Is this for real?

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

I knew I was in for trouble when the first two words of a Foo Fighters review were "perfect albums." But even as Tom Sinclair's words of praise unspooled before my eyes, each more exultant than the last, nothing prepared me for this doozy: "From this point on, 'Fooey' will be as august an expression of approbation as 'Beatlesque'."

Excuse me? Now, I'm not one of those John Ross types who goes so crazy with Beatles love as to suggest, awash in evangelical fervor, that the much-adored band will be underrated until every last person declares them the best. But everybody without a stick up their butt knows John, Paul, George & Ringo represent a gold standard in pop music—one that Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace fails to meet.

Granted, I'm currently listening to the Foos' sixth album for the first time, and even Sinclair admits that on first listen, "it seems Dave Grohl & Co. aren't doing anything radically new." And yeah, given how disappointing Grohl's recent output has been, this record is surprisingly good. Forgive me, though, if I fail to see how, upon closer examination, Echoes... is going to bloom into a work of art to rival Revolver or Abbey Road. And even if the Foos had produced an indelible work, one perfect album does not a legacy make.

Furthermore, just because this band has developed a distinct personality does not mean they have helped develop a new archetype for pop music. In fact, on "Statues" they actually rip off Paul McCartney pretty hardcore. No big surprise; the Beatles were, after all, one of the most influential and beloved bands of their times, embraced by the masses and critics alike. You just can't say that about the Foo Fighters, even in terms of mass appeal. They're rock stars for sure, but nothing more.

Judging from Shirley Halperin's gushing feature a few weeks back, EW seems to be on some crusade to posit the Foos as our generation's great rock auteurs, and it's one of the more laughable arguments I've ever encountered. I mean, it's even worse than when Mr. Ross gave Transformers an A, and I didn't think that could be topped (or bottomed, as it were).