Sonic Highways is the first new album from the Foo Fighters since Wasting Light was released 3 years ago in 2011. I thought Wasting Light was a great return to form after a disappointing album in Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. That album didn’t really seem to have an identity and the usual sound you’d expect from the Foo Fighters. Wasting Light did, and it was great! Naturally I’ve been unbelievably excited to hear their new album since it was announced a couple of months ago. It’s shorter than any of their previous albums at 8 songs but with the Foo Fighters, that shouldn’t matter one bit. Usually.
Something From Nothing is the opening track and right from the off you know what band is playing. That’s the great thing about the Foo Fighters, they’ve always has such a recognisable sound (minus Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace) and this track is the highlight of the album. It was the debut single after all. It has everything you’d expect from the Foo Fighters, a great song. It’s very hard to explain why. But the vocals, the melody, the hooks, the guitar. It could only be the Foo Fighters. It’s followed by The Feast And The Famine which is contains the same things as the previous song in terms of sound and feel and Grohl is really on fire behind the mic.
Congregation comes next and this is when things start to sound different. The feel is different, that Foo Fighters sound is not as prominent. It’s a good song but a far cry from their 90’s prime. What Did I Do?/God As My Witness is exactly the same. There’s even some piano on this song. What? Not what I’d normally expect from a Foo Fighters song. It just doesn’t fit and never sounds right. But the song picks up when the full band comes in and things get back to normal. Ish.
- Something From Nothing
- The Feast And The Famine
- What Did I Do?/God As My Witness
- In The Clear
- I Am A River
Outside and In The Clear have the same kind of problems. They same to be lacking something even though they do rock and rock hard. But there’s something missing… But the two most disappointing tracks come at the end. Subterranean and I Am The River. Maybe it’s because I’ve only listened to the album a few times so far but I haven’t taken to these two tracks at all. It’s just not the Foo Fighters. What I mean by that is it could be any band playing. The only way I know it’s the Foo Fighters playing is because these songs are on the album. But that sound every Foo Fighters fan loves is nowhere to be found. That signature sound and feel I explained earlier on in this review is non-existent in these tracks.
Overall I feel it’s a pretty disappointing album from a band I consider to be one of my favourites. I was expecting a lot more than this. The songs don’t seem to go anywhere at all and every second you’re expecting the band to really engage and kick off but it never happens. And I get that different songs were recorded at different legendary studios in the US but at no-time would I have known that when listening to the album. What was the point? I don’t get it.
I hate that I don’t like this album. I want to love it so much but I just can’t.