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Foo Fighters - In Your Honour

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 gems.

And if the first half can be said to be the unmistakable sound of Foo Fighters, then the second is most definitely a welcome surprise.

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 and surprising.

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 whisper.

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.

Track listing:
Disc: 1
1. In Your Honour
2. No Way Back
3. Best Of You
4. DOA
5. Hell
6. The Last Song
7. Free Me
8. Resolve
9. The Deepest Blues Are Back
10. End Over End

Disc: 2
1. Still
2. What If I Do
3. Miracle
4. Another Round
5. Friend Of A Friend
6. Over ‘N’ Out
7. On The Mend
8. Virginia Moon
9. Cold Day In The Sun
10. Razor

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