Foo Fighters. Calvin Harris, Marianne Faithfull

November 9, 2014 8:06 AM

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Foo Fighters. Calvin Harris, Marianne Faithfull

The thoroughly enjoyable Sonic Highways show will do nothing to harm Grohl's reputation as the nicest guy in rock-and-roll, and the thoroughly mediocre Sonic Highways album will do nothing to erase the impression that Grohl is a middling songwriter who gets by on undying enthusiasm, the occasional hard-to-resist hook, and one great self-titled album from 1995. Part of the problem is the ponderous concept: The genuine and likable Grohl wrote rocked-out songs like "Congregation," which features Zach Brown on guitar, and the ponderous "What Did I Do?/God As My Witness" by incorporating the words of his interview subjects into the lyrics. With few exceptions, such as the concise, bracing "In the Clear," the approach weighs down the songs with a burden of significance they cannot bear.

In his eight years in the limelight, Calvin Harris has gone from underground DJ and bedroom-recording electro-music maven to steely, theatrical composer and producer for drama queens like Rihanna. He named his debut album I Created Disco, so there's a history of hubris to Harris. Forbes reported he ...

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