Foo Fighters - The Colour and the Shape (Cover Artwork)

Foo Fighters

The Colour and the Shape (1997)

Roswell / RCA

I remember the time when the Foo Fighters released this album, the Colour and the Shape, as the time when prevailing modern alternative rock began its disintegration into the scrum of rap-metal, numetal, lots of Creed and lots of Korn. Joining these four horsemen of the modern rock apocalypse were the leftovers from the Lilith Fair (Jewel), and some catchy but annoying, adult-contemporary songs like "Walking on the Sun," "Torn" and "Semi-Charmed Life."

The hell that was modern alternative rock back then, I guess in retrospect, made me appreciate this album, The Colour and the Shape, a whole lot more. Definitely one of the best CD's to come out in the latter 1990's, this album is strong power-pop at its best.

Riffs and catchy melodies permeate every song on this album, especially on "Monkey Wrench," "Enough Space," "Wind Up" and a cute love song called "Up in Arms." Some youthful punk energy can also be found in "Monkey Wrench" and "Up in Arms," as reflected from Dave Grohl's days in D.C. hardcore band Scream. "Hey, Johnny Park" trods itself along as an emotional monster dirge. On "Enough Space" Dave unleashes earwax-building, reach-for-the-Q-tip-screaming that rivals any of today's numetal contemporaries.

A triumphant anthem for the ages, "My Hero" has possibly shows some of the best and strongest drumming parts ever put to tape by a particularly skilled drummer in his own right, singer-guitarist Dave Grohl. In fact "My Hero" was my own personal 1990's version of Queen's "We Will Rock You."

The superhit of this album (and probably for the Foo Fighters career) is "Everlong." "Everlong," now a long running staple on some radio stations, builds itself on short riff attacks alongside drumming heavy on the snare or cymbal to create a powerful love ballad.

For those touchy, feely types out there, "Walking After You" is a slow, soft acoustic somber song beautifully done to reflect true devotion and love loss--but not in a dorky, emo, Chris Carraba kind of way.

So in comparison: There was the maelstrom of shit that hit radio and MTV in 1997. And then there was the quality guitar-driven and highly structured songwriting of The Colour and the Shape which essentially redeemed my faith in alternative rock for several years after until a band called Staind pretty much shattered it into so many microscopic pieces, pretty much the size of several lines of coke that these stupid numetal bands need to do to ease their "pain and suffering."

This album may not have redeemed modern alternative rock of today, but it sure proves to be an instant rock classic today, and even an influence among indie pop bands like the Get Up Kids, who cited the Foo Fighters among a list of bands they wanted to tour with.

If you want great power-pop and super-charged alternative rock, then you should definitely get this one. Highly recommended.