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Foo Fighters’ ‘Concrete and Gold’ conforms to the band’s classic-rock standards

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Foo Fighters Concrete and Gold

More or less by default, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters have become the standard-bearers for classic rock in 2017, in whatever small space the genre still occupies in mainstream music. So the band’s ninth album, Concrete and Gold, dutifully upholds that position, with slight variations on the sturdy old-school rock Grohl has been creating since the band’s 1995 debut. After the inconsistent ambitions of 2014’s cities-spanning project Sonic Highways, Concrete returns to something a little simpler, although it’s not quite the back-to-basics rawk of 2011’s Wasting Light, still the band’s best effort in recent years. In-demand pop producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, etc.) gives the album some extra gloss, but it’s not like he has turned the Foos into a dance-pop act. Grohl screams a bit on lead single “Run,” and nearly every song builds to an arena-friendly hard-rock chorus. Guest vocalists including Justin Timberlake, The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman blend into the walls of harmony vocals, and even Paul McCartney makes a mostly anonymous appearance, playing drums on the psychedelic groove “Sunday Rain” (featuring Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins on lead vocals). It all conforms nicely to classic-rock standards, which, by now, seems to be precisely the point.

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