Foo Fighters Tell a Tale of Eight Cities

The Foo Fighters, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary, have released their much-anticipated, eighth studio album Sonic HighwaysThe album, along with the band’s recent HBO documentary of the same name, was recorded in eight different cities, embodying eight different tones and feelings.

1. Something From Nothing

You can feel the funk behind this one. Recorded in Chicago, IL with the legendary Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, the songs escalates from a slow, funky beat to a moderate to fast rock climax. Dave Grohl proves his already formidable singing chops, especially when he screams ALL RISE.

2. The Feast and the Famine

Recorded in Arlington, VA with Peter Stahl and Skeeter Thompson of the band Scream (which Grohl was previously in), “The Feast and the Famine” amps up the tempo and shows off Grohl’s higher register while the guitars heave alongside him. The heavy, solely instrumental ending is what really reeled me in.

3. Congregation

The album slows down a bit and relaxes on this track recorded in Nashville, TN. Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band plays guest lead guitar, as well as backing vocals to this song, which really worked and blended well with Grohl’s voice.

4. What Did I Do?/ God As My Witness

There are so many times that the band switches up the tempo in this song, but the inconsistency of rhythm works. Recorded in Austin, TX with Gary Clark Jr. on lead guitar, the Foos brings things to a more uplifting tone when Grohl sings God as my witness/ yeah it’s gonna heal my soul tonight.

5. Outside

“Outside” has a bit of a surfer rock sound, which makes sense considering the track was recorded in Los Angeles, CA and features guest lead guitar from Joe Walsh of The Eagles. The song shows a longing to escape, demonstrating Grohl’s determination to record in a studio technically outside of Los Angeles.

6. In The Clear

“In The Clear,” recorded in New Orleans, LA with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, has that signature chugging guitar sound the Foos have used before, and it’s nice to hear them bringing it back again.

7. Subterranean

Recorded in Grohl’s hometown of Seattle, WA with Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, this is the slowest song so far on the album. It recalls the 90’s grunge that Grohl and Nirvana created and made big. The track is both eerie and serene.

8. I Am A River

We have arrived at the last song of the album, ladies and gents, and it was recorded in New York City with well-known record producer Tony Visconti and singer Kristeen Young. The song is a perfect and powerful ending to the eight-track record dedicated to eight distinct cities, each with a clear and deep musical history that resonates through each song.

What are your thoughts on Sonic Highways? Is it spectacular or sub-par? Let us know in the comments after the jump!

Image courtesy of the artist via Facebook

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  1. Pingback: Learn To Fly: The Greatness of Dave Grohl - Rock On Philly

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