It seems like that when the Foo Fighters decided to take a year off, it meant that everyone was free to pursue other outlets. Chris Schiflett released an album with his band Jackson United, Nate joined the reformed Sunny Day Real Estate and toured out here for Soundwave and Dave had Them Crooked Vultures. So, what about drummer Taylor? Well, he put together this solo album. Out of all four members, it’