Foo Fighters - Medicine at Midnight Music Album Reviews

Foo Fighters - Medicine at Midnight Music Album Reviews
Dave Grohl’s lawful-good lifestyle presents an eternal conflict between being unable to hate the guy and being unable to enjoy the music he continues to make.

Aquarter-century after they rose from the ashes of grunge, climbed Billboard pop charts, vacuumed up Grammys, and conquered stadiums worldwide, the Foo Fighters return with another album of inconsequential music. When you’re a band of this size and tenure, new albums aren’t necessarily born of personal inspiration but out of a fraternal pledge to those around you: your band, your fanbase, your road crew, a new line of Ram trucks. The guys of the Foo Fighters—who have this wonderful shabby chic Venice Beach dad look now—continue to plow through albums with one thankless goal in mind: to keep the dying institution of rock alive. And with his cheerful indefatigability and his commitment to the primacy of guitars, Dave Grohl is the generational rock spokesperson the future deserves, Bruce Springsteen without the tunes.
Influence, legacy, and musical quality aside, Bruce and Dave might be the last two musicians still living inside of the remaining slipstream of monocultural rock’n’roll. They are both performers and entertainers above all, both icons of endurance; both give an outsized amount of themselves to their fans, on stage and off. Bruce performs four-hour shows and pulls a beaming crowd member up on stage every time; Grohl tours with a broken leg on a throne made of guitars and drum battles a 10-year-old. They both possess the innate ability to charm anyone who heaves into their view. And—as if by providence—both Bruce and the Foo Fighters played the inauguration afterparty of President Joe Biden, whose broad call for healing and unity was epitomized by two artists who call for healing and unity in the broadest possible terms.

Grohl’s lawful-good lifestyle presents an eternal conflict between being unable to hate the guy and being unable to enjoy the music he continues to make. Foo Fighters seem to approach their formative rock, hardcore, and punk influences with the prompt, “What would be fun to play on Guitar Hero?” If the Guitar Hero reference feels dated, wait until you hear their new music. Their 10th album, Medicine at Midnight, adds very little to their extensive catalog of interchangeable power pop and hard-rock sing-alongs. But you can’t hang them on their own music, because Foo Fighters would never dare to give you enough rope to do it.

A Foo Fighters record rolls out in the same way Taco Bell rolls out a new menu item: A nominal twist on the same five or so ingredients. Produced once again by pop impresario Greg Kurstin, Medicine at Midnight is supposed to be the band’s party record, their dance record, their Bowie’s Let’s Dance record, even. Charitably, they could be talking about “Shame Shame,” a creeping acoustic number that signals a slinky new direction until Grohl rampages all over the chorus. Maybe they are referring to the title track, a geriatric, leathery blues anthem for men who love the feeling of a new John Varvatos jacket. Because every generation gets the “Miss You” it deserves, the song has a starchy groove and background chorus of women singing about “rain on the dancefloor.” You can try to fit Dave Grohl into a sparkly white suit, but underneath he’s always just wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

This is the issue with half-heartedly trying on a different costume every few years: All Foo Fighters songs exist in the same empty universe. There are no backdrops or scenes, no people, no roads, no cars—just a blank slate for anthemic oratory and rights-free guitar riffs. And because this blank slate is so predictable, and because there’s no dimension or interiority to any of Grohl’s songwriting, the songs become line items: ones you imagine working pretty good at their live show or ones that have no real reason to exist. Grohl has an expressive, agile voice, but it has only ever worked in the rock idiom, which should give “Waiting on a War,” “Love Dies Young,” and possible highlight “Holding Poison” a spot on setlists for the rest of the band’s time on Earth. The rest, truly, who cares?

When Bruce entered his mid-career doldrums in the early ’90s, he was off with his “Other Band,” not exactly minting hits or critically revered music—even going so far as to admit he was making “generic” songs to pad out his setlists. Grohl has ended up in a similar spot without ever leaving the comfort of the Foo Fighters. And while Bruce ranges freely and embraces darkness and doubt, Grohl keeps his rictus smile, holding on to the hand fate dealt him. “I just want to stay alive and play music, especially after Nirvana,” Grohl said in a recent interview with the New York Times. “When Kurt died, I truly woke up the next day and felt so lucky to be alive, and so heartbroken that someone can just disappear. I decided to take advantage of that, for the rest of my life.”

On the other side of every Foo Fighters song is a darker, wilder, more interesting world that Grohl has cordoned off out of self-preservation. Instead, he writes music out of a sense of duty and fear, knowing that choosing the wrong path could end the healthy, inspiring enterprise he has worked tirelessly to create. As the Foo Fighters’ legacy becomes tied with epic and communal live shows steeped in their long and narrow canon, it feels like a bellwether for rock’n’roll itself. Where rock once held limitless sway over pop culture, now the fate of traditional arena rock rests in a band whose music suggests they are terrified of seeing it die, gripping their songs so tight that they are strangling the life out of them. Foo Fighters’ greatest achievement, “Everlong,” still outshines every other song in their catalog, because it is their guiding principle: to remain in perpetual motion, to never stop feeling this good, to sing along with you forever. But everything dies, baby, that’s a fact.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Foo Fighters - Medicine at Midnight Music Album Reviews Foo Fighters - Medicine at Midnight Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, February 15, 2021 Rating: 5

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