Foo Fighters – ‘But Here We Are’ album review: Grief, memories and love are all wrapped up in this album


Barely a year after their darkest hour, the Foo Fighters' return to an older sound in the heartfelt but determinedly upbeat But Here We Are.

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Foo Fighters have been around for longer than me, but after the death of Taylor Hawkins, it seemed that the rock band might not have pulled through. Hawkins had been a major influence on the band, bringing in a new sound and a new creative direction from Medicine at Midnight’s electronic influence to Dee Gees / Hail Satin, the disco-infused cover album— he had become as much the heart of the band as Dave Grohl himself.

His tragic passing in 2022, then, must have shaken the band to the core.

But Here We Are is a regression for the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl is back on the drums; the sound is often rough and slow, reminiscent of that first self-titled album of 1995. It’s a comforting and familiar sound to those of us who grew up listening to Foo Fighters in their early era, but it’s a comfort weighted by the absence that the album is forced to address, musically and lyrically.

The late Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters (Image via Al Wagner / Invision / AP

‘Rescued’, the opening track, opens as brightly as it can, not unlike a requiem and that determined upbeat sound persists throughout ‘Under You. This album is a story of defiance in the face of grief as the band clings to an older sound and happier reflections— sometimes it leads to the songs feeling too similar to one another and to old tracks, yet it’s hard to have too much of a good thing.

The raw and gentle close of ‘Hearing Voices guides in the title track, ‘But Here We Are, where Grohl’s rough vocals meet the urgency of the instrumentals before the slower and more openly sorrowful ‘The Glass. Despite being the title track, ‘But Here We Areis not a particularly standout track. It’s eclipsed by the songs more outside of the comfort zone the Foo Fighters have retreated to: ‘Nothing At All  better resembles the Foo Fighters’ more recent work than anything else on the album with a nearly pop-rock verse to contrast the more old-guard style rawness of the chorus, followed by the gentle sweetness of ‘Show Me How featuring the pleasant surprise of vocals from Grohl’s daughter, Violet Maye Grohl.

via Oliver Halfin / MBC / PA

The album closes on ‘Rest’, a track so tender and slow that after the emotional ride of its predecessors, I found a few tears in my eyes. Ultimately, this album is a memorial for Taylor Hawkins and a resurrection for the Foo Fighters. Dave Grohl will always pull through, it seems. The white noise blares in the background to bring a hazy feeling to this goodbye: “In the warm Virginia sun / There I will meet you“, Grohl sings, breathy and low. The track ends without fanfare, and there’s an emptiness left behind, but it isn’t without hope.

Grief, memories and love are all wrapped up in this album, but it’s determination that ties them together. The Foos will carry on; it’s what they do.

Foo Fighters’ But Here We Are is out now via Roswell Records. You can listen to the opening track, ‘Rescued’ here:


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