Whatever you think of the Foo Fighters’ music, you gotta’ admit they’ve had one hell of a run. These dudes (Dave Grohl in particular) have pretty much done it all in a career that has spanned 17 years. While they’ve chosen to take a more subtle approach on their last two albums, Wasting Light is a shift back to doing what they do best: heavy, anthemic, arena-ready alternative rock. After several listens I’m happy to say that Wasting Light is the band’s best album since their 1999 release There is Nothing Left to Lose.
To right the ship, Foo Fighters recruited legendary producer Butch Vig. Vig etched his name in the rock history books by producing Nirvana’s landmark album Nevermind. But Vig wasn’t the only rock luminary invited to the recording sessions for Wasting Light. Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic was asked to play bass and accordion on the eerie and reflective “I Should Have Known.” What’s more, legendary lead singer Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar) was brought in to sing backing vocals on “Dear Rosemary.”
With all these pieces in place, it’s hard to imagine Wasting Light not being a success; especially with Vig at the helm. Under his direction, the songs have the usual dose of fiery vocals and loud guitars. But Vig makes great use of dynamics employing the tried and true quiet-loud-quiet approach on songs like “Alandria” and “Matter of Time.” And of course, like any other Foo Fighters album, the hooks are a plenty (see 80’s throwback “Back & Forth”).
If you were dismayed by the last few Foo Fighters albums, here’s a good reason to jump back in…..the water’s pretty warm.
Select Cuts: These Days, Alandria, Matter of Time, Miss the Misery