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Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
     

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace

4.2 14
by Foo Fighters
 

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It's not quite right to say that the Foo Fighters only have one sound, but why does it always feel like the group constantly mines the same sonic vein? Even on 2007's Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace -- their sixth album and first with producer Gil Norton since their second, 1997's The Colour and the Shape

Overview

It's not quite right to say that the Foo Fighters only have one sound, but why does it always feel like the group constantly mines the same sonic vein? Even on 2007's Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace -- their sixth album and first with producer Gil Norton since their second, 1997's The Colour and the Shape -- the Foos feel familiar, although the group spends some palpable energy weaving together the two sides of their personality that they went out of their way to separate on 2005's In Your Honor, where they divided the set into a disc of electric rockers and a disc of acoustic introspection. Here, the Foos gently slide from side to side, easing from delicate fingerpicked folk (including "Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners," an instrumental duet between Dave Grohl and guitarist Kaki King) to the surging, muscular hard rockers that have been the group's modern rock radio signature. Echoes never lingers too long in either camp, as it's sequenced with a savvy professionalism that only veteran rockers have. That sense of craft is evident in all the songs, whether it's the subtly sly suite of the opening "The Pretender" -- after a slow build, it crashes into a crushing riff into a chorus, building to a typically insistent chorus before taking a slightly surprising bluesy boogie detour on the bridge -- or the sweet melodic folk-rock "Summer's End," a song as warm and hazy as an August evening. "Summer's End" is one of the unassailable highlights here, and all the rest of the truly memorable tunes on Echoes share its same, strong melodic bent, particularly "Statues," a wide-open, colorful anthem that feels as if it's been resurrected from a late-'70s AOR playlist. These songs place the melody at the forefront and also have a lighter feel than the rockers, which are now suffering from a dogged sobriety. For whatever reason, Dave Grohl has chosen to funnel all of his humor out of the Foo Fighters' music and into their videos or into his myriad side projects. When Grohl wants to rock for fun, he runs off and forms a metal band like Probot, or he'll tour with Queens of the Stone Age or record with Juliette Lewis. When it comes to his own band, he plays it too straight, as almost every rocker on Echoes -- with the notable exception of "Cheer Up Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)," a song that has a riff as nimble as those on the Foos' debut -- is clenched and closed-off, sounding tight and powerful but falling far short of being invigorating. They sound a little labored, especially when compared to the almost effortlessly engaging melodies of the softer songs, the cuts that feel different than the now overly familiar Foo signature sound. And since those cavernous, accomplished rockers are so towering, they wind up overshadowing everything else on Echoes, which may ultimately be the reason why each Foo Fighters album feels kind of the same: Grohl and his band have grown subtly in other areas, but they haven't pushed the sound that came to define them; they've only recycled it. Since this is a sound that's somber, not frivolous, the Foos can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore if they lean too heavily in one direction -- as they do here, where despite the conscious blend of acoustic and electric tunes, the rockers weigh down Echoes more than they should, enough to make this seem like just another Foo Fighters album instead of the consolidation of strengths that it was intended to be.

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly - Tom Sinclair
Every so often, a modern-day CD that reverberates with the conviction and artistry of bygone days comes along to blow a jaded mind or two. Case in point: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. Grade: A

Product Details

Release Date:
09/25/2007
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0886971151626
catalogNumber:
711516
Rank:
32547

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Foo Fighters   Primary Artist
Pat Smear   Guitar
Dave Grohl   Piano,Group Member
Rami Jaffee   Accordion,Keyboards
Audrey Riley   Conductor
Nate Mendel   Group Member
Taylor Hawkins   Piano,Background Vocals,Group Member
Kaki King   Guitar
Drew Hester   Percussion
Chris Shiftlett   Group Member
Brantley Kearns Jr.   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Gil Norton   Producer,Audio Production
Audrey Riley   String Arrangements
Foo Fighters   Composer
Adrian Bushby   Engineer
Lee Johnson   Management
Jill Berliner   Representation
Don Clark   Art Direction

Customer Reviews

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Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is such a great album. how rare it is to find a cd that you do not feel the need to skip through half the songs. they are well thought out, creative, and very engaging. my jaw just about hit the floor when i first heard "the pretender." i keep putting that song on repeat! "let it die" and "come alive" are so laden with hooks you can't stop listening to them. the "ballad" piece is just the kind of song to sit back and listen to. if you play guitar, you will enjoy this even more. i'm a music lover (heck, i'm studying to be a music teacher!) and for an album to jump so quickly to the top of my daily list of music is something phenomenal. buy this album! you'll love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite albums, and is undoubtedly the Foo Fighters' finest, most refined, most mature cut yet. Gracefully seesawing between woodsy, soulful ballads and songs (Statues, Summer's end, Come Alive, etc) and gripping, ballsy rock songs (Long Road to Ruin, The Pretender, Let it Die to name a few), you really get the best of both Foo worlds here. David Grohl has thought out of the box and proved his true prowess in composition, sonic perfection, timing, and band synthesis. Compare Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace to their title album, Foo Fighters and note the difference: raw, slightly immature Nirvana ripoff neo-punk(though classic and good in its own way, yes, a ripoff) versus a glorious melding of style, combined effort, enthusiasm, and excellent experience! I await another Foo album with bated breath.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best records release this year. Every track stands on it own. A must have for any music fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is what they have been making since '95. Boring generic rock. I wish Kurt Cobain wasn't dead. The world would be a better place without this boring music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that in order to fully appreciate what the Foo Fighters accomplish in this new album, one really has to listen to their previous album, In Your Honor. While that album firmly segregated the loud, passionate side and the quite, acoustic sides on separate discs, Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace is very much the synthesis of the best part of both discs of In Your Honor, which instead of staring out with "In Your Honor", a declaration of how they felt about the world, "The Pretender" asks us instead to look at who we are. With tracks like "Let It Die", "Come Alive" and "But Honestly", which start out quiet and acoustic but build to truly impressive heights, and are that much more effective as a result of the buildup, the Foos have truly integrated the two sides of their music, and the final product is truly impressive. Aside from the building tracks, the Foos also bud out and attempt Southern-style rock in "Summer's End", and "Statues", a thoughtful reflection accompanied by a solemn-sounding piano. By the time "Home" rolls around and the album title is spoken it strikes you that this album really is just that: The echoes of their past work, the silence that accompanies the introspection that went into the album, the patience to try new things, and the grace to take life's blows with a smile.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Foo's just get better and better. It's new and inventive. HOME is so incredible it will bring you to tears.
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