This is the third 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.
There Is Nothing Left to Lose, 1999
1. “Stacked Actors”
3. “Learn to Fly”
4. “Gimme Stitches”
7. “Live-In Skin”
8. “Next Year”
10. “Ain’t It the Life”
Distorted guitar and heavy drums. I like the distinct drum beat. Fading into something soft, a bit bossa nova feeling. Not quite my thing. Vocals drowning in the music. Stepping up a notch after a while, when Grohl puts that pressure on his voice that I like. It goes a bit back and forth between those soft and hard parts and I like the harder better. I can’t quite get a grip on this song.
I like that the intro focuses on vocals, that’s a bit of a different take than the usual Foo Fighters song build up. It goes on with heavy vocals and the instruments blending in, like a wall of sound behind Grohl’s voice. This song has a powerful rock feeling that I like.
“Learn to Fly”
A bit softer but not in a bad way. This song has a pleasant tempo, like it’s flowing or in fact flying. There’s like a stream that’s nice to follow along. Nothing special but I like it. Despite many other fans though, I don’t like the video where Dave Grohl plays a lot of different characters onboard a plane. The idea is fun, but for me it’s too weird.
This is a different kind of intro. If I didn’t know I wouldn’t have guessed it’s Foo Fighters. Can’t put my finger on why though. The whole song feels a bit different, there’s a new kind of beat in the background, but still the Foo Fighters feeling. Quite a heavy beat with soft vocals, and it works.
Very strange intro, I’m thinking now they’re back on that track from earlier albums. Nothing I’m happy about. Fortunately it doesn’t reflect the rest of the song but it comes back a bit, it’s like a strange voice or something. Apart from that, this is one of those songs I find it hard to say anything about. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s ok but boring.
A promising soft intro which sets the tone for the song. It’s one of those soft and slow but quite nice songs. I like the tempo even though it isn’t hard and fast like I usually prefer. I also like the way Grohl sings here, this is his soft and pleasant voice that doesn’t become wimpish. For the first time on this album I feel like singing along. The refrain has that catchy melody. This is a song I like, it makes me feel good and I feel like curling up in the sofa under a soft blanket.
Something in between soft and hard. Quite distinct beat, which I like, but not that powerful rock feeling. Neither is it that slow flowing pace. This makes the song interesting but also hard to put a label on, which I think is a good thing. I like the feeling this song gives me.
This song is very emotional for me. Before I’d heard of Foo Fighters I saw a TV series that I loved. It was called ”Ed” and this song was the intro. Because I have such fond memories I get a warm glowing feeling inside. I feel the longing that the song describes, the feeling of coming back to a lost and loved place. Because of all this it’s hard for me to actually listen to the song itself in order to describe it. But then again, if I didn’t like it I probably wouldn’t get that warm feeling. It’s a warm and cozy song.
This is one of those songs where it takes a while before something happens. There have been a few of these earlier and I feel the same way as before. It’s a bit of a problem for me, because I need songs to catch me early on, otherwise I get bored and might stop listen. However, in this song when something finally happens it’s just a glimpse that leaves me wanting more. So this is not really a song for me.
“Ain’t It the Life”
It took me a long while before I started writing something about this song, which is unusual. And when I began writing it was to say that. So. This song doesn’t speak to me at all. I don’t like it but I can’t say why. Not exactly dislike it either. More like nothing. On the plus side is the distinct drum beat, I always like that. But the lyrics is something like ”sail on by” and I feel like… well, you do that. Sail on by.
Static and acoustic intro, with subdued vocals. I wait for something else to happen and it does, but nothing interesting for me. There is a build up towards something, but it doesn’t deliver. Only on some short passages where I hear the true Foo Fighters sound, the one I like. It’s not a bad song but if there had been more of those glimpses I would really like it.
Overall impression: Unlike the previous albums this one is more even, kind of the same sound and pace throughout the whole album. It’s slow and soft and not very interesting for me. It’s like a thick mass of songs that are difficult to separate for me. Usually after having listened to a whole album there’s one or two songs that get stuck in my head and I stay there for some time afterwards, but not this time. There’s no song that sticks out, no one I would put on repeat. What I like most about Foo Fighters is their powerful rock sound, and here it’s very little of that. Quite a lot of the distinct drum beat though, that’s what saves it a bit. But in the end, this is not an album I’m likely to listen to from beginning to end again.
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