review by Kia Harlan
After three years since their last album, Sonic Highway, the Foo Fighters announced their ninth studio album, Concrete and Gold, Sept. 15, promising reliable and powerful songs.
Many of the Foo Fighters’ lyrics are metaphorical and contain abstract ideas, such as in “Run,” where the song encourages people to “wake up” and “run for their lives” and not let present issues, their age or other obstacles dictate how they live.
The fourth song on their album is “The Sky is a Neighborhood.” It opens with soft voices humming, accompanied by the strumming of an electric guitar that builds like a sunrise. Though the song’s composition is not complicated, consisting of a strong but repetitive instrumental, the lyrics are powerful. Dave Grohl, lead singer and songwriter, showcases his clever writing in the line “The sky is a neighborhood, so keep it down,” which adds an artistic element as the sky is up and he is telling people to keep it “down.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Grohl said the song is “about the atoms that comprise life on Earth and make up the human body and are traceable to the beginnings of our universe. And when you look up at the night sky, you realize that you’re not only part of the universe, but the universe is part of us.” He relates this metaphor to life in how everyone is connected. It will likely be a crowd favorite, with catchy lyrics to sing along to.
Another song is “La Dee Da,” which has a fun, almost carefree energy to it. This is ironic in nature as it takes a powerful stab at politics. It appears to convey the message that the members of the band no longer care about what the government says, telling them to “keep your pretty promise to yourself” and in the chorus, proclaiming independence and freedom of thought: “Hate! If I want to. Love! Who I like.”
The title song, “Concrete and Gold,” should summarize the energy and direction of the entire album. Its lyrics are metaphorical and inspirational with lines like “Our roots are stronger than you know, up through the concrete we will grow.” However, this song may be a letdown to many, as it is monotonous and slow and does not build until about three minutes into the song. This downplays rather than highlights its beautiful lyrics.
Like the album title implies, the Foo Fighters have a firm foundation and strong identity in their classic rock and roll vibe. What separates this album from their past albums is its mellow nature.
Fans can expect a familiar style with interesting lyrical concepts that are relevant and more personal and political. Those looking for a fresh take on rock and roll may be disappointed by the music’s familiar drum rhythms and musical style, but hardcore fans will appreciate their consistency.
The album is available for streaming on Spotify or for purchase online at iTunes for $9.99.