Foo Fighters’ ‘The Line’ Is Predictable, But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Bad

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Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

The Foo Fighters have always been a band for whom the deep cuts and big hits are one and the same. All the gems are hidden in plain sight. Their best album will always be a compilation of their greatest hits. Time doesn’t really pass in the Foo Fighters’ musical universe. Their sound doesn’t age, let alone alter. There’s nothing specific about them, and in some ways there doesn’t need to be. For Dave Grohl and friends, a deep, broad faith in rock-and-roll basics is always sufficient to carry the day. The rest of rock can morph and shrivel, but Team Foo, like the Dude, simply abides. They’re the still point in a turning world: You know, before you ever hear a new single, that there will be huge guitars and winsome harmonies stretched taut over a solid low end.

So, with that said, “The Line,” the new lead single from their upcoming album Concrete and Gold, turns out exactly as expected. One waits to be lifted up in the verse, gets lifted up in the chorus, and there’s a bridge wide enough for crowds to walk across comfortably. The lyrics are clear and vague: some natural imagery, a neat line about a satellite, something about the need to fight, all held together by a tone best described as openhearted and full-throated. It’s blue-chip rock, a perennial sound you can set your clock by. The Foo Fighters are mainstream, middle-of-the-road, neoclassical rock music, and that’s perfectly fine. (What’s weird is that there’s no one else like them anymore: They’re a mainstream of one.) Here’s looking forward to Concrete and Gold, an album all but guaranteed to have three or four great songs (“The Line” among them) and eight to ten disposable ones. Some things will never change.

Foo Fighters ‘The Line’ Is Predictable, But Still Good