Concrete And Gold
Fire and ice. Quiet and riotous. Hell and nirvana. Fast and slow. Metal and silk. All these contrasts comes to mind when listening to Concrete And Gold, Foo Fighters’ ninth studio album.
It begins with Dave Grohl crooning soothingly, “I don’t wanna be king, I just wanna sing love songs” on the short and sweet T-Shirt, which starts off deceptively slow but kicks off halfway through with a signature soaring Foo Fighters rockout that segues perfectly into thumping first single Run.
From there, the album flits seamlessly from metal-esque screamfests (Run) to mid-tempo MOR (Dirty Water) with some acoustic-led quietness in between (Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)). There are moments on the album when it sounds like classic Foo Fighters (the band’s 2002 album One By One comes to mind). But on the other hand, on some tracks it sounds like the band is trying its best to rock and headbang its way out of that particular style.
The album includes collaborations with the Kills’ vocalist Alison Mosshart on The Sky Is A Neighborhood (one of the album’s highlights for me) and the blistering La Dee Da (which also features saxaphonist Dave Koz, of all people), Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman on the menacing, smouldering title track, and indie pop band The Bird And The Bee’s Inara George on Dirty Water.
With Paul McCartney also playing drums on Sunday Night and Justin Timberlake apparently popping up to sing “la la la” on one of the tracks, there is a danger of the album sounding like a incoherent mishmash of different musical styles.
But to the band’s credit, Concrete And Gold never sounds like it is anything other than a Foo Fighters album. In fact, it’s one of the band’s most listenable albums in recent years, with each of the 11 songs providing enough unique moments to hold your attention throughout the entire record.
All in all, there are moments of gold in this album, but for the most part, it’s as solid as concrete.