Thursday, November 17, 2005

Long Awaited

Well, it finally happened today. Where I walk out from my apartment,
at the most snobbiest school on earth, to my workplace, I always look
out a specific window to study the weather and the action of the water
that sits on top of a roof that obviously has some drainage problems.
Sometimes, the water is very ripply, due to high winds, or quite
sparkly and still reflecting a calm, fall day. showed no movement.
It was frozen. Shee-Yit. Winter is upon us.

Record Review: Foo Fighters - 'In Your Honour'

(I should mention, to start, that reading a recent review from about the newest Foo Fighters douple LP release,
In Your Honour, made me seriously question professional reviewers'
credibility when one of the opening lines of the review states 'The Foo
Fighters are one of those bands, much like Nickelback, who just cannot
let grunge die'. Wow.Talk about a kick in the nuts and a kick in the
teeth all rolled into one.I digress.)
From track 1 of disc one to track 10 of disc 2, Dave Grohl's newest
composition takes the listener for a 20 song ride. Sometimes the ride is
slow and comtemplative, sometimes it is fast and raucous and other times
it is a sort of checkmate - but just when you think the action is over - you
are dropped down an elevator shaft of guitar distortion, technical
drumming and passionate vocals from a man who is not afraid to show
his teeth when he sings.
ELECTRICITY - DISC ONE: The first single release from disc 1, 'Best

of You', hit the radiowaves with mixed signals from many critics, but it is
a song that makes you wonder two things - just what happened to this dude
and who got the best of whom? Clean, stripped down electric riffs blend
with deafening distortion and bottom end blasts as the song picks up and
Grohl asks the question that I'm sure we've all wanted to ask to someone
we've cared about in 'is someone getting the best of you?' But this song in no
way depicts the entirety and stamina of all ten heavy driven songs as 'In
Your Honour' hits a homerun as a lead off hitter of track 1, driving the listener
into a frenzy of passionate words, transcendent riffs, and metal drumming
that makes an opening statement.
The bridge between love and hate is often unclear in Grohl's lyrics andits the

tension therein that creates a complex battlefield for his songs. It's hard to
say who Grohl is writing about,and there has been speculation, but all he
wants us to know is what he's been through and that's he's still very much
alive. A more hooky, chorus-driven sound defines the songs on this disc.
Both the lyrical content and the depth of each track, musically, show a grown
up man who is struggling to find what it is that keeps him going; 'Lately, I've
been/ Livin' in my head/ The rest of me is dead/ I'm dying for truth'. I could
probably write a novel on all the songs on this disc, as I prefer the electric
disc to the acoustic one, but another mentionable theme song of this ordeal
of an LP (and it is an ordeal) is a hard song of hard truth in 'The Deepest Blues
are Black': 'How my mind is spinning / And my head is going numb / Right
from the beginning / Our ending had begun / I can be your trouble / Shiver
into you / Shaking like the thunder / Sinking under' Depicting failed
relationships and horrific emotional and psychological struggles seems to be
Dave's forte on this LP and it's probably true that he, as a human being, has been
through alot of soul-junk.
ACOUSTICITY - DISC TWO: I have listened to this disc to death but one
thing remains certain - it is a nugget of gold in a mountain stream. This disc
hit rotation in my home theater cd player and hasn't stopped spinning since
its release back in June. Actually, Sarah took an immediate warmth
and liking to this disc but it is not just your average mellow acoustic disc -
like disc one, it continues the stream of consciousness lifewalk sort-of-feel that
leaves you wishing it was 12 or 14 tracks instead of just 10. In addition,
the guest stars on this cd are unspeakably sweet, from Led Zeppelin's John
Paul Jones to the other end of the Jones spectrum with Norah Jones, the
layering of instrumentation on each acoustic song is like a novel of music
that will make you want to read it over and over again. Grohl gets a little
more pretty and romantically poetic in the acoustic disc, which he writes
well but often shys from, which is a nice change from the usual high intensity
visceral rock he powers out: 'Laying quiet in the grass / Everything is still /
River stones and broken bones / Scattered on the hill / Promise I will be forever
yours / Promise not to say another word / Nevermind whats done is done /
Always was a lucky one' In this song, 'Still', anyone who's been in an
argument understands the need that Dave portrays to sometimes let sleeping
dogs lie in the the understanding of 'whats done is done'.

You can definitely appreciate a heavy Zeppelin influence in all of the acoustic
tracks, which is something any rock guru would never deny. Another head-
tilter and nice gem lies in 'A Cold Day in the Sun' which is actually sung by
Taylor, the Foos drummer. Kind of a psychadelic, country feel but ya know
what, with such a prolific work, it totally works as a Foo Fighters track.

By now, you can maybe understand or at least see where I'm headed with
the mark on this review - 10/10. The way I see it, a lot of bands make albums
and some bands even make hits. But with the creation of 'In Your Honour',
the Foos most elaborate and prolific work to date, the Foo Fighters made
a legend. The songs that affect us the most in life are the ones that stick
through the ages, through the decades, with themes that may be somewhat
timecoded, but universal in feel and reflection of the thoughts and emotions
conveyed by the songwriter. Whether 'In Your Honour' is in the honour
of a lover, a friend, or the late Kurt Cobain, I guess we'll never know. What we
will know, though, is that Dave is alive and he wants everyone know how
angry, excited, and inspired he is to be here.

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