You might grow frustrated with Dave Grohl’s consistent displays of competence and rarer bursts of inspiration, or his ubiquity as the rock guy present at every awards show celebrity jam.
The worm began to turn, however, with Sonic Highways , the 2014 album recorded in eight cities across the U.S. that attempted to pay heartfelt tribute to the band’s various influences but ended up sounding painfully anonymous.
And befitting an album that features Paul McCartney as a guest — Macca plays drums on “Sunday Rain” — Concrete and Gold sounds downright Beatles-y at times.
The acoustic strum of “Save It Till Morning” copies the shimmering blueprint of Ferg’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)” to a T. The femme-braggadocious “M.I.L.F.$.” is too conscious in its hot pursuit of old school hip-hop, as is “You Already Know.” Yet, those tracks sound great, with the gooey, gauzy New Wave of “Hungry” (sampling Dead Can Dance, no less), the torrid, trop-house “Enchanté (Carine),” and the Jamaican-inspired “Love Is Blind” all giving Fergie the necessary wind (and unique musicality) for her breezy, buoyant voice.
That overarching sense of mortality, met by Allman with a mix of urgency and acceptance, looms over this posthumous release, as magnificent and moving a valedictory as you can achieve.
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