Off-Key with Eric D.

Eric D’Orazio

It’s been over 11 years now since the release of Nirvana’s landmark LP, “Nevermind,” – an album that not only changed the face of music, but also introduced the world to the bombastic character that is Dave Grohl. During that time, he met great success behind the kit in Nirvana, saw that band fall apart through the loss of its great frontman, and rose again with his own alt-rock group, the Foo Fighters. But it all goes back to “Nevermind,” and how most everyone considered it to be the best piece of work to which he contributed. That is, until now. With the release of the Fighters’ new album, “One By One,” the world gets to hear Grohl at his greatest.

In the new album’s first track “All My Life,” it seems as if little has changed since the Foos’ previous release, 1999’s “There Is Nothing Left To Lose.” Like many of the band’s previous hit songs, “All My Life” utilizes heavy guitars and Grohl’s incredible vocal range to pull the listener into hard rock heaven. As for its lyrics, the song deals with searching for the missing piece in one’s life. “All My Life” supplies four minutes of the foremost Foo Fighter fury.

If any single song on “One By One” displays the Foo Fighters in the past three years, that song is “Halo.” Acting in a sense as this album’s “Everlong,” it generally is a tender and pensive song about growing up. It remains upbeat through the use of acoustic/electric layering and non-overpowering vocals, but an overall feeling of reminiscent melancholy is apparent during the verses. However, the choruses are an incredible outburst of energy and harmony that ties the song into one utterly beautiful piece of musical genius. It’s similar to what the Red Hot Chili Peppers did for most of the songs on “By The Way,” just this time in the Foo Fighters’ way.

In the manner set by its 1999 effort, the Foo Fighters save the best song for last. Entitled “Come Back,” it can best be described as the ultimate alt-rock jam. Almost eight minutes in length, it actually transcends the different styles the Foos have been known to play. Starting off with the usual alternative angst for the song’s first three and a half minutes, the band eventually breaks it down into simple acoustic balladry, the likes of which have not been seen since 1997’s “The Colour And The Shape.” They soon follow that up with the stratospheric riff rock heard throughout the new album, only to return to the alternative angst of the song’s commencement. As for its lyrical content, “Come Back” looks into a relationship that ended years before, thinking about all that was good and bad, and states: “I will come back for you.”

One thing is absolutely certain: “One By One” is the Foo Fighters’ best album to date. Not only does it integrate the sound of the Foos’ previous records into this new album, but it also reinvents that sound, making it unique. No longer will they be just another average rock radio staple, for they have become full-blown artists unto themselves. So, after years and years of being chased by his grunge past, Dave Grohl may rest easy in knowing that he has finally made something as equally wonderful as his former band’s smash sophomore effort.