A year after they had finished it comes the Foo Fighters new album, Medicine at Midnight – yet again another corona delay. This is their tenth offering and sees the Seattle born band at their poppiest, and at 36 minutes their briefest as well. They went where the mood took them and were willing to take a different approach, this is most apparent on lead single ‘Shame Shame’ – a dark slice of alternative pop with a hypnotic drum beat that despite my initial reservations is an album highlight.
Dave and co’s knack for penning radio friendly ditties remains, as such the choruses here are huge with the electric ‘Making a Fire’ and its mile high wall of “Na-na-na-na”s an indefatigable example. ‘Waiting on a War’ – about the depressingly ever present threat of war – is similarly singalong but done on a grander scale, it starts off as a soft acoustic ballad before zooming headlong to a frenetic rock finish. Their love of a hook sees them go back to the 80s in ‘Love Dies Young’, a glossy power pop tune with a light and bouncy feel and shimmery guitars akin to The Cure.
The title track has a restrained Talking Heads sound to it and a solo akin to David Bowie circa Lets Dance. Things get mellow, in the pleasant but unremarkable 1970s soft rock of ‘Chasing Birds’. Both further demonstrating Medicine at Midnight’s eclectic array of pop and rock. ‘No Son of Mine’ (not a Genesis cover!) and ‘Holding Poison’ are the latter – the kind of propulsive, chunky riffed rocker that are ten a penny throughout their career and will not be revisited much.
The pop panache and arena rock choruses of Medicine at Midnight, like predecessor Concrete and Gold, makes for a decent record with a few too many fillers and a lack of staying power.