REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/20/2012
God bless Dave Grohl. No really, god bless him. In the Garage Band age, it is refreshing to find the occasional artist who looks backwards instead of forwards. Record an album on....analog? Edit the tapes using a razor blade? Hell, good luck finding kids that even know how records used to be made! That 14-year-old down the street who babysits your kids acts as his own producer/editor/talent – he’s the complete package!
Wasting Light is one of those great throwback records, the kind that just rocks. Dave Grohl has never shied away from trying to make this sort of album, but you had to wonder at times if the Foo Fighters were moving a little closely towards the pop/rock world. It would have been understandable; such things happen as the artist gets older. Thankfully, Wasting Light acts as a counterbalance to indulgences such as touring with a full orchestra.
Reinventing the wheel clearly didn’t happen here with this album, but Grohl knows exactly what his strengths are and how to play to them. Blessed with one of the best “straight ahead” voices of the last two decades, Grohl avoids trying to be too fancy and lets the melodies flow naturally, as he does masterfully on “Back And Forth.” The bordering on death-metal screams of “White Limo” remind the listener this guy isn’t soft and fuzzy, and was in a band with Mr. Death To Popularity Kurt Cobain.
The band’s decision to eschew tracks like “Walk” and “Back And Forth” as the first single is an interesting choice because those two songs in particular would have easily carried on the tradition of outstanding Foo releases. Instead, “Rope” received the honor. I admire the message it sends about the record as a whole: in fact, “Rope” does a great job of encapsulating the direction of Wasting Light, but it’s simply not as good as the previously mentioned songs.
The band made a huge deal about how Wasting Light was recorded using the old school methods, even going so far as to trumpet their implied awesomeness at the Grammy Awards. Such arrogance would be a turn off if the result did not completely live up to the hype. Wasting Light has a warmer, richer sound than not only their previous work but of the hit material of today. There is an immediacy to the proceedings that was dictated by the limitations of the technology, and it pays off. Totally.Earlier I had a little bit of fun mocking the Garage Band musician. Was it unfair? Yes, of course it is (this writer’s humble opinion is that the tools that are available for creative people in the present day are simply astounding). But much like a person who loves to hold an honest to god book in their hands in place of a Kindle, I must give respect to those in the music who put aside the gadgets and gizmos and follow a process that, looking back, worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you say?
|Agreed. This record rocks and contains the most consistent group of songs Dave has ever put together. Everyone should own this!|