24. The Foo Fighters-Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace.
Just like almost every Rolling Stones song from the mid-70s, “The Pretender,” the lead track on “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace,” begins softly with a soft, acoustic verse and then kicks in hard. In no time, Dave is shouting at a woman who messed with him. Classic Grohl, classic Foo. And it should be; it marks the band’s reunion with Gil Norton, who produced the band’s most exciting CD, “The Colour and the Shape.” Since then, what’s changed? Some bands evolve, some push envelopes, but these guys just keep churning out fantastic rock melodies, one after the other. The only difference between this one and their last is that here the acoustic and electric songs alternate and/or integrate, rather than being on separate discs. Like Ryan Adams, the band shows its versatile ability to fit into any FM format. There’s adult contemporary (“Let It Die”) and adult soft rock (“Stranger Things”); slowed-down (“Home”) and sped-up (“But, Honestly”) alt-rock; power pop (“The Pretender,” “Cheer Up Boys”); hard rock (“Erase/Replace”); folk rock (“Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners”); and even a hint of Southern Skynyrd on the opening notes of “Statues” and “Summer’s End.” This may not be their greatest (or even their second or third greatest) record, but it’s better than their last (not as bloated) and it’s full of catchy, addicting toe-tappers perfect for dashboard drumming. The tour-de-force is “Come Alive,” which incorporates the kind of time (and mood) changes that mark Grohl’s best songwriting, culminating in crashing, anthemic riffs and shouts. Simple songs, simple music. And what passes in this modern day for classic rock and roll.
Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire cover)-Foo Fighters
The Pretender (live version)
Come Alive (live version)