This is the first in a series of posts about Foo Fighters albums.
To prepare for the show we’re going to in June, my husband sketchywolf and I are listening to all Foo Fighters albums in chronological order and writing down our impressions as we listen. We are doing this separately but at the same time. The rule is: listen to the whole album, only once, write a few lines on each song and end with an overall impression.
Foo Fighters, 1995
1. “This Is a Call”
2. “I’ll Stick Around”
3. “Big Me”
4. “Alone + Easy Target”
5. “Good Grief”
7. “Weenie Beenie”
8. “Oh, George”
9. “For All the Cows”
“This Is a Call”
Starts with some kind of noises, so my first thought was that there’s something wrong with my player. But then the song starts and immediately I think The Beatles. Especially the vocals are very Beatles-like and that’s not my favorite thing. There are some instrumental parts with much more rock feeling, which I like better. Overall, a good catchy song. Instrumental parts are way best.
“I’ll Stick Around”
Rock from the beginning. I really like that massive feeling of all the instruments together. Vocals a bit plain. No power in his voice until about the middle of the song. Dave Grohl has so much more to give with his voice, I don’t like when he holds back. It works best when he sings like his voice is one of the instruments and doesn’t try to single out his voice from the rest. The end of the song is rocking thunder.
Pop. Starts very soft and when singing begins it’s also soft and melts into the sound in a good way. The instruments are way more toned down than in the two previous much rockier songs. More focus on voice which in this case is a good thing. This is a pleasant pop song, no more no less.
“Alone + Easy Target”
Hesitant start. Takes a while before the instruments set in with a bang. There’s the massive kind of wall of sound that I like. Weak vocals though, disappears between the instruments. Hard to make out the lyrics. There’s a hi-hat or something that’s on in an irritating way in some parts which makes me unable to focus on anything else. This song means nothing to me, it’s not special in any way.
Heavy on drums from the start. Kind of an energetic beat with a force forward. Mediocre vocals, except for some parts when all instruments including vocals step up a notch and put in more intensity. That’s the parts of the song I like.
Acoustic guitar intro. Feels a bit fresh, since it’s the first of its kind on the album. A slower song, on the verge of becoming sluggish. Sometimes there’s the feeling like an audience waving their arms back and forth. Varied style throughout the song, I find it hard to get a grip on.
I love the intro! Full power from the beginning, heavy on guitar. And here’s a new kind of vocals that Grohl hasn’t shown earlier on the album. Like screaming-singing. He’s really good at that, so I wish he’d do it more often. Very much a distorted sound sometimes, which is a good thing in this case. My favorite on this album.
There’s the plain sound again. Like nothing special. Easy listening, but it doesn’t engage me. I’m waiting for the song to lift, for something to happen, but it doesn’t. There’s a build up that seems to promise something, but it doesn’t deliver. A guitar solo towards the end is the only thing that stands out, but I don’t like it very much.
“For All the Cows”
A bit of a bossa nova intro, this promises something new. Vocals harmonize with the music, like soft tapping steps. It’s soft and I like it. And suddenly there’s full power for a little while and then back to the soft feeling. That makes the song interesting. But as for the soft, slow and quieter parts, I like them, it doesn’t get boring which I’m often inclined to think. The song ends with power. A different and good song.
Wow, cool guitar intro! Building up to… soft but powerful drums… and bleak vocals. It’s like he’s mumbling and does not use his range at all. This is a plain and quite boring song. Nothing at all happens.
It’s obvious from the beginning that this is a powerful rock song. And yes, it does deliver. Heavy on all the instruments and a step up in vocals, that screaming-singing thing again. He really should sing like that more often. There’s not much variation in this song, but that doesn’t make it boring.
A single strange, distorted, static sound in the beginning which is present during the whole song and drives me crazy. NOT in a good way! That’s all I can think of, really. This song is truly painful for me to listen to. There’s a part somewhere towards the end that’s even worse when more atonal sounds are mixed. A very bad way to end a perfectly good album.
Overall impression: inconsistent. This is their debut album and they haven’t found their sound, the Foo Fighters soul, yet. It’s like they are trying out different styles to see what fits, and that’s fine. That’s what it’s for. It’s a good album, pleasant most of the way, with some powerful rock songs that stick out. The rockier Foo Fighters is what I like, so of course I tend to notice those songs more.
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