One of 2021’s most eagerly awaited albums is the Foo Fighters who have dropped their tenth studio album Medicine At Midnight. It doesn’t really matter what the Foo Fighters do next because there’s always going to be those naysayers and keyboard warriors who will pile on in any event. In what’s viewed as a very much different world now the Foo Fighters haven’t been afraid to stretch themselves and take their music in a new direction. Recorded pre-lockdown, in a nearby house which was claimed to be haunted, this album sees another shift in the Foo Fighters sound going for more of a “pop” sound which is more about shaking hips rather than going bat shit crazy and jumping around in the mosh pit. The Foo Fighters have definitely rattled the cage in what is a bold move and despite what a lot of people have said I think this works really well for them.
So what’s different? Adding big dynamic female backing vocals, drum loops, strings, supercharged pop melodies and reuniting with production buddy Greg Kurstin (who has worked with Sia, Halsey, Beck, Paul McCartney, Pink to name a few) has gelled together well for nine songs that span a brief thirty six minutes that doesn’t wear out its welcome. The upbeat and positive nature of this record I think gives people some hope that things can only continue to get better especially if we believe front man Dave Grohl’s grand plans that there will be an Australian tour soon enough.
Opening salvo Making A Fire is probably the most the most optimistic and spritely song they have ever done that really does zip along with Grohl’s daughter Violet featuring on the “na-na-na’s” refrain. We’ve already grown to like Shame Shame which was released a while back complete with hand claps and showing a more soulful side to the band. There’s no doubt that songs such as Cloudspotter and Medicine At Midnight push the Foos out of their comfort zone with just enough rhythm and funk without going over the top.
Waiting On A War is one of the big moments on the album and there is a real emotive feel that builds in intensity with the string arrangements just as powerful as that raucous Foo Fighters rock sound as it reaches that final crescendo. No Son Of Mine opens with all guitars blazing in a big rush of rock and the slower paced ballad Chasing Birds makes for a subtle contrast. Medicine At Midnight is a great album that shows that the Foo Fighters have still got a few tricks up their sleeve.
Album Review By Rob Lyon