Review: Jack Foley
WHEN you think Foo Fighters, you automatically think big rock
anthems with the odd mellow classic thrown in.
With In Your Honour, Dave Grohl and co deliver both
in equal measure to herald something akin to a masterpiece.
Spearheaded by the epic single, Best Of You, which finds
Grohl's vocals at their shoutiest and most heartbroken, and the
guitars at their most aggressive, the album is comprised of two
distinct styles and halves.
First up, we have the hard-rocking style of the 10 tracks from
In Your Honour to End Over End, followed by
the acoustic flavoured second disc that delivers a further 10
And if the first half can be said to be the unmistakable sound
of Foo Fighters, then the second is most definitely a welcome
Album one, in truth, delivers very few surprises and could, perhaps,
do with the odd quieter moment to break things up a little.
That said, the title track is an absolute barnstormer, packed
with foreboding, angular guitars and muscular drum rolls, before
giving way to a frenzied finale.
While the emotive lyrics of DOA certainly give some
pause for thought in the current world climate, especially if
you are an American or a Londoner.
Yet it is disc two that is really worth talking about and worthy
of every accolade thrown at it.
Each track shimmers with a brilliance that is both breathtaking
Grohl has tapped into the band's sensitive side to deliver some
instrumentally diverse and emotionally poignant classics.
It's worthy of owning as an album in its own right and certainly
rates among the best work of Grohl's career.
Still, for instance, is a really tender acoustic gem
packed with emotional lyrics, while the heartfelt What If
I Do? contains a lot of soul-searching and some more wonderful
lyrics ('what if I do Lord, what if I don't, I'd have to lose
everything just to find you').
Miracle, which is vaguely reminiscent of the wonderful
single, Next Year, contains some nice piano and a more
uplifting outlook, while rounding things off in style with a superb
strings section and some beguiling violin.
Another Round, meanwhile, employs mandolin and mouth
organ to scintillating effect.
Over and Out is another epic slow-builder that contains
a stark beauty not always associated with the Foo's, while Virginia
Moon includes a duet with Norah Jones that provides a welcome
contrast between Grohl's gruffer vocal style and Jones' honeysweet
It's an excellent indication of how Grohl has strove for musical
diversity on the album and isn't afraid to experiment as the sound
of the band moves forward.
Cold Day in the Sun, meanwhile, is the sort of instant
classic that contains a vaguely indie style, almost as though
Grohl has looked to Oasis and The Eagles for inspiration.
Sceptics may right off the new album as simply more of the same,
but for those willing to give it a try, In Your Honour succeeds
in adding an extra dimension to what they have to offer, as well
as widening their appeal.
It does play to formula at times, but it also marks a brave departure
and for that we can only gush praise.
It is an excellent album that is capable of reaching out and
touching a whole new army of listeners.