Have Foo Fighters released one of 2023’s best rock albums – as well as their most vital in decades?

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After a few days listening to the new Foo Fighters album, ‘But Here We Are’, it’s plain to hear that tackling immeasurable loss has led the band to create their most vital output since their 90s beginnings. It may also be one of the year’s best.

I had completely skipped the fact that Foo Fighters were releasing a new album this year. That’s how much the band had dropped off my radar.

Up until very recently, all I did was maintain fond memories of the band – mostly through listening to their first three albums (which are pretty flawless, especially 1997’s ‘The Colour and the Shape’) and catching them live once every few years, if only to hear a handful of songs I continue to treasure. But I’m the first to admit that in the wake of their 2011 album ‘Wasting Light’, I had started to grow weary of the band’s brand of stadium rock, one which my esteemed colleague would no doubt (and aptly) describe as “your dad’s sixth favourite band”.

‘Wasting Light’ was the last time I fully enjoyed a Foo album, and the likes of ‘Sonic Highways’ (2014), ‘Concrete and Gold’ (2017) and ‘Medicine At Midnight’ (2021) sounded to me like a steady downhill trajectory on the slope of diminishing returns for one of rock’s most treasured outfits that I not-so-charitably came to refer to as “dependable”.

Put simply, while I continued to hold frontman Dave Grohl in high regard as the Nicest Man in Rock, he’d become a figure I’d kill to have some drinks with rather than one synonymous with me rushing to pre-reserve a copy of his band’s latest release.

But that all changed with ‘But Here We Are’, the band’s eleventh album and their first since the sudden death of longtime drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died at the age of 50 in March 2022, just hours before the band were due to perform live.

The band had released a statement last December that they would continue, but that they were going to be “a different band going forward”. 

Fair enough, but that didn’t prepare me for my change of heart. Nothing did, least of all the album cover – an unremarkable all-white image with faint streaks of washed out blue, purple and yellow on the horizon. 

But never judge a record by its cover… 

Source: euronews