`t bad enough to be repulsive neither too interesting or solid to be considered good. It ends up being an average,decent-but-nothing-special record, that still is better than most of the stuff on the radio. Most of the songs here are alright and amusing, however they lack complexity and sound too poppy and predictable, never leaving familiar ground. It isn`t too risky or innovative, even if some moments, like "Generator", are worth a listen. All in all, "There Is Nothing Left To Lose" is another presentable rock album with a few nice songs and a lot of filler material. It could have been worse.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff from Dave and the guys,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)I thought that this was the most "accessible" of all the Foo Fighters' albums. The music runs from being hard and heavy (Stacked Actors, Breakout) to mellow and lulling (Aurora, Next Year). The fact that i like both heavy and light music makes this cd easy to listen to, even though there is such a variety.
And, even though it is very good, I thought that some of the last songs were filler and to light for my liking. Good work on the ECD part of the disc; I thought that was a nice gift for fans.
1.0 out of 5 stars Generic garbage,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)I just cannot understand the appeal of this very average, unoriginal band. The only appeal I see is its link to Kurt Cobain, whose genius fans remain fascinated by. It cannot possibly be the music.
"Learning to Fly" is the gayest song I've ever heard -- the "rock" equivalent to Debbie Gibson. The song bugs me endlessly. It's relentless airplay is testimony to how musically bankrupt we are currently. This song fits in nicely with today's rotation of crap from bands like Cold, Trapped, Fuel and Stained.
The rest of this album sucks also (I was forced to give it one star). There's a reason Cobain did all the composing for Nirvana (no Lennon/McCartney here). Shame on the drummer for capitalizing on Kurt's mystique with noise like this. It's another classic example of people not knowing their place.
The CD's title and artwork lack style and originality also. Isn't "Nothing Left to Lose" a lot more hip and cool? And where have seen the back of a guy's head with a tattoo on his neck as an album cover before? Could it be Sublime's popular self-titled CD? Pathetic.
I hate the Foo Fighters. The only decent song they've ever put out is "Down in the Park", which, of course, is a remake. Their most recent remake of a Prince song is a joke and, being the opportunists (rather than artists) that they are, they waited until the song is twenty years old to trick today's kids into thinking it's original.
Come on, guys, you made your money on Kurt's memory now have some class and disappear.
4.0 out of 5 stars mature, excellent music,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)Sadly, this was my first taste of the Foo Fighters. One morning, while waiting to go to school, I caught "Learning to Fly" on tv, and was in awe by the song. I almost completely missed the comedy-filled video; I was so entranced by Dave's amazing vocals and guitar. At this time, I had no knowledge of Nirvana, so I didn't even know how musically talented he really was (knowing vocals, drums and guitar).
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid, worth owning,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)There Is Nothing Left To Lose shows a predictable turn by Dave Grohl and the Foos from poppy but still raw-ish melodic rock of the previous album, The Colour And The Shape, to more melodic and less raw radio rock. Riding the hit single "Learn To Fly," this album continued the mainstream success that "Everlong" and "Monkey Wrench" had brought the band.
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.
2.0 out of 5 stars SAFE BORING POP,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)Just broke this CD out again as I was bored with all my current music and wanted to take a chance- as I remembered this is the Foo's worst effort- very poor follow-up to the excellent The Colour and the Shape. It's nothing but a bunch of safe, cheesy, boring, pop rock songs that break no new ground or ever go anywhere- even Aurora, which is the best on the CD and a concert fav is average at best. One by One brought back the edge a bit, this one is not worth the time.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Album to end the Millennium,
This review is from: There Is Nothing Left To Lose (Audio CD)This Album is different and not as good as "The Colour And The Shape" because it's more slow and acoustic but it's still an awesome CD and the most mellow Foo Fighters album. 7 out of the 11 songs are a perfect 10 out of 10. The First 5 tracks rock. Tracks 6-11 are more relaxing and calm, they're tracks to rest too unlike the first 5 tracks where you could probably mosh too except the Grammy and VMA award winning "Learn To Fly," you could do both. This album is the last great album of the 20th century and has some the greatest Foo Fighters songs of all time such as "Stacked Actors," "Breakout," "Learn To Fly," and "Next Year."
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