What does one of the most popular bands in the world do to celebrate twenty years together and get themselves inspired to record their eighth studio album?
Well, if you’re Dave Grohl, founding member of the Foo Fighters, you get an HBO film crew to follow your band on a road trip to eight of America’s most influential cities for music history such as Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, DC and New York. Record one song in each of the city’s most famous recording studios (with some the most influential producers and local music legends sitting in on the recording process of course) because Grohl believes that the environment where you write and record will influence your end result, which would be a new Foo Fighters album that incorporates all those different styles and influences from each city. And, if that wasn’t enough, turn the whole project into an eight part documentary called Sonic Highways.
On paper, this sure sounds like an inspiring adventure but in reality, it falls short. Sonic Highways sounds like a Foo Fighters album. You would think that after going to some the greatest recording studios in America and meeting some of their favourite producers and music legends like Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Joe Walsh & Rick Nielson that the latest release from the Foo Fighters would be a little more exciting.
Don’t get me wrong, Sonic Highways is a very good album and the band (Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendal & Pat Smear) seemed to be having fun making it but after all the hype like Dave Grohl calling the whole project “a love letter to the history of American music”, Sonic Highways does disappoint a little by sounding just like any other Foo Fighters album.
Watching the documentary on the making of this album did make for a better listening experience however I am disappointed with the lack of something new to come out of the end result.
Standout tracks: Something From Nothing, The Feast And The Famine, Congregation , What Did I Do? / God As My Witness & I Am A River.