Wasting Light

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Apr 12, 2011

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Buy On
  1. Wasting Light isn't perfect, but its flaws are essential to its being.
  2. Apr 29, 2011
    Recorded in the garage of frontman Dave Grohl's home in Encino, Calif., the 11-song set is an explosive, high-octane burst of rock energy from a 16-year-old band that is tightly honed and righteously raw.
  3. Apr 11, 2011
    What really matters is that nearly ten years after Songs for the Deaf, Josh Homme's influence finally rears its head on a Foo Fighters record, Dave Grohl leading his band of merry marauders -- including Pat Smear, who returns to the fold for the first time since 1997's The Colour and the Shape -- through the fiercest album they've ever made.
  4. Apr 7, 2011
    Wasting Light is much more than a salad-days nostalgia trip -- it's Grohl's most memorable set of songs since 1997's The Colour and the Shape.
  5. Apr 21, 2011
    It sounds like fun was had in Dave Grohl's garage, but this good album could've been great had they spent more time songwriting prior to plugging in and cranking up.
  6. Apr 18, 2011
    Wasting Light is as good as mainstream arena rock gets now, twenty years after the fact.
  7. Apr 15, 2011
    It is exactly as you would have expected it to sound, and ultimately that isn't enough for anyone who doesn't rush out on the day of release to buy their albums.
  8. Apr 15, 2011
    While Wasting Light features a host of worthy set-openers, few prove to be as sticky or memorable as any number of their previous singles.
  9. Given their status, it wouldn't have been a surprise if Wasting Light had been a by-numbers affair for Foo Fighters.
  10. Apr 13, 2011
    Recent devotees may be left wondering why there's nothing for them to sing-along to.
  11. Apr 13, 2011
    Wasting Light appears to be just another good, if forgettable, entry in the Foo Fighters catalogue.
  12. Apr 13, 2011
    Foo Fighters have simply released one of the best albums of the year, and of their career.
  13. Apr 12, 2011
    In all, Wasting Light is almost a summation of where the band has been, as well as a convincing statement of why, nearly 20 years since they came together, Grohl & Co. are yet a force to be reckoned with, still influential and still relevant.
  14. Apr 12, 2011
    If nothing else, Wasting Light is Foo Fighters' first generally good record in six years, solid from top to bottom without the filler that marred the band's early records.
  15. Apr 12, 2011
    Bringing in Nevermind producer Butch Vig risked dangerous nostalgia, but his analog recording gives a fresh, warm feel to the proceedings.
  16. 80
    Not everything is so different though, and in a good way. The Foo Fighters still adhere to the formula that sells out arenas from London to Japan.
  17. Apr 11, 2011
    Wasting Light isn't a masterpiece, nor does it see Grohl really reinventing the wheel as far as the band's sound goes, but it's clearly painted from a broader pallette of colours and it's clearly their first consistently good set of songs.
  18. Apr 11, 2011
    It's the type of song the Foo Fighters wrote knowing their nineties fans would relish. Still, this is as far removed from the Alternative Nation as you can get.
  19. Apr 11, 2011
    Wasting Light sounds like the work of a band with something to prove, rather than the work of one of the biggest rock bands in the world.
  20. 40
    The three-year gap between albums will ensure this tops next week's album chart, but it's a drab, unrewarding experience.
  21. For all its faux-primitive origins, their seventh studio album is every bit as likely to ship platinum as the previous six.
  22. Apr 11, 2011
    It's all competently done, but none of it matches the invention of Grohl's drumming in the last decade with Queens of the Stone Age, Probot or Them Crooked Vultures.
  23. Apr 11, 2011
    Add in a clutch of terrific songs that perfectly balance leader Grohl's gift for pairing earworm melodies with both chunky power-pop guitars and thrashy screamers and you've got the most vital, stem-to-stern enjoyable Foo Fighters album in quite some time.
  24. Apr 11, 2011
    Even after several listens there's little here to really strike a chord with the long-standing Foos fan. That's not to say it's poor - it's far from that.
