Album of the Week: Foo Fighters, 'Medicine At Midnight'

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Foo Fighters, 'Medicine at Midnight'
Foo Fighters, 'Medicine at Midnight' (Courtesy of Artist)
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Jim McGuinn - Album of the Week: Foo Fighters, 'Medicine at Midnight'
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The 10th Foo Fighters album, Medicine at Midnight, was completed early last year originally to be released in time for 25th anniversary touring, but then postponed due to the pandemic. However, even Dave Grohl realizes his band's ability to lift people's spirits outweighs their desire to tour to support it, which is why it'll be out February 5. Honestly, Medicine at Midnight may have more impact this year, a DoorDash musical delivery of optimism, the big arena anthems and ballads we need today more than yesterday, and maybe more than tomorrow.

Like all Foo Fighter albums, expect great riffs and grooves, killer guitar parts and Taylor Hawkins' expressive drumming- that's a given. There are inadvertent lyrical references to what we endured in 2020 - like "waited a lifetime to live," "another season of loneliness," and "here we are, the living dead." In "Waiting on a War" the 52-year old Grohl reflects on coming of age under the shadow of nuclear annihilation, "Everyday waiting for the sky to fall / Big crash on a world so small," and discovering the magic of rock and roll, "just a boy with no where left to go / fell in love with the voice on the radio." It's also fun to play a bit of "Name The Influence" on an album like this. The title track's introduction borrows from Roxy Music's "The Space Between," while the "na-na-na's" in album opener "Making a Fire" could be straight out of Fat Albert's cartoon theme song, and like the song, we're gonna have a good time. Grohl has said the album was inspired by "Our love of rock bands that make these upbeat, up-tempo, almost danceable records." I hear bits of Queen, McCartney, Cheap Trick, Lenny Kravitz, and Van Hagar along the way, but that's Grohl - he loves his fellow musicians, he loves rock and roll, and he's so psyched to share that love. I've witnessed that enthusiasm up close - about 15 years ago after hosting a radio special, Dave gave me a tour of their Studio 606 like an excited kid - "Look at all the drums we have! And guitars! And we get to play here whenever we want!" Medicine at Midnight exudes gregarious nature in a concise 9-song, 36-minute collection. Instead of an album for themselves, they made an album for their fans. Exactly what we need right now.

So if you like the Foos, you're gonna love this album - and if you don't, why are you reading this far into this review? It's not going to change your mind, and that's cool. In Times Like These, the songs can kinda remain the same, and there's no shame (shame). It's a new album from Foo Fighters, to enjoy while we wait for the days and nights when we can sing along, arm in arm, lighters aloft, and be in the rock and roll together again. Dave and the Foos are already there, ready for us to join them, everlong.

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