Sonic Highways

I’ve been a huge fan of Foo Fighters since I heard the opening drum beats of “My Hero“. Grohl’s voice was steady and sexy and sent me down an obsessive rabbit hole of musical digging. I ate through their two albums at that time like I was starving for audible nourishment. The Foos created this relationship of quiet, loud, alternative punk rock that I didn’t quite understand, but couldn’t get enough. At this particular time in music, Britney Spears and the rest of the blonde mafia was just starting out. I was the cheese that stood alone; I turned in my teenage crap music for the grit and gall of Foo Fighters.

Fast forward years later, and my restraining-order-like obsession has been sent into overdrive with the release of FF’s 8th studio record, Sonic Highway. I have even gone to the extreme by hacking into my boyfriend’s brother’s HBO Go account to watch the Sonic Highway Documentary series on the making of the album. The series follows the band around the United States to 8 iconic recording studios in 8 musically-rich cities (Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Settle and Washington, D.C.). The series, while a genius cross-promotional marketing ploy, it does come across a little/ a lot self-indulgent. However, as I got deeper involved into the series, it actually pays homage to the 8 cities that heavily contributed to our country’s musical history.

Sonic Highway is a rich example from these travels, pulling from the distinct sounds of each city into the individual tracks. My favorite song from the album, “Congregation” highlights some fast Southern guitar style playing and Grohl’s deeper side with lyrics like:

I’ve been going through life
Making foolish plans
Now my world is in your hands
Send in the congregation

Open your eyes, step in the light
A jukebox generation
Just as you were

However, FF stills works in their signature sounds on “The Feast And The Famine”. The lyrics seem to be about the struggling people of the DC area, as the Sonic Highway episode also touches on the high homeless population. The song starts with a stop-start guitar and then rolls into a catchy chorus.

The album is complex, mixing a myriad of sounds but still sticking to the FF musical method of memorable choruses, energetic drum playing and complex songwriting. Welcome back, boys, we’ve missed you.

Kudos, my hero, leaving all the best.

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