Foo Fighters – “Medicine at Midnight” Review

Story posted February 9, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Caelan Chevrier.

Foo Fighters are still rocking on their 10th studio album “Medicine at Midnight.”

The band has been evolving its sound for over a quarter of a century now. From frontman Dave Grohl playing every instrument himself on their debut to touring across the nation recording in different studios on 2014’s “Sonic Highways,” the Foos know how to keep things interesting.

Now in 2021, they have more optimism than they ever before, providing fans with a refreshing mix of power pop and hard rock.

Through Grohl’s songwriting ability, incredible instrumentation and infectious melodies, “Medicine at Midnight” is more often fun than not.

Taking inspiration from David Bowie and Prince, “Medicine at Midnight” is ever so groovy. The production helps distinguish the record from any other Foos album with executive producer Greg Kurstin stepping in to help change up the sound.

The album’s opener “Making a Fire” is one of the best Foo Fighters songs in over a decade. It has all of the traditional elements of what makes the band so good but is unique with elements of gospel thrown in that works so well. At 52, Grohl still sounds amazing, and his bandmates do too.

The first track alone was worth the over three-year wait from their last album.

“Shame Shame” follows the opener and was released as the first single for the record. It is by far the most dreary track on the record. In the chorus, Grohl sings: “Another splinter under the skin/Another season of loneliness/I found a reason and buried it/Beneath a mountain of emptiness.” The track is accompanied by immense orchestration that switches between beautiful sweeping notes and light pizzicato that makes it stand out as a whole.

On “Medicine at Midnight” and “Love Dies Young,” the Foos take some cracks at pop music. “Rain on the dance floor, back against the ropes” is sung, and it is almost bewildering. Dance Floors? Foo Fighters? It comes as quite a surprise, but regardless, it still works very well.

There are a few slower, acoustic-based tracks on the record too that are very subpar. “Waiting on a War” takes way too long for the buildup, and it feels way longer than it actually is. It had the right intentions, however, mentioning Grohl’s fears as a child of nuclear warfare since he lived so close to Washington, D.C. “Chasing Birds” is pretty forgettable too with nothing that stands out in the over-four-minute track.

“Cloudspotter” and “No Son of Mine” are very intense and have the classic Grohl growl on each of the song’s verses. Amazingly, the band has so much energy so late in its career.

On nearly every track of the album, the supporting cast of the band — Chris Shiflett, Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Rami Jaffee and Pat Smear — all find ways to stand out and play their hearts out. Hawkins’ drumming especially is ear-catching with incredible breaks and the use of loops, which is new for the group.

Recorded pre-COVID-19, Grohl & Co. can shine a light on listeners, giving them hope and inspiration that they may soon be able to get out of the madness and return to better times.

Overall, “Medicine at Midnight” gives fans a mix of songs in both genre and tonality, but there is a little something for everybody to like. It is a step up from the previous two records.

This album probably won’t win over any new fans, but it was definitely worth the wait for Foo Fighters veterans. These songs are guaranteed to sound amazing live, and, once again, cement Foo Fighters as the pinnacle of rock in this modern age.

Rating: 7/10

Reviewer’s Favorite Songs: “Making a Fire,” “Medicine at Midnight,” “Holding Poison”

Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song: “Waiting on a War”

 

Caelan Chevrier is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Caelan Chevrier

Freshman / Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a first-year student in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State University studying broadcast journalism with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His plan is to get involved in numerous media-related clubs during his stay. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).