Foo Fighters, ‘Medicine at Midnight’ Review – Track-by-Track Review of New Album

2021-02-05

Foo Fighters, "Medicine at Midnight," album cover. Track-by-Track Review: Foo Fighters infuse pop into their rock sound with the band's new album, "Medicine at Midnight."

Foo Fighters, ‘”Medicine at Midnight,” album cover – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo

Review: Foo Fighters are back with their new album, “Medicine at Midnight,” which infuses a dose of pop into the band’s straight-ahead rock sound. Here’s Audio Ink’s track-by-track review of the album.

Foo Fighters are the kind of rock band that pretty much any generation of music fan can appreciate, from kids to their grandparents. Choc it up to Dave Grohl and company’s mainstream blend of melodic rock ‘n ‘roll that’s simply likeable, never offensive, and pleasing to the ears.

Now, Foo Fighters are back with their 10th studio album, “Medicine at Midnight,” out Friday (Feb. 5) via Roswell Records/Columbia Records, and the set presents an even more likeable sound, as the band goes more pop than they ever have before. Don’t let the word “pop” cause alarm, though, as “Medicine at Midnight” still features a bevy of rockers with deep riffs and rhythms.

Foo Fighters ‘Medicine at Midnight’ Track-by-Track Look

Out the gate, Foo Fighters gives listeners what they’ve come to expect from the band with opening track, “Making a Fire.” The song is the Foo at their best, with a huge, melodic hook and super-catchy chorus. This is a more pop-infused song than many Foos jams, though, complete with clapping and cheesy “na-nas” that add a feel-good vibe.

The following track, “Shame Shame,” is a full-fledged rock anthem, with big guitars and warm sonics. The song also marks the Foos’ lead single off “Medicine at Midnight,” and it’s been another hit for the band. Counting 9.3 million audience impressions, the song marked the fastest rise to the top of the Billboard Rock Airplay chart in four years. “Another splinter under the skin / Another season of loneliness / I found a reason and buried it / Beneath the mountain of emptiness,” Grohl sings.

Next up is “Cloudspotter,” which offers funky guitars with an almost ’70s-psychedelic character. This is one of the most unique tracks on the album, complete with cowbell, syncopated beats and an upbeat, dance-worthy rhythm section.

“Medicine at Midnight” gets dramatic with the next track, “Waiting on a War,” which stars as an acoustic ballad and builds to a massive arena rocker that’s one of the strongest songs on the set. “There’s got to be more to this… because I need more,” Grohl begs in the swelling track.

The album’s title track follows, “Medicine at Midnight,” offering one of the more adventures selections on the set. With a raw, funk-infused character, disco loops and unplugged guitar, the song brings an experimental feel to the album. While it might not be anyone’s favorite Foo Fighters jam, it’s certainly one of the most musically diverse.

From there, the album launches into “No Son of Mine,” one of its more uptempo, punk-fueled tracks. The song, which carries an anti-war theme, incorporates a dirty, edgy riff that recalls bands such as Motorhead and Thin Lzzy. giving this a true classic rock feel.

While all of the tracks on the album are strong, “Holding Poison” is probably the most difficult to digest. Grohl sings with an strong vocal echo over choppy rhythms and riffs, and while the song is an upbeat listen, it probably won’t be a classic. Still, this is the Foos, and so the album’s weakest songs are strong.

The album continues with one of its strongest songs, “Chasing Birds,” a peaceful ballad that has possibly one of the best Foo Fighters melodies of all time. Think “Everlong” 2.0. While “Chasing Birds” wasn’t picked as an early single, we’re guessing it will top that charts down the road.

If fans think “Medicine at Midnight” doesn’t sound, well, Foo Fighters enough, then the album’s closing track, “Love Dies Young,” is here to save the day. The song features the band’s classic, straight-ahead rock style and sounds like it could have come from any era of the Foos. Call it a comforting cap to the record.

Clocking in at just over 36 minutes, “Medicine at Midnight” is on the short side, but Foo Fighters more than make up for that with the musical diversity apparent on the album. By the time the album kicks off to the final notes, it truly feels like a musical journey, going from the styles of Bowie to Motorhead and beyond. With solid songwriting and a passionate delivery, “Medicine at Midnight” is worth the buzz, and it shows why Grohl is considered one of a handful of kingpins of rock ‘n’ roll.

Ink rating: 9/10. Essential songs: “Shame Shame,” “Chasing Birds,” “Love Dies Young,” “Making a Fire.” For fans of: The Seattle sound brought into the modern day, with chunky riffs and rhythms, but also a love for experimentation. Online: FooFighters.com.

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