Foo Fighters – There Is Nothing Left to Lose

Foo Fighters
There Is Nothing Left to Lose

The Foo Fighters have returned with their third record, having survived the major-label record merger that killed so many other bands. The infamous fighters of foo signed to Virgin records (claiming that the label had a more “rock oriented” roster). Without trying to sound too “indie,” I really wish this band had signed with an independent label, because if they had, so many of those “indier-than-thou” kids wouldn’t miss out on what is one of the best rock/pop records of 1999. There Is Nothing Left To Lose presents itself as a standard FF work, in that it presents the listener with hard-edged abrasive sounds as well as poppy melodies and excellent song structure. The unique aspect of Nothing Left to Lose, however, is that for the first time, the foos (and Dave Grohl to be precise) seperate the paradox of sounds into seperate songs.
Songs such as “Stacked Actors” recall the Foo’s more abrasive work of their first record, and songs like “Gimme Stitches” and “Learn to Fly” are as catchy and radio-friendly as songs like “Everlong” (from the Foo’s sophomore release, The Colour and the Shape). And that’s not to say that the Foo’s don’t branch out a bit. The song “Aurora” hits you with soft, warm, poppy textures that slightly resemble the Who’s later works. “Next Year” and “Ain’t It the Life” falter a bit, being just a bit boring, but they too break the standard mold and develop into 70’s style acoustic summer ballads. Don’t forget though, the meat and potatoes songs, such as “Generator” (with an outstanding verse melody) and M.I.A. (which touches classic foo- screaming AND melody).
All in all, this record holds up very well. It reminds me strongly of Cheap Trick’s self-titled debut album, and in many ways it surpasses that album in quality, if not in impact. Simply put, this may be the best mainstream rock record of 1999, even if it doesn’t start any sort of revolution. Cobain may have had better songwriting skills (and that nifty folkie mystique), but Grohl is far better with melodies (and, oh yeah, he’s still making music) and your record collection should be all the better for it.