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Friday January 28th

'One by One' Exhibits Foo's Grunge Growth

Foo Fighters
One by One

The band's quirkiness pervades on its latest album, but while the tracks feature more mature lyrics they remain stagnant instrumentally.

Deep guitar strumming opens the album, accompanied by Dave Grohl's distinctive voice. "All My Life" is reminiscent of most Foo Fighters songs, with hard-driving drums accented by guitar, but also features distressed chords during the chorus that break up the redundancy.

But there are no distinctive breaks between songs, each picking up where the other left off. The second track on One by One begins at what sounds like the middle of a song. Grohl's cheery voice chimes in, serving as a foil against the rough music. His breathy "Ooh" sounds refreshing against the rapid drums and heavy guitar.

It's songs like "Low" that make the Foo Fighters so impressive. While the band fits the alternative mold instrumentally, Grohl's vocal style makes the band accessible to mainstream listeners.

One song that seems uncharacteristic of a grunge band is "Disenchanted Lullaby." The album slows down with this middle track while the band joins in on a chorus that is whimsical and light -- making the song a fluffy break in the middle of the loud and gritty album.

While many songs dwell on broken relationships, others reflect more optimistic emotions -- bouncy with infectious lyrics that rival previous hit "Learn to Fly." The album often sounds like a collaboration with the Beach Boys.

Lacking in the sing-song appeal contained in "Overdrive," the album comes full circle with the distortion-filled "Come Back." It also features a beautiful and free-flowing instrumental that closes out the album with a crescendo of drums and guitar. Grohl's raspy voice returns after the jam, singing, "I will come back for you."

Grohl is serious when he makes this closing statement, which radiates through the end of the album. Because all joking has been put aside on One by One, fans better take the Foo Fighters seriously.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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