Friday, December 30, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of 2011 -- #30: "White Limo" -- Foo Fighters

I've been waiting for this post for a good while, because... well, here goes: I'm incredibly unimpressed with Foo Fighters' Wasting Light. There, I said it. I'M SORRY. Sorry. I know this is one of the most beloved releases by the band and of rock music period in 2011, but I was put off immediately by the band's incredibly subpar choices for lead singles: "Rope" and "Walk." At least the former grew on me. The latter? Oh come on, you call that a chorus? Mr. Grohl, you're better than that. You're better than BOTH those songs. And "These Days"? Yawn.

Unpopular opinion continued: the best song off Wasting Light is the most un-Foo Fighters song ever. Yep, you already know what I'm talking about. It's "White Limo," of course.

Grohl is a self-professed fan of '80s hardcore punk, and with "White Limo," his love finally found a tangible form -- within the confines of a Foos song. After hearing the band due such songs as "Times Like These" and "DOA," I think the band's ability to replicate anything even remotely close to the genre could be reasonably questioned.

This rager of a tune explodes from almost out of nowhere on the record, certainly making it out of place, but I can recall interviews earlier in the album's production where it sounded as though this would actually be the sort of sound Grohl was going for with the entire album. So, understandably, "White Limo" got be pumped for the record. Maybe that's why I was so let down. OK, that could certainly be part of it.

If you're a fan of Dave Grohl's singing voice, "White Limo" won't have much to offer. Instead, the frontman presents a throaty howl that's surfaced on occasion on multiple other Foos songs. That said, he's never really done an entire song with it. Sure, there's a chorus in there, in which he attempts to bring some order to the chaos that is the rest of the song. But it doesn't really do any good, and that's quite alright.

Along with Grohl's impassioned growls, there's heavy guitar riffs, which occasionally remind one of the band's earlier works, but mostly recall the density of hardcore and metal releases 20-to-30 years prior.

For whatever reason, it's fun to listen to Grohl and company try to be something they're not. It was a step above the formulaic effort they produced otherwise. Give me this and "Bridge Burning," maybe throw in a little "Arlandria" for ballads' sake, and you've got something. Otherwise... mediocre. Sorry, Dave. Still love your videos, though.

(Speaking of which, PLEASE, if you know what's good for you, watch the music video for this song.)

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