After a 3 year wait following Sonic Highways and fresh off the back of their Glastonbury headline set, Foo Fighters return with their 9th studio album: Concrete and Gold. After twenty three years as a band, you might think that something different is on the horizon for them to keep themselves as fresh and appealing as possible.

‘La Dee La’ is probably the most Foo-like song on the album. Fast paced with heavy drum beats ramping up the pace and volume of album as you approach the midway point. ‘Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)’ however is their best song on the album. It’s a true ballad that sounds like it was written by an individual and ends before any power chords can destroy the mood it’s built up over the past 3 and a half minutes. Taylor Hawkins takes lead vocals on ‘Sunday Rain’ which offers an interesting insight into the band, proving that the Foo Fighters aren’t just Dave Grohl et al. He holds his own this track and makes his mark, whilst the rest of the album is dominated by Grohl’s heavy and screaming vocals.

Perhaps the album title is more representative than it first appears. There are some golden tracks such as ‘La Dee Da’ and ‘Run’. You could picture even the least invested Foo Fighters fan singing these back at a festival or concert. Especially the chorus of the latter, or the early beats of ‘The Sky Is A Neighbourhood’; which have a certain ‘We Will Rock You’-esque feeling about them and will certainly be a crowd pleaser. Then you get the foundation songs, the ones that are there for the rest to be built upon. ‘Arrows’ is a good example of this. It is quite underwhelming with pretty much the same verse repeated for 4 minutes without any major differences in chord selection or progression as a song. But like a foundation, you need it to build something upon and it allows for several excellent tracks as mentioned earlier in what is one of the Foo Fighters most refreshing album for years.

★★★★☆

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