• Record Label:
  • Release Date:
Sonic Highways Image
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 141 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Each song on the eighth full-length release for the rock band led by Dave Grohl was recorded in a different city: Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York, which is documented in the HBO TV series of the same name.
Buy On
  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Genre(s): Grunge, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, Post-Grunge
  • More Details and Credits »

Top Track

Something from Nothing
Give me the flammable light I'm cold as a match ready to strike So here I go Here lies a city on fire Singing along The arsonist choir Now here I... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 90
    [A] remarkable exploration of and ode to American music.
  2. Nov 10, 2014
    80
    Foo Fighters are providing the map, it’s up to the audience to explore. Therein lies its beauty.
  3. Mojo
    Nov 19, 2014
    80
    The blueprint's not rewritten, but Something From Nothing and The Feast & The Famine dose the Foos format with steroids, while Grohl's earnest delivery redeems the occasional detour into cliche. [Dec 2014, p.89]
  4. 67
    Everything musical seems startlingly familiar, and not in the paying-homage-to-the-denizens-of-rock-past way the album’s conceit might have you imagine.
  5. Nov 10, 2014
    60
    Overall, this is a record of familiar virtues and failings: robust, full-throttle pop-rock, rather overstuffed with identikit stadium anthems, but largely redeemed by the force of Dave Grohl’s personality.
  6. Nov 10, 2014
    56
    Ironically, in trying to tap into the mystique of America’s most storied cities, Foo Fighters completely demystify their own creative process, effectively turning the Sonic Highways project into a glorified homework assignment--educational, perhaps, but laboriously procedural.
  7. Nov 7, 2014
    40
    Sadly, said stories [in the HBO series] are not quite as fascinating when told through the medium of the music of Foo Fighters.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Nov 14, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's a sign of real courage when a band that can count on millions of album sales and fill any stadium on the planet decides to take risks and experiment with new ideas - Sonic Highways is a powerful statement from an assured and accomplished band. You are unlikely to like everything right off the bat because they come at each song from different directions and sensibilities - but taken as a whole it's a triumph of the songwriters art. Just as Foo Fighters have ( IMHO) become this generation's Led Zeppelin, so Dave Grohl is growing into this generation's Niel Young - honest and uncompromised by commercial success - for that alone it's my album of the year. Expand
  2. Aug 21, 2015
    8
    "Sonic Highways" is concise and focused and at 8 tracks long, it carries no passengers and takes no prisoners. Foo Fighters have never been"Sonic Highways" is concise and focused and at 8 tracks long, it carries no passengers and takes no prisoners. Foo Fighters have never been singled out as innovative or cutting edge. Billy Corgan recently described them as derivative and I think this is accurate enough. The thing is, I don't thing the band have a particular problem with this. They make straight up American style rock music in the vein of many the American rock heroes of the 70's. They are what they are and they do their thing very well. This record is a prime example - even though the band took a completely new approach (different city for each song etc which I won't go into as its already well documented) to the creation of "Sonic Highways", the result is remarkably similar to what has gone before. To truly appreciate this approach you do have to see the accompanying TV series but its hard to get a sense of what the band set out to do by listening to the music alone. Opener "Something From Nothing" and closer "I Am a River" are my favourite tracks. In between you have a seriously meety rock sandwich. A must have album for fans of the Foos, well worth checking out in conjunction with the series for fans of rock. Expand
  3. Nov 19, 2014
    8
    Sonic Highways Review

    It's not the wildly experimental and varied record I expected it to be. Instead, it's just another really good Foo's
    Sonic Highways Review

    It's not the wildly experimental and varied record I expected it to be. Instead, it's just another really good Foo's album. And really, there's nothing to complain about there. More awesome Foo Fighters songs is never a bad thing. First half of the album is one great track after another, then it cools off and slows down a bit for the next 3 songs before finishing with a solid power ballad.

    Overall, not as consistently great as Wasting Light, but still one of the Foo's best albums. If you're a fan of them you're almost definitely gonna love it.

