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Foo Fighters: The Colour And The Shape

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Foo Fighters

Album: The Colour And The Shape
Label: Roswell/Capitol

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Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl has had to deal with plenty of strife in the past few years: From the death of Kurt Cobain to the recent breakup of his marriage, he's experienced plenty of fodder for dark, self-loathing grunge songs. Fortunately, Grohl is a savvier songwriter than that; while many of the 13 songs on his new The Colour And The Shape are about divorce and heartbreak, Grohl coats them with layers of crowd-pleasing pop and mile-wide hooks. Like its hit predecessor, The Colour And The Shape benefits immeasurably from that mixture of grunge darkness and pop levity. There's no shortage of dark-but-infectious, radio-friendly pop-grunge ("Monkey Wrench," "Everlong," "New Way Home"), nor does Grohl steer clear of visceral, primal-scream hard-rock ("My Poor Brain," "Enough Space"). Other tracks shape-shift from dark ballads to slick anthems ("Hey, Johnny Park!," the divorce-themed "Up In Arms"); the only ballad that stays a ballad from start to finish is the solemnly pretty "Walking After You." The Colour And The Shape may be a sad song-cycle, but it's no Soul Cages, and you have to have to hand it to Grohl for smartly turning his misery into dark pop ecstasy.