Foo Fighters - In Your Honor

2006-03-30 00:59

"Twenty songs on two CDs" boasts the little round sticker on the cover of the Foo's fifth offering. "One loud. One not so loud". And they deliver exactly what they promise, nothing less but, unfortunately, nothing more either.

In Your Honor is essentially two completely separate albums: Disc One is a 40 minute, ten song hard rock album, complete with loud, crunching guitars, power drumming and screaming angst-ridden vocals.

Disc Two is a 43 minute 10 song soft rock acoustic set, complete with controlled singing, pianos, and would you believe it, Norah Jones guesting on one of the tracks ("Virginia Moon"). The legendary grunge pioneer teaming up with a glorified cocktail lounge singer? The pairing seems unlikely, but the song would actually have worked had it been included on Jones's next bestseller (coming soon to a dinner party near you), rather than here.

Perhaps this is the direction Grohl wants to go. Even at its loudest and most aggressive, "In Your Honor" is far too polished for its own good. Each and every song is slick, thoughtfully arranged, carefully performed and has obviously had the Hell produced out of it. But that's the problem. Rock music needs its edginess, if it is to rise above the formulaic and mundane. With too much deliberation and thoughtfulness, the Foos have smoothed away any edge they might have once had.

The result is a listenable 80 minutes of hard and mellow rockers, none of them bad enough to truly dislike, but all of them as dull as dishwater. It's a pity. In the past the Foos have proven themselves more than capable of producing great rock music. Perhaps they will again, if only they could learn to stop taking themselves so seriously.

- Chris McEvoy


"In Your Honor, like most Foo Fighters records, is sterile and controlled; there is never any threat of dissolution. While Grohl's musicianship and charisma are certainly a credit to any project he participates in, he still lacks the volatility typically inherent to life-shaking art."
- Amanda Petrusich for Pitchfork Media

The Foo Fighters have great rock 'n roll lineage. Formed by ex Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl in 1995 to play the songs he wrote on the side, they blended hard rock guitar and percussion with singable tunes and punk image.

Jarrod David 2005/08/11 11:32 PM
Foo Fighters ''In your Honor'' This band has put so much in this album! Why dont you look at the dvd that comes with the limited album. The mabye you will see that this is a album that they pour out thier hearts to the fans. A great Album and hope this band will go far with it and hope they could come down to South Africa... Blink 182 '' Blnk 182''
Neil 2006/05/24 1:41 PM
In their honor Allthough pouring all into this double album, I'd say that the Foo Fighters might have tried to hard. Allthough I own In Your Honor, I find myself rather slipping in an album like One by One. I still think there should be a 3 1/2 rating bullet, because it's not quite a 4 and not as mediocre as a 3. Still, a buy I don't regret! Foo Fighters - One by One
Jean Barker 2006/05/25 9:53 AM
Star ratings Jarrod, Neil: Yep, have often thought it would be nice to have a more flexible star rating. But at the same time, that gets fiddly, and you can end up like some sites, rating albums 7.34 out of ten. The difference between a 3 and a 4 is 3) buy if you are a fan, it's a decent album by the band and 4) Great. Even if you don't normally listen to this band, this is worth hearing. I'm not sure there's much value in anything in between those two, for someone who's parting with their cash. Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium - it's a bargain.
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