Track by track: Foo Fighters - But Here We Are (2023)

But Here We Are is the latest album from the Foo Fighters, and it represents the band's comeback after a year filled with heartbreaking losses, personal introspection, and bittersweet remembrances. But Here We Are is a testimonial to the healing powers of music, friendship, and family. It is a brutally honest and emotionally raw response to all the Foo Fighters have been through recently. 

But Here We Are is both the 11th Foo Fighters album and the first chapter of the band's new life. Produced by Greg Kurstin and the band itself, it is their first studio album since the death of their longtime drummer, Taylor Hawkins, in March 2022. Frontman Dave Grohl performed and recorded the entirety of the album's drum tracks in Hawkins' absence. Four singles, "Rescued", "Under You", "Show Me How" and "The Teacher" were released ahead of the album, while drummer Josh Freese was announced as Hawkins' replacement for touring after its release. 

Here is my personal track-by-track, with info about the songs and my opinion/rating.

1. Rescued
The album's lead single and opening track sets the tone for the rest of the record, as Grohl sings about the shock and disbelief of losing Hawkins: "It came in a flash / It came out of nowhere / It happened so fast". Dave also asks "Are you feeling what I'm feeling?" as he addresses the fans who have supported him and the band through their darkest times. Great opener, very straightforward. 75/100

2. Under You 
The song is about the bond between Grohl and Hawkins, "Pictures of us sharing songs and cigarettes, this is how I’ll always picture you". Very catchy tune, 100% Foo Fighters and definitely one of the best songs of the album. 77/100

3. Hearing Voices
This is a song that deals with the paranoia and anxiety that Grohl experienced after Hawkins' death. "I've been hearing voices, none of them are you". The song features a snaking guitar line, an atmospheric synth pad and a haunting chorus. 70/100

4. But Here We Are
The title track and the most aggressive songs on the album, But Here We Are sees Grohl venting his anger and frustration over losing Hawkins. It starts a little slow and it grows in intensity with Dave screaming on the microphone. 75/100

5. The Glass
A contrast to the previous track, The Glass is a soothing melody that sees Grohl finding some peace and acceptance in his grief. "Waiting for the storm to pass", Dave sings. Very good lyrics and overall an enjoyable mid-tempo but among my least favourites of the album. 67/100

6. Nothing At All 
A dynamic track that fluctuates between quiet verses and loud choruses, Nothing At All is a song that captures the uncertainty and confusion that Grohl felt after Hawkins' death. Another classic Foo Fighters tune (great chorus and great drumming), but with a more modern sound. 74/100

7. Show me how 
A shoegazey track that explores the theme of learning to live without someone you love. Violet sings with her father and she expresses her grief over losing her grandmother, Virginia Grohl, who died shortly after Hawkins. Very emotional and simple, I love this one and the voices of Father/daughter perfectly blend together. 76/100 

8. Beyond Me
A slow-burn power ballad that builds up to a soaring finale, Beyond Me is a song that sees Grohl coming to terms with his mortality and his legacy. He sings "You must release what you hold dear / Or so I fear / It's beyond me" as he realizes that he has to let go of his attachments and face his fears. The song features a piano intro, an orchestral arrangement and a powerful vocal performance by Grohl. I prefer the second part, when drums kick in. 68/100

9. The Teacher
The fourth and final single, The Teacher is a lengthy song that pays tribute to Grohl's mother, Virginia. The song is named after her profession and explores the lessons she taught Grohl throughout his life, as well as the impact of her death on his own mortality: "One step closer to the other side / I can feel what others do / I can't stop this if I wanted to". The song ends with a scream of "goodbye" that fades into feedback. Maybe a little too long, overall, but a great and emotional song. Well done, Dave. 74/100

10. Rest 
The song is a sort of lullaby that Dave sings to Taylor as he bids him farewell: "Rest - you can rest now / Rest - you will be safe now" (the riff is a little too similar to "Congregation" - Sonic Highways). Again, a little too long, in my opinion, but very intense and emotional 70/100

This is a very unusual Foo Fighters album, with some tracks that you expect from the band (the first two tracks) but some others are different, slow and with dark lyrics (The Teacher and Rest, above all). This is a very mature work and despite the fact I don't love every single second of the album, I find it an impressive piece of work and one of the most interesting albums by the band. So far, my favourite album of 2023.

Overall rating 75/100

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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