Music review: Foo Fighters’ new album ‘But Here We Are’ grapples with loss

“But Here We Are,” by Foo Fighters (Roswell/RCA).

There’s hardly a greater purpose for music than expression of feelings, and the Foo Fighters have brought quite a collection of them to their latest album.

“But Here We Are” sounds like the most grown-up of the 11 studio records from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band, a vintage recipe of relentless guitar riffs, unsettled yet subtly sweet melodies, and the raging, raspy vocals of front man Dave Grohl.

Their first release since the sudden death of beloved drummer Taylor Hawkins while on tour last year is essentially the album they needed to make — and probably the one their families, friends and fans needed to hear.

Grohl’s grappling with loss — the album is dedicated to Hawkins and his mother, Virginia — is painfully palpable and artfully woven throughout the 10 songs. There’s no escaping each facet of grief in these characteristically uncomplicated lyrics that are about coping, reflecting and realizing life must go on.

The opening line on the opening track “Rescue Me” delivers the shock and leaves no doubt this is a Foo Fighters record: “It came in a flash, it came out of nowhere, it happened so fast, and then it was over.” “Show Me How” features guest vocals from Grohl’s 17-year-old daughter, Violet, and is a simple reminder the bond of loved ones is strong enough to overcome a bad day.

There are songs within the song, too. The 10-minute track, “Teacher” sounds like it’s channeling Led Zeppelin at times and REM at others as Grohl sings, “Every page turned, it’s a lesson learned in time.”

The title of the last track, “Rest,” starts with a quiet nostalgia before turning dark and dissonant halfway through and then winding down softly in an apparent tribute to Grohl’s mom: “I had another dream of us, in the warm Virginia sun, there I will meet you.”


AP music reviews:

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