Foo Fighters’ newest album, “Medicine at Midnight”, is a large departure from the band’s typical sound. While the band has done experimentation before, it has never been as potent as here, combining alternative/hard rock with more pop and EDM-style music. As someone who isn’t a major listener of Foo Fighters, I think it works for the most part, and to the like, five Foo Fighters fans reading this, it’s likely not what you’d expect.
The opening track, “Making a Fire,” is a solid introduction to the album. The song is about wanting to leave past mistakes and enter a new stage in life and possibly having to leave the people you’re around if they’re stuck behind. Right away, the genre changes are evident. The music seems more synthesized than usual and features a “Na-na-na” background chant that fits in with the song, but seems somewhat forced.
“Shame Shame” is one of many songs on the album that deals with the themes of missing something in life--in this case, sex--and the subsequent emptiness that follows. The song has a quieter, darker tone than the rest of the album, with a smooth, “jungle”-type beat, and shows great effect in Dave Grohl’s singing, which here is actually kind of calming. The video for this song is also very good too, as its gothic cinematography greatly captures the atmosphere.
“Waiting on a War” is a melodic rock ballad about being young and wanting excitement in life that never comes. The song’s use of strings help broaden the sound without becoming too distracting, and Dave Grohl’s voice really conveys the angst of longing for something to finally happen, which I feel is something to which we can all relate. I also like how the song gradually builds in intensity at the end; I wish it had gone a little further as it seemed rather dissonant, but that was likely the point. Despite the entire album to be good overall, this seemed to me, surprisingly, to be the only song I could possibly see myself listening to outside of this (and that’s a hard maybe).
The title track, “Medicine at Midnight,” and “Holding Poison” stand out the most on this album, far from anything the band has previously done. The lyrics and sound fully embrace psychedelia and make the viewer feel as if they’re joining. The heavily synthesized pop sound seems reminiscent of something by David Bowie, the former with Grohl even imitating his singing fairly well.
“No Son of Mine” is much harder than most of the album, essentially being a generic Las Vegas/Sin City song about not being able to atone past mistakes. I like how the song just starts off with just a basic guitar riff and Dave Grohl’s voice, as well as the aggressive drumming. This song as a whole reminded me of Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades.”
The closing song, “Love Dies Young,” is essentially just about what the title says. It’s a fun, fast-paced and a more conventional pop-punk song, and I thought it was a solid way to end the album.
One small detail that I didn’t like about this album was that many songs had these weird echoes (similar to the “na-na-na” chant in the first song) that didn’t really seem to add any effect other than to I guess sing along to it or just to make it seem seem more like EDM. I definitely was not feeling that.
Overall, this album is fine. I definitely won’t listen to it again and I don’t know how fans will react, but for the most part it blends the alternative rock with the more pop elements seamlessly and I can at least appreciate “Medicine at Midnight” for being different.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch.