by andrew zerman, staff writer
Do you remember when you were in kindergarten and you had that finger painting project, and you think it looks sweet at that moment, but 15 years later you laugh at it?
That is what the cover of the Foo Fighters newest album, Medicine at Midnight, looks like. The Foo Fighters are a hard rock band that recently celebrated their 25th anniversary with former Nirvana member Dave Grohl as the lead singer.
The album itself is an eclectic mix of songs. Half of them are softer dance songs that are reminiscent of Prince or David Bowie, while the other half are the gritty rock songs that the Foo Fighters are known for. This album is one that will keep Foo Fighters fans content but is unlikely to win over any new fans.
The album starts out strong with “Making a Fire.” The song opens up with a punk rock sound that does not escalate.
From the very beginning of the song, there is an all-female chorus that interjects with “nah-nah-nah-nah” as the song hits its climax point. The chorus takes up a fairly sizable portion of the song, but it acts as a great contrast to Grohl’s singing.
The lead single and the second song on the album was “Shame Shame” which was released in November. It has a mellow sound that is reminiscent of Prince.
It is four minutes of hitting the cymbals with undercooked lyrics and Dave Grohl softly singing the word “shame” 52 times. Picking this song as the lead single was a poor choice because: a) there are no other songs remotely like it on the album, and b) the song led many people, including myself, to think that the entirety of the album would be as bad as this song.
I would argue that “Cloudspotter” is the best song on the album because it encompasses the styles of all of the songs on the album. It is both a dance song and a workout song.
The song opens up with a series of guitar riffs and then the drums join in. An all-female chorus acts as the backup vocalists for Dave Grohl when the song is on a dance music beat.
The song then descends into hard grunge rock that features Grohl as the sole vocalist. The song see-saws between the two respective genres. This song would have been an appropriate song to have as the lead single.
“Waiting on a War” was the third released single, and it ponders Grohl growing up during the Cold War and thinking about the times that his 11-year-old daughter lives in right now.
The lyrics are everything that “Shame Shame” is not. They are heartfelt and evoke emotion. They make people think about the current state of the world. The song is heartfelt and touching, with an acoustic guitar until the final minute. The final minute is typical Foo Fighters rock.
The overall product can feel a bit underwhelming because The Foo Fighters took a four year-long hiatus. It only produced nine songs that lasted 36 minutes.
It felt like one of those albums where they struggled to find their sound in an attempt to avoid being the déjà vu band that AC/DC is. I am buying the vinyl because I thought that it has some good songs, but I would not praise the whole album as spectacular.