Foo Fighters: In Your Honor
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Since he started the Foo Fighters a decade or so back, Dave Grohl has approached fans with one hand clenched into a power-rock fist and the other proffering a flower of sprightly pop. He and his bandmates perfect that approach on this two-disc offering, which siphons Grohl's dual impulses into two separate discs. Disc 1 sets knobs to 11, from the eerie swoops of the trebly title track right on through to the end. Rather than by-the-book metal -- something Grohl got out of his system on his Probot side project -- the Foos delve into dark, gristly space-rock on tunes like the Hawkwind-styled "D.O.A." and the over-the-top, Rush-meets-Devo freakout "Free Me." It's the mellowed-out, '70s-styled second disc, however, that offers the most surprises -- thanks in large part to a far-flung assortment of guest stars. While none of them out-and-out steals the show from Grohl and company, it's impossible to understate the effect of hearing John Paul Jones pluck out a rustic mandolin line on "Another Round," one of a few tunes redolent of immersion in Led Zeppelin III. Jones pops up again -- this time behind the piano -- on the stately "Miracle," but that song gains most of its buoyancy from Petra Haden's violin playing. The most intriguing collaboration of all is the tune that bears the least resemblance to ghosts of Foos past -- a bossa nova–tinged slink entitled "Virginia Moon," on which Norah Jones beckons the band to lounge territory with sexy aplomb. As with most ambitiously scaled sets, In Your Honor is plumped up a bit, but there's enough meat on its bones to satisfy virtually any Foophile's craving.