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One By One

Foo Fighters

Release Date: 10.22.01
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Rock

60 Music-Critic Score
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Gave Their Souls To Rock 'n' Roll
by: bill aicher


After three highly successful albums, it became pretty obvious Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters had a bit more going for them than simply being a band to rise from the ashes of Nirvana. Still, as the albums progressed (and this is most notable with There Is Nothing Left To Lose), the Foos began to appear as more and more a novelty act than a real rock band with any substance. Their videos, while amusing, rarely took anything seriously and this attitude started to flow over into the music. Nothing was the biggest culprit here, oftentimes indulging in a bit more pop sensibility than rock credibility.


One By One is setting the record straight: Foo Fighters are a rock band. Maybe it had something to do with Grohl's stint recently with Queens of the Stone Age, maybe it didn't - but there's no denying the obvious tendency toward harder-edged rock. It's much more akin to their self-titled debut and bits of The Color and the Shape (or even more like Nirvana).


The album starts out strong enough, with the debut single "All My Life" following the rock formula Grohl's gotten so accustomed to using (whisper a few words, then sing, then scream. Repeat). And while this formulaic approach to songwriting may tend to lead to a feeling of repetition and monotony, each song does stand extremely well in the context of the album as well as individually. "Have It All" and "Halo" are proof enough of this. And then there's the ballad-esque and jaded "Disenchanted Lullaby" - it's one of the finer points on the disc, if for no other reason that it helps to break things apart a wee bit.


No, Foo Fighters aren't ever going to take over for Nirvana as some people keep hoping (whether they admit it or not) each time an album comes out. And no, they're not going to save rock either. But like always they've put forth a rock-solid album. Only this time it's built from granite, not sandstone. 06-Nov-2002 6:52 PM