Eighth studio album. Eight cities. Eight songs.
Marking their 20th anniversary as a band, the Foo Fighters’ newest album, Sonic Highways, is their most anticipated, most aspiring, and most ambitious record yet. What makes this album so ambitious is the fact that every song was recorded in a different city in the USA: one in Chicago, one in Washington D.C., one in Nashville, one in Austin, one in Los Angeles, one in New Orleans, one in Seattle, and one inNew York.
The strong sound of the bass guitar riffs in “Something from Nothing” reflect the Midwestern-turned-punk rock sounds of Chicago, whereas the mellower “I Am a River” is representative of the underground, minimalist rock music coming out of New York City. By and large, Sonic Highways is not the Foo Fighters doing different genres of music in different states. Rather, the band allows themselves to be influenced by the aura and history of each city that—and this might be the most interesting part—these genres of music were born in.
In the HBO series also titled Sonic Highways, Dave Grohl, former drummer for the popular 1990s grunge band Nirvana, attested that not only was the band’s new album their most ambitious, but it is “a love letter to the history of American music”.
Directed by Grohl, the eight-part miniseries followed in the band’s footsteps throughout the United States, taking audiences on the band’s route while showing the creation of the songs heard on the album. Sonic Highways, the album and the show, represents everything that the Foo Fighters have done during their 20-year history as a band.
The album also features guest appearances from a variety of distinct musical backgrounds whose careers span back nearly half a century. The Foo Fighters didn’t need help making their album, but the appearances of different artists allowed them to be inspired in the ever-changing studios. All in all, this is a sharp album in which every song has a specific meaning and is not just filler. For the band, it’s better to have eight songs with a profound moral to them than 15 or more songs that may not have a strong message behind them. I’m talking about you, Taylor Swift.
Sonic Highways is a musical adventure consisting of fast beats and sombre messages. It’s not an album that should be taken for granted, because of the amount of effort spent to make it. Just as it was fun for the Foo Fighters to make the album, it’s entertaining for all listeners. It’s neither heavy metal nor hard rock nor relaxing jazz. Give the album a try, and I guarantee that you’ll enjoy listening to it.
As a Foo Fighters fan, I can honestly say that I like every song on this album, and will not tire of it anytime soon. The Foo Fighters gave this album to fans such as myself, and thus I will ask the lyrics of the song that came out of Austin, Texas: “What did I do to deserve you?”