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FOO FIGHTERS - ECHOES, SILENCE, PATIENCE & GRACE - Sony BMG
Record Rating: ***

FOO FIGHTERS - ECHOES, SILENCE, PATIENCE & GRACE “What if I say I’m not like the other? What if I say I’m not just another, one of your plays you’re a pretender?” Angry lines ‘Grohl’d’ through angry music as the Foo Fighters kick off a neat album with a neat opener. The musical theme of the album is diverse, yet it moves through the different paces with gracefulness, not seeming the least bit disorganised or unnatural.

Pretender and Let It Die, the album’s first two tracks are pure vintage Foo, taking us all the way back to their debut single, I’ll Stick Around. Come Alive, a beautiful tribute we’re not sure to who, but someone who makes a difference to someone in the band, is lyrically the strong point of the album with lines like, “I lay there in the dark and closed my eyes. You saved me the day you came alive.” Summer’s End is an unusually pleasant southern rock arrangement, while Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners is an acoustic instrumental ballet with guest guitarist Kaki King, that Dave wrote after meeting a survivor of a 2006 mine collapse in Tasmania, and it provides an intermission to the album and is pretty darn artistic in itself.

Certain points on the album, though, didn’t really make the mark. Stranger Things Have Happened is stripped back enough to show off Dave’s vocal chops, but the song is just plain boring; while Cheer Up Boys (Your Make Up Is Running) has B-side written all over it. The closer Home is performed in an almost Beatle-esque layout, featuring a not very Foo Fighter-y piano. Once again, the stripped back musical arrangement makes us realise that Dave can definitely sing, but unfortunately, the song ends up being way too melodramatic, almost crossing over into Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘cheese-rock’ territory.

One thing’s certain though, following the release of their unplugged Dust And Bones and after listening to this record, the Foo’s are slowing it down and getting just a wee bit softer. What’s up David? Is someone getting The Best Of You?

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