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Foo Fighters: In Your Honor

Foo Fighters: In Your Honor

Release Date:2005

By Al Shipley | Posted 8/17/2005

The Foo Fighters may owe early successes to the goodwill Dave Grohl had built up as the drummer from Nirvana. But at this point, their decade-long career has been driven more by Grohl’s ability to shrug off the albatross of Nirvana’s importance to make workmanlike grunge pop. So a double album, consisting of one disc of the band’s heaviest rock and one disc of its quietest acoustic songs, isn’t necessarily a promising conceit. No one was really waiting for Grohl to get ambitious.

Perhaps making up for stuffing his metal side project Probot with guest vocalists, Grohl spends nearly all of Honor’s first disc exercising his metal voice. He pushes his limited range to throat-shredding extremes throughout even midtempo numbers such as the single “Best Of You.” Somehow, though, it works, and the energy of the first disc rarely lets up, paving over even the spotty consistency of the tunes.

The riskier second disc, however, fails to pay off, without so much as a nice ballad worth releasing as a single. And for every pleasant surprise (the gentle bossa nova groove “Virginia Moon”) there’s a misstep—drummer Taylor Hawkins’s ill-advised lead vocal turn on “Cold Day in the Sun.” Guest guitarist Josh Homme’s intricate finger picking on “Razor” is possibly the disc’s only interesting arrangement, the rare moment that doesn’t sound like a whispery demo or stripped-down rendition of a traditional Foo track. Next time Grohl should stay humble and stick to the rock.

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