  25. Sounds like his band are having too much fun.
  26. Apr 8, 2011
    The album reunites Grohl with producer Butch Vig, who worked on Nirvana's 1991 monster, Nevermind, and brings the same nuanced approach to weight and release here.
  27. Apr 7, 2011
    That said, the occasional ghastly clunker such as Miss the Misery apart, the songs do their job ruthlessly and brutally. But there's a welcome lighter touch on I Should Have Known, Grohl's touching address to Cobain (featuring Nirvana's Krist Novoselic on bass and accordion), and Walk, perhaps the most satisfying Foo rocker since Learn to Fly.
  28. 80
    Using entirely analogue tape, Vig, together with top mixer Alan Moulder, brings a deliciously lump-free production consistency to the Foos, who have often erred between the indigestible extremes of thrash-metal and acoustic angst.
  29. Apr 7, 2011
    Really, though, this is nothing more than business as usual: some killer, some filler.
  30. Apr 7, 2011
    The Foo Fighters may have ballooned in size over the past few years and if it took them going back to their roots to make an album this good then so be it, but when all is said and done Wasting Light is as an example of how to be a globe-eatingly massive band and still sound young, hungry and, above all, important.
  31. 90
    To date, the Foo Fighters have never tried to reinvent the wheel, per se; they just want to keep it rolling. And that's just what Wasting Light does. For that purpose, Foo Fighters give us a solid record from open to close. The drought is over. Rock is back.
  32. 91
    Light is a muscular rock & roll throwdown, featuring the Foos delivering exactly the kind of catchy, pummeling anthems they're known for, with total disregard for the whims of the masses.
  33. Mojo
    May 16, 2011
    Wasted Light finds Foo Fighters at their boldest, their most vivid. [May 2011, p.101]
  34. Q Magazine
    May 16, 2011
    The defining album of his career, Wasting Light is the sound of Dave Grohl putting his whole life in context. [May 2011, p.110]
  35. Kerrang!
    Apr 21, 2011
    This is a largely unimpressive album. [9 Apr 2011, p.50]
  36. Alternative Press
    Apr 7, 2011
    Finally, the coolest guy in rock makes a record worthy of his reputation. [May 2011, p.92]
  37. Uncut
    Apr 7, 2011
    These are good songs, but they're so boldly signposted, you can see them miles away. [May 2011, p.85]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 189 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
  1. Apr 21, 2011
    rarely have i been so enthusiastic about an album as i have been for Wasting Light. easily the best record i have listened to in the lastrarely have i been so enthusiastic about an album as i have been for Wasting Light. easily the best record i have listened to in the last couple years. can't give it anything but a straight 10/10. well done boys you are well and truly back to your best. keeping rock alive since 1995! Full Review »
  2. Apr 17, 2011
    This is a tremendous album (beyond that statement, I'm not sure a new Foo fan will understand my review). Within the history of Foo FightersThis is a tremendous album (beyond that statement, I'm not sure a new Foo fan will understand my review). Within the history of Foo Fighters albums, "Wasting Light" holds a very complicated place. It pulls the band even further away from the post grunge aesthetic, a pull that began with "Echoes." But "All My Life" was a foreshadow for this record. And "White Limo" reminds me a lot of "Wattershed." And Pat Smear is back in the band. "Wasting Light" dabbles much, much less with pop rock sensibilities. But not completely (see "Back and Forth"). Certainly it's the band's seventh album in its 16 year career, but "Walk," "Times Like These," and "These Days" make the album feel wiser and more serious than anything Foo Fighters has ever done. But not completely (seen the "White Limo" video?). For as much as there is on "Wasting Light" that makes it so different from earlier Foo albums, there's almost as much that proves it hasn't fallen far from the band's tree. Great songs that kick butt from a band that enjoys kicking your butt. Full Review »
  3. Mar 9, 2013
    That's for sure the best record by Foo Fighters. And it is also the best album of 2011, with R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now. The sound is veryThat's for sure the best record by Foo Fighters. And it is also the best album of 2011, with R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now. The sound is very good and I think Walk is one of their best song ever. Foo Fighters are most of the present of rock. Very well done! Full Review »