    Rating: 8.6 / 10 (Great)
    Expand
  4. Nov 11, 2014
    7
    With Wasting Light, the Foo Fighters had established itself as one of the biggest representants of the contemporary rock, so they hadWith Wasting Light, the Foo Fighters had established itself as one of the biggest representants of the contemporary rock, so they had everything to do their new-best album. In theory, Sonic Highways is absolutely amazing and had a lot of hype however they lost themselves in the composition and the record, doing an another Foo Fighters' album, which is not so bad since their sound still good. But I say again, they had a lot of opportunities for doing their Magnum opus but at the end is just what they are doing for 20 years. Expand
  5. Dec 14, 2014
    7
    The Most classic, well known and respected rock bands have released they’re latest album. Everyone has been expecting great things to comeThe Most classic, well known and respected rock bands have released they’re latest album. Everyone has been expecting great things to come from the creative minds of Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and the rest of the band and racking up the excitement to 11 was the release of the HBO produced documentary of Foo Fighters recording their latest album: Sonic Highways. The bands consistency of quality music has been astonishing over the last two decades, and so we expect a certain bar for them to reach with their albums now. The main question that now lies with the album Sonic Highways is: Have they met it?
    The album could be seen as a bit of an experiment, which is a great idea to do as a lot bands can stagnate in producing the same music over and over. But with Foo Fighters I probably would’ve preferred for them to stay the same. This album feels pretty refreshing to listen to, but you do not feel like you are experiencing the full frontal force of the now iconic sound of the Foo Fighters.
    The Album starts off with an interesting track named “Something from nothing”, which can be linked with taking influences from a funk rock type of background. It’s a nice preview to how the album is going to be different from a typical FF album. Conterminously this track is “The feast and the famine”, which has more of a typical rock sound and whilst having an interesting start falls short of being that great a track, it just feels like a lacks to real power that you really want from a solid rock song. It almost doesn’t feel complete. The next song – Congregation - is surely a tribute to bands like Thin Lizzy and carries itself along at a nice pace. The 4th track on the album “What did I do/God is my witness” has some similarities to Lynyrd Skynyrd, specifically I would say Sweet Home Alabama and even though that song as a gem in the history of music, I can’t help but find this song a bit boring. “Outside”, the fifth track on the album does not have any direct similarities to other bands I have heard yet but it is a possibly one of my favourite on the record. It has a brilliant riff and a good pace to its songs speed that makes it extremely easy to listen to compared to track 1,2 and 4 before (even though I do like track 1 a lot). It also comes with a haunting guitar towards the 4 minute of the song which chills the spine with its perfectly adjusted tone that adds phenomenally to the track. The 6th track “in the clear” is a little mundane too, and a bit under par to typical Foo Fighters quality, and has a similar fault to track 4: it’s just a little boring. The second to last track “Subterranean” is a step up to the previous track and is a decent song, although it doesn’t really seem like it goes anywhere. Its guitar is refreshing and chilled out, making it a nice change from the rest of the album as a genuinely slow paced song. However song of the lyrics seems a bit out of place at time. The final song “I am a river” carries on directly from the penultimate track and really works nicely as a whole and concludes the album brilliantly. It all fits together perfectly, every aspect of this song is complete and just sounds conclusive. It has at times a less delayed but similarly toned guitar riff to Angels and Airwaves, which just sounds great and I am certainly a fan if their music turns into songs like this one, and I’d say this song is my favourite on the album.
    So has Foo Fighters done it? No, they have not lived up to their previous behemoth of their last album “Wasting Light” which was easily their best work yet and dwarfed this album, but it does show Foo Fighters have evolved. They’re not afraid to experiment with their formula, and they have made an album that doesn’t stand out as being a great Foo Fighters album, but stands out as being an interesting separate piece of work that is still enjoyable to listen to and detaches itself from the typical Foo Fighters sound. To some this album may be a bit of a let-down, but it still shows Foo Fighters are as creative as ever and still can make quality music.
    Expand
  6. Nov 20, 2014
    6
    "Sonic Highways" plays like a perpetual song with almost all tracks indistinguishable from the other, yet sometimes the strongest riffs and"Sonic Highways" plays like a perpetual song with almost all tracks indistinguishable from the other, yet sometimes the strongest riffs and most sentimental vocals lift this album past the tediousness that risks to overwhelm. Expand
  7. Dec 19, 2014
    0
    Such a weak album. It's the Foo Fighters again. ...the band who people mostly only liked because Dave Grohl from Nirvana does frontman orSuch a weak album. It's the Foo Fighters again. ...the band who people mostly only liked because Dave Grohl from Nirvana does frontman or "takes Kurt Cobain's job now, but can't scream as purposefully as Kurt." This music is all like their other albums except even worse. A bunch of forgettable tracks. ...but what can be said about a mediocre band after doing the same thing for almost 20 years. Ugh. Expand

See all 29 User Reviews