The fruit of months of tweaking, ‘In Your Honour’ - the new Foo Fighters album - is more than a double disc. The ‘loud’ and ‘Not so loud’ discs are two completely separate entities, each a formidable accomplishment in its own right. But is this opus Grohl’s very own ‘Physical Graffiti’?
The rowdy brother, disc one is sonically similar to the gleaming hard rock of Foo Fighters’ previous albums. While fantastic singles have often been interspersed with mediocre filler, the Foo Fighters now present something consistently good. ‘Best Of You’ was a chart-topping success, and there are many more where that came from (‘DOA’ and ‘Resolve’ in particular).
‘In Your Honour: Loud’ spans the spectrum of Foo Fighters sound - from the brooding progression of the title track, to the fast-paced riff rock of ‘No Way Back’. It’s sturdy and melodic, hard-edged yet infectious. However much Grohl revisits the group’s musical past, it still feels like something new. Perhaps the Foo’s aren’t ready for retirement just quite yet.
Proving an old dog can learn new tricks, the second disc is tender and fragile - so heartfelt in its delivery that one wonders whether Grohl has been planning such an ambitious venture for long.
‘Not So Loud’ is largely a collaborative effort. ‘Razor’, a forcefully stark number featuring QOTSA’s Josh Homme on guitar, is the disc’s shining moment. Despite the impressive inclusion of Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, ‘Another Round’ trudges along somniferously. Grohl appeases the easy listening audience with ‘Virginia Moon’, a jazz duet with Norah Jones.
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