If there’s one thing that the Foo Fighters’ front man Dave Grohl has proven throughout the years, it’s that he does not let his band take the easy way out.
The band released Wasting Light in 2011, which was entirely recorded in Grohl’s garage. Furthermore, Wasting Light was followed by a small tour that took place in the garages of fans.
The band made sure to make another statement in 2014 with their eighth album, Sonic Highways, where each song was recorded at a different city in the United States with signifcant musical history. Sonic Highways had a short HBO documentary in which each episode explained the importance and history behind each song and its corresponding city.
After taking it easy for a few years, the Foo Fighters went back into the studio to record their ninth album, Concrete and Gold, which was released on Friday Sept. 15.
With the previous brilliant projects of Wasting Light and Sonic Highways, this album was no different in quality, certainly holding up the band’s reputation for always making a statement in rock music.
Concrete and Gold had some big named guest collaborators who joined the band for various songs. Former Beatles’ front man Paul McCartney–a friend and occasional band-mate for Grohl– joined the Foo Fighters for the album’s ninth track, “Sunday Rain.” McCartney plays the drums for the song, while Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins fronts the band as the vocalist, leaving Grohl to sing back-up vocals.
While McCartney is arguably the biggest guest collaborator on the album, his appearance was not much of a surprise considering his relationship with Grohl. Since the Foo Fighters like to keep their fans on their toes, the band surprised everyone by revealing that the backup vocalist of the album’s third song, “Make It Right,” was none other than Justin Timberlake.
Though not an overbearing force in the song, Timberlake’s pop vocals can be heard throughout the entirety of the track. “Make It Right” is not a song that one would expect Timberlake to be a part of; it consists of heavy guitar riffs, the Foo Fighters’ signature sound. Despite this, Timberlake did an excellent job backing Grohl’s raspy vocals in what was one of the heavier songs on the album.
Prior to the release of Concrete and Gold, the band released two singles: “Run” and “The Sky Is a Neighborhood.” “Run” was released first on June 1, giving fans something to be excited about for the remainder of the summer.
“Run” encompasses everything that fans love about the Foo Fighters, as it starts off on a lighter note, with just vocals and a recognizable arpeggio, before immediately switching to heavy guitar riffs and loud drums, which are accompanied by Grohl’s mixture of screaming and singing. The song has a familiar sound to Foo Fighter classics, such as “The Pretender” (2007) and “These Days” (2011), which made it a smart song to be debuted before the release of the album.
The second single, “The Sky Is a Neighborhood,” was released on Aug. 23 and gave fans a sense of how the rest of Concrete and Gold would sound. With Alison Mosshart, vocalist of both The Kills and The Dead Weather, performing backup vocals during the chorus, Grohl creates a powerful and metal sound that compliments the overall composition of the song.
While a majority of the album consists of the Foo Fighters playing their signature loud rock music, the band takes the time to slow it down on the acoustic track.
The 11th and final track on the album and titular song “Concrete and Gold” provides a powerful ending for the record. The band slows down the rock guitars for “Concrete and Gold,” but manages to maintain the loudness and power behind the electric guitars, creating an eerie yet transfixing sound.
Overall, Concrete and Gold is a strong follow-up to the Foo Fighters' previous albums, and should make for a successful world tour.u