One By One goes from strength to strength in ways no Foo Fighters album has to date. For one, it's the first Foo Fighters record to feature guitarist Chris Shiflett, making the Grohl/Mendel/Hawkins/Shiflett line-up the first to survive two full Foo Fighters album/tour cycles. Or as Taylor Hawkins puts it, "This is the final line-up, the one that lasts until the band breaks up."
True enough, from the opening salvo of "All My Life" through the riveted-tight "Low," the melodic highs of "Have It All" and "Times Like These," the whisper/scream transitions of "Disenchanted Lullaby" and the spare, haunting ballad "Tired" (replete with ominously beautiful guitar swells courtesy of Queen's Brian May), all the way to epic closer "Come Back," this camaraderie is in full evidence: Both in the width and breadth of material here and the consistency and tightness with which the band attacks it all.
"This album is different than anything we've ever done," Grohl says, "but it still has our fingerprints all over it. It still has our trademarks. So, as much as a departure as it may be, there is still a common thread, which is our sense of melody, or our sense of arrangement, the way we approach playing our instruments; And I think we're always challenging ourselves, whether we're going in a pop direction, or a complicated prog-rock direction... That's what makes being in a band interesting and fun, keeping it a challenge and keeping it fresh. Doing something different than what you've done before."
"I also think it's different for us," he continues, "Because we have a lot of freedom that other bands don't. When it comes to making our albums, we make them in our own studio, on our own label (Roswell) and then give it to the bigger businessmen to distribute it and market, and things like that. Everybody has an opinion, thinks it should be one way or another. But at the end of the day, we're all stable and confident, knowing that we have the final say, in anything."
It was this freedom that allowed the recording of "One By One" to be split into two sessions, permitting Grohl to take a mid-album break to tour with Queens Of The Stone Age (on whose Songs For The Deaf he plays drums on all but one track). Though the delay may have been a source of angst for his bandmates, it undoubtedly made for some serious mental palate-cleansing, resulting in the addition and re-arrangement of some of One By One's best material, as well as a renewed sense of vigor and purpose that all but jumps out of the finished product.
"This album being the best album we've ever made," Grohl concludes, "I feel like it definitely deserves 100 percent of your attention. Now it's time to give it everything that we have, gladly. I can't wait to play it, to do more interviews. That's new for me!...I'm excited about it and I want the world to hear it because I'm so proud of it."
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME
Lacquers cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA
Includes Free High Quality MP3 album download
LP 1 - Side A:
1. All My Life
3. Have It All
LP 1 - Side B:
4. Times Like These
5. Disenchanted Lullaby
6. Tired Of You
LP 2 - Side C:
2. Lonely As You
LP 2 - Side D:
4. Burn Away
5. Come Back