A pretty good effort at staying relevant

It’s been said a lot, but for the purpose of this review it will be said again: Dave Grohl envisioned Concrete and Gold to be something like Motorhead doing a Sgt Peppers.

In reality, the combination of heavy rock and textured melodies often comes across as a thing closer to Cheap Trick, whose guitarist Rick Nielsen appeared on one of the better tracks of the Foo Fighters’ previous hodge-podge of an album.

Beyond the overbearing production, Concrete and Gold is one of the Foos more consistent and digestible albums that relies as much on Grohl’s keen songwriting ability as it does his readiness to step away once in a while to let his wingmen shine. On this occasion it’s Taylor Hawkins, who sings lead on the rambling, Beatlesque ‘Sunday Rain’ that features no less than Paul McCartney sitting in on drums. ‘Run’ on the other hand is the album’s metal track, heavy enough to make the rockers more than happy while resounding in the band’s trademark melodic hooks. ‘Make it Right’ is a poppier, hook-ridden number with big choruses. Elsewhere, a track like ‘Arrows’ is more familiar Foo Fighters stadium rock territory while ‘The Sky is a Neighborhood’ tries too hard. With so much going on it just becomes overwrought and unwieldly. The title track is a strange, dirgy affair that attempts to be both optimistic and downbeat and doesn’t really work, like Probot stuck in low gear and forgetting how to change.

Twenty years into their career at least Foo Fighters are still trying to make interesting albums. At times neither here nor there, Concrete and Gold is at the very least a pretty good effort at staying relevant.

1. T-Shirt
2. Run
3. Make it Right
4. The SKy is a Neighborhood
5. Le Dee Da
6. Dirty Water
7. Arrows
8. Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)
9. Sunday Rain
10. The Line
11. Concrete and Gold