Foo Fighters – Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

22 11 2007

Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace CD Cover

Foo Fighters is fast making a name for themselves in the mainstream media, ever since their breakout album, The Colour and The Shape. At least, that’s when I first heard of them. Heard of them, and liked what I heard, because ever since that album I have enjoyed most of their stuff. One By One was not such a great album, but it had a few hits here and there. This was followed by the double disc, In Your Honour, which split the acoustic, softer side of Foo Fighters from the “harder” side. This was a pretty good idea I think, as the listener could choose which side of the rather eclectic Foo Fighters they wanted to listen to at that time.

I say eclectic because Foo Fighters have always been a bit of a mixed bag for me. From the huge, catchy hits that stay in your head for days to the softer, gentler songs that your randomly remember one day and then they get stuck in your head anyway for days. However, some songs have really missed the mark with me. But I suppose that is true of all bands: nobody can be perfect all the time, every time. Anyway, enough babbling, here’s the track by track review of the latest release, titled Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace.

Track 1 – The Pretender. This is the first single for the album and I can see why it was chosen. To put it shortly, this is an awesome track. It starts off quite softly, with Grohl singing with an acoustic guitar backing him. This is quickly replaced by the drums kicking in, and the guitar hook shortly thereafter, which herald the start of the song proper. While the chorus is excellent and brilliantly executed, the bridge deserves special mention, as it returns to a similar style of the beginning of the song, IE just vocals and a lone guitar, before erupting into the finale. Also deserving of a mention is the music video for the single, which fits the music absolutely perfectly. I absolutely recommend you check it out by following the link at the bottom of this post.

Track 2 – Let It Die. The second track on the album is a change of pace, as it is mainly one of the “softer” songs, that seem to be prevalent in all Foo Fighter albums. The lyrics are excellent and are really something to sit and think about, if you are in a reflective mood. In the last quarter of the song, however, the rest of the band joins in with the song and it quickly becomes another “hard” song, deserving of it’s place on the album.

Track 3 – Erase/Replace. The 3rd track on the album has one of the catchiest choruses on the album. After listening to this track, you will probably be singing “ERASE! <erase> REPLACE! <replace>” for a while afterwards. The lyrics are nothing special, but the instruments gel well together and really create a third awesome song on what is fast becoming a legendary album.

Track 4 – Long Road to Ruin. This is the second single for the album, and it is easy to see why. It starts off rather slow, but then quickly changes tempo into a rather fast, upbeat song. Another catchy chorus, because of the tune and lyrics, as well as a generally happy beat during the verses, makes this song another winner.

Track 5 – Come Alive. Just like Let It Die, this song starts off soft and acoustic before leading into a harder finale in the final quarter of the song. Again, the lyrics are rather introspective and deep, and the song’s ending, while the repetition of “Come Alive” starts to grate the nerves a bit, is still a pretty good ending to a decent track.

Track 6 – Stranger Things Have Happened. This song features Grohl and his guitar at the beginning, once again. Unlike the previous two acoustic songs, however (Let It Die and Come Alive), this song is acoustic the whole way through. It’s a nice change of pace and a decent half way point. One of the weaker songs on the album, but it is still a lot better than a lot of music out there.

Track 7 – Cheer Up Boys, (Your Make-Up Is Running). Despite the strange title, this song is great. The beat is upbeat and the lyrics are defiant, while the guitars stay mainly in the background, giving prominence to Grohl’s voice. Another good song, with excellent everything and nothing to criticize.

Track 8 –  Summer’s End. While not the strongest track on the album, the sing-along chorus saves Summer’s End from being an average track and makes it good. This song is a lot softer than, say, The Pretender, but at the same time is louder than Stranger Things Have Happened. The end result is a pretty good track that is a nice midway between the two extremes found on the album. As mentioned, the chorus is very singable, and you will probably be doing that.

Track 9 – The Ballard of the Beaconsfield Miners. This entirely instrumental track uses the guitar to seemingly tell a story. However, I have very little time for instrumentals and so I found this track to be quite annoying and distracting. I can’t deny of the skill of the guitar players, however, and so the two minutes, 31 seconds is a bearable track.

Track 10 – Statues. The third last track on the album is another combination track, like Summer’s End, and features another combination between the hard rock and the quiet acoustic. Unfortunately, this track is not as successful as Summer’s End, and is rather bland, with no major saving graces to speak of. Still not a bad track, just very average.

Track 11 – But Honestly. This is another top song of the album, and will probably be chosen for the third single from the album, after The Pretender and Long Road to Ruin. The beginning is acoustic but about in the middle of the song, the band joins in again and finishes the song with the harder touch that we are becoming used to at this point in the album. The guitar solo, while not technically difficult (at least from the sound of it, and to my untrained ear) is still very pleasing to hear, and really makes the song into something that shines.

Track 12 – Home. The final track on the album is a nice, soft song, sung without guitar of any sorts. The major selling point of this album is the lyrics and the vocals, which are very suited to the song, in my opinion. However, the song is not just entirely vocal, there is a light orchestra that swells at one point, as well as piano providing the main accompaniment. A light drum beat also starts at one point, but all are just enough in the background to not be intrusive or too dominating. All in all, this is an excellent track to end the album.

So, the all important question – Is this a good album. My answer is a resounding “Yes”. Go out and buy this album right now, why are you still reading this? Oh yes, because you don’t base your decision to spend your hard earned money on something just because some guy on the internet told you to. Good. But seriously, if you are a Foo Fighters fan, or if you have bought any of their previous albums, then I think you will probably enjoy this album. As always, listen to it somehow if you get the chance before you make your decision.

Additional links – Wikipedia Article

The Pretender Music Video

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2 responses

24 11 2007
Chris

I cant believe how amazing Foo Fighters were at the EMAs! The stage that they used was just mind boggling. Its kewl when a band has a certain personality 😛
Gewd review, I still want to buy this album.

27 11 2007
Slinger

LOVE the FOO and this album as well. If you have the chance, go see them live, they put on a GREAT show.
They will be in Chicago in Feb and I am hopefully going.

great review.

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