The Bodhisattva Beat
Music and Life

Foo Fighters: Wasting Light

Wasting Light: 2011

Foo Fighters have been around long enough to be classified as classic rock, but they were never a band that I really got into. I have dug many of their songs over the years, but the albums never took hold. Had I not caught a performance on “The Daily Show,” “Wasting Light” probably may have passed by unnoticed. That would have been a shame because it is the best album of their career.

Past releases have always contained some solid tunes, but seemed to lack on the whole. Alongside the gems were good ideas that could have been further developed, or songs that just failed to take hold. “Wasting Light” is solid from start to finish. There are no weak links.

I don’t know what the source of the inspiration was, but it sparked an intensity not heard at least since “The Colour and the Shape,” or maybe even Nirvana. This is obvious on tracks such as “Rope,” “Bridge Burning” and especially “White Limo.” Even on a more pop oriented or melodic number like “These Days,” there is a force of will that comes bursting through. Then there is composition. I don’t think the writing has ever been better. All that was ever good about Foo Fighters song craft has been assembled, examined and fine-tuned. There is nothing forced or needlessly filled. All the promise that was expected at the beginning has finally been realized.

The other side of the coin is the band itself. I don’t think there was ever any question about ability, but the group plays as if their lives depended on it. Of course it didn’t hurt having Pat Smear back in the band, along with guest appearances by Bob Mould, Fee waybill and old Nirvana buddy Krist Novoselic. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons for the success of the sound was producer Butch Vig. Before his Group Garbage he rose to fame as the producer of Nirvana’s “Nevermind.” He definitely has a record of getting the best out the musicians he works with. Plus he hand Dave Grohl decided to do this all on analogue equipment in Dave’s garage. The roots method absolutely captured the raw power, but there is nothing rough about the finished product. It is a combination of primal energy and professional execution very much like the Van Halen debut.

“Wasting Light” is an incredible collection of songs filled with power and passion. It is one of those albums with the capacity to become a favorite the first time you hear it. I have said it is the Foo Fighters’ finest and it is also the best album of 2011. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of something that very well could become a classic.

Dave Grohl – lead vocals, guitar 
Chris Schiflett – guitar, backing vocals
Pat Smear – guitar
Nate Mendel – bass 
Taylor Hawkins – drums, percussion, backing vocals

Guest Musicians:

Bob Mould – guitar, backing vocals 
Krist Novoselic – bass, accordion
Fee Waybill – backing vocals
Rami Jaffee – keyboards, mellotron
Jessy Greene – violin
Drew Hester– percussion
Butch Vig– percussion

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