[Album Review] “One by One” – Foo Fighters

One By One - Foo FightersAlbum Title: One By One
Artist: Foo Fighters
Year: 2002
Running Time: 55m 2s

Track listing: 1 All My Life; 2 Low; 3 Have It All; 4 Times Like These; 5 Disenchanted Lullaby; 6 Tired Of You; 7 Halo; 8 Lonely As You; 9 Overdrive; 10 Burn Away; 11 Come Back

Dave Grohl’s big challenge since he emerged as a one-man band in 1995 has been to fulfill his want of playing hard rock music while at the same time embracing the mainstream enough to record chart hits and maybe grab a few Grammy nominations. Album #4, “One by One” will probably ensure that once again he has produced the correct result.

Unlike the brilliant raucous assault of his eponymous debut release, “One by One” balances the rock edge of “The Colour and the Shape” and the pop sensibility of “There’s Nothing Left to Lose”.

Throughout the album it’s obvious that lost love or relationship angst is the subject matter at heart. With screaming guitars, pumping bass line and the degrading, dismissive, almost demonic, cry of ‘Done done, I’m on to the next one’, ‘All My Life’ lives long in the memory while follow-up single ‘Times Like These’ rocks with a foot-tapping Cult-like riff, and a relatively more serene chrous.

‘Low’ is impressivley edgy and brooding while ‘Have it All’ could have been a leftover from the previous album’s sessions (not that that’s a bad thing). There’s plenty of cynicism on show too. ‘Disenchanted Lullaby’, a scathing love song with a malevolant message, leads nicely into the mainly rhythm gutar-only sound of ‘Tired of You’. It’s unmistakably Foo Fighters, totally immense and a real case of less is more.

But the Foo Fighters still write quality rock tracks. ‘Halo’, the robust riff of ‘Burn Away’ and the stunningly lean ‘Come Back’, the longest track on show at nearly eight minutes, are all fine examples of strong songwriting and musicianship. ‘Lonely As You’ stands on it’s brilliant chorus while ‘Overdrive’ is a bit more rock by numbers.

Overall, despite a lack of complexity, this is another excellent collection and evidence that Foo Fighters, against popular belief some years ago, are here to stay. Not just that but they’ll go down as one of the eras top acts.


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