Album Review: Foo Fighters – ‘Concrete and Gold’
Posted: by The Editor
With much anticipation, modern rock giants, Foo Fighters, have returned with their newest LP Concrete and Gold. The record comes two years since the release of their Saint Cecilia EP and three since their last LP, Sonic Highways.
With this release, Foo Fighters chose to not travel the country and each song in a different city, but rather shack up in one studio and record front to back. Off the bat, this record feels more complete and cohesive than Sonic Highways for that reason. There’s less intentional force behind this record, it’s much more natural and flowing than its predecessor.
It’s a departure from some of their newest works, as well. It calls back to earlier releases such as There’s Nothing Left to Lose, as the intensity and drive of a young Dave Grohl seems to have returned in his early forties. Juxtaposed against that energy, however, is a clear influence of early rock classics from influential artists such as The Beatles, The Doors and Led Zeppelin.
Through and through Concrete and Gold is Foo Fighters most straight forward rock record to date, never veering from the homage to the records that defined the genre. Commendable are lush and flowing vocal melodies, dowsed in layer after layer of beautiful harmony. Not to mention the guitar work on this record which deserves the utmost praise. From the drums to the keys, Concrete and Gold feels as good as it sounds.
The use of vocal harmony on the record calls to the genius of The Beatles and George Martin and how they, together, paved the way for modern rock recording and arrangement. There’s an energy on Concrete and Gold that reminds of the energy found on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Tracks like “The Sky Is A Neighborhood” and “Arrow” hold their own in the world of rock. At times, they’re cliché, and are idiosyncratic of a rock track, but it’s welcoming. They’re clichés for a reason and are used effectively in the arrangement of the record. And for songs like “T Shirt” the band can show off their composition side while this song sits as an overture and grandiose entry into the new sound of Foo Fighters.
It’s with this record that Foo Fighters continue to mature. No more are the days of Grohl trying to separate himself from Nirvana with a cast of Punk and Emo figureheads helping him along. It’s at this point Foo Fighters have cemented their place in rock history and are now attempting to stir the pot without giving up on their roots. They continue to adapt to their ever-growing musical palette. They continue to persevere in a world where radio rock has a common color to it. The group stray from the beaten path and continue to cruise into the realm in which they rule the land.
Concrete and Gold is both warm and welcoming, but also aggressive and belligerent. There’s a nice blend between sour and sweet in the production and it is never too much too handle. For the first time in what feels like forever, Foo Fighters have a clear form to their style and the production matches beautiful. Be it a combination of the production style and arrangement, Concrete and Gold is bound to go down as one of the better records in their discography.
– Jacob Fishman