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5.0 out of 5 stars
Dave Grohl and co return with a brilliant fourth album, 21 Oct. 2002
The Foo Fighters finally follow up their highly acclaimed 1999 album 'There Is Nothing Left To Lose' with One By One. The Foos are as solid as ever, playing and sounding like the rock band they want to be.
The album opens with the forceful All My Life, which is a pure slice of rock'n'roll fun. The driving powerful guitars hit home and this is an exhilarating ride. This song is quite heavy for the Foos and the next song, Low follows suit. Low is quite simply unique and quite simply brilliant. Continuing the dark edge present in All My Life, the powerful fuzzy guitars and tribal drumming are contrasted perfectly by Grohls calm vocals. Next on the agenda is Have It All, which reminds of the Foo of old and easily is one of the strongest songs on the album. The sweeping catchy chorus and riff is perfect single material. Another song, which reminds of old Foo Fighters material, is the beautifully written Times Like These. Emotional and straight to the point, again a standout track. Disenchanted Lullaby follows with quite a misleading title. The aggressive grunge chorus (“I maybe scattered, A little Scattered…….No-one has fit like I do”) helped by Hawkins forceful drumming makes this a powerful song. A certain Queen guitarist by the name of Brian May crops up on the next track Tired Of You and adds a nice guitar track but the most surprising part of this song is just how powerful Grohls vocals can be. We find Grohl in a thoughtful, reflective mood (“is this just desire, or the truth?”) but the vocals are truly haunting and send a shiver down the spine.
The second half of the album begins with the stadium-rock of Halo. A powerful desperate chorus and deep lyrics, Halo fits nicely after Tired Of You. Again a potential hit as a single. Lonely As You is a slow burner, but a powerful track nonetheless. It grows on you and evidence of the dark edge the band seems to be exploring as well as their lighter side is present here too. A good example of Hawkins drumming ability too. Overdrive is simply an inoffensive punk rock song that’s catchy and fun. Nothing new for the Foo Fighters but then theres nothing wrong with that if its quality. An Overdrive is so no problems there. Burn Away is another slow burner but the hooky chorus and fuzzy guitars soon draw you in. The album finishes with the truly epic Comeback, almost eight minutes in length, the sound is quite raw not unlike All My Life. The album finishes as it started. As a rock’n’roll album. Sometimes the album does feel a little too produced, and there is a sense that the band could have gone for it a bit more on a few tracks but these are minor faults that in no way spoil the album. There is a constant theme in the album of different relationships through Grohls lyrics. He is progressing as a lyricist all the time and One By One is perfect evidence of this. The Foos continue to do their own thing and we should be thankful for that. Its an album that will no doubt go down well with their ever growing fan base, but will also help add a few more. Its an album which can hold its head up high next to the epic The Colour And The Shape and the Grammy winning There Is Nothing Left To Lose-and if that’s not praise I don’t know what is.