Why I won’t be listening to the Foo Fighters new ‘Concrete and Gold’ album
I’ve been a fan of the Foo Fighters since as long as I can remember. My Dad used to blare ‘The Colour and the Shape’ in his mustard yellow Volkswagen kombi as my sister and I struggled to maintain a grip on our vinyl seats.
Growing up I learnt to appreciate each album and aimed to purchase them all on CD to add to my growing collection… even the Greatest Hits.
However as many music synicals and critics began to point out, the quality of work delivered by the Foos along the years has arguably deteriorated.
Straying from the grungy, fast-paced rock band from Seattle that we all knew and loved, it seemed that the Foo Fighters decided to take a new approach to their music.
Their 2011 album ‘Wasting Light’ is an example of their change from punk to pop-rock. This new mainstream sound that mainly appealed to a newer generation of Foo Fighter fans, dividing the pre-existing fan base (including my 12 year old self).
Understandably, bands must go through changes throughout their careers in order to remain relevant, however it seemed like they were holding on to an essence of their past selves and merging and reforming it with a newer, improved version, fit for the masses.
Come 2014, ‘Sonic Highways’, an album based entirely off of the stories told by musicians in 8 prominent cities in America, the Foos failed to deliver on quality as only a week was given to write, rehearse, record and master each track. The documentary series missed the mark in terms of its appeal as their 8th studio album, as it was promoted as a vehicle for storytelling rather than the body of work.
In 2016, drummer Taylor Hawkins announced his debut solo album ‘Kota’, which sparked concerns that the band was breaking up. Dispelling these claims and a year later, guitarist Chris Shiflett released ‘West Coast Town’, a debut solo country album which gave fans something to chew on while they anticipated the release of the Foos 9th studio album.
3 years on, in a bizarre turn of events, long-time keyboard player Rami Jaffee was ‘inducted’ as an official 6th member of the band, prior to the highly anticipated release of ‘Concrete and Gold’.
Reading articles online of the possible artists features on the new album, I was confused by which direction they had chosen to take in terms of sound. Rumoured collaborations between big-name artists such as Adele and Boyz II Men made me think ‘Concrete and Gold’ was a non-for-profit charity album rather than a fully fledged musical composition. The illusive social media posts teasing at the release date and the little information given to fans about the meaning of the album made me less expectant and more indifferent about its release.
Maybe I’ve become one of the cynics myself, or maybe my ignorance is bliss. Yes, I still hold the Foo Fighters very high on my list of favourite bands and yes I will continue to support them as artists, however no time in the near future will I be listening to their new album. Yet for the time being, I’ll Stick Around.