Review by Paddy Gallagher for MPM
There’s a feeling of deep sadness coming over me listening to the new Foo Fighters album, “But Here We Are”.
Hearing the familiar tones of Dave Grohl’s voice, the instantly recognisable voice of a certified Rock Star; a man who lives and breathes music and comes across as a genuinely nice guy while appreciating how difficult it must have been for him and the band to come through these past 14 months since the numbing loss of Taylor Hawkins, invokes such feelings, and thoughts of how quickly and unexpectedly everything can change. In an instant!
The lyrics on this, Foo’s 11th studio album, are deep. Too get lost in them, reading them as having such personal meaning for a band working out their sorrows for their departed brother, the listener is taken on a journey of mourning with the band, from the shock of the sudden loss detailed in “Rescued” through the dawn of the next day and the realisation of who was missing in “Under You”.
There are reflections of Dave’s grunge past in some guitar parts, reflections of his wide range of influences in other passages. There is hurt evident in his voice, surely this is the last time Dave will have to deal with the unexpected death of a brother, a bandmate!!
Here we are in June 2023 with the next chapter of the band’s life. A chapter that was initially to be so different, but now tells the story of how music can heal, the bond that it creates between the band members as they go through the song construction and then recording process.
“Hearing Voices” starts with a nice acoustic guitar before drums and bass kick in. Title track “But Here We Are” is classic Foo’s fare. “The Glass” is a cracking wee tune, nice guitar work and vocal melodies where Dave reminisces “I had a person I loved, and just like that, I was left to live without him”
“Beyond Me” building to a raw guitar solo and Dave beseeching “but it’s beyond me, forever young and free” to fade out.
“The Teacher” clocking in at 10 minutes 4 seconds is Foo’s longest song to date, slower tempo, raw guitar, acoustic picking in places, kind of progressively atmospheric. The lyrics, poignant: “You showed me how to breathe, but never showed me how to say goodbye. You showed me how to be, but never showed me how to say goodbye……. try and make good with the air that’s left, counting every minute, living breath by breath. Goodbye”. That last “Goodbye” repeatedly screamed to fade into white noise.
Closing with “Rest” in its refrain “Rest, you can rest now. Rest, you will be safe now. Rest, you can rest now. Rest, you will be saved now”. Dave finishes by relating “Waking up, I had another dream of us. In the warm Virginia sun, there I will meet you….”
As the band works out their emotions the themes throughout could be applied to any of us; a reminder not to take the continuity of how things are for granted. A reminder to live in each minute with those you care for.
A reminder to never turn down the opportunity to see your favourite musicians on the current tour; never assume they’ll be back next year. The frailty of human life, the nature of the music business. Granted it’s been a while, but I’m going to revisit Foo Fighter’s back catalogue which I’ve neglected in recent years, always assuming that the good old dependable Foo Fighters would be around forever. Indeed, it will be emotive, listening to Taylor’s work again.
I was wondering what course their career would take after 25th March 2022. The raw emotion of subject matter and its therapeutic properties make for this album to be the band’s strongest yet, in my opinion.
The album’s track list is as follows:
But Here We Are
Nothing At All
Show Me How
See Foo Fighters Live: https://FooFighters.lnk.to/Shows
Connect with Foo Fighters:
But Here We Are’ available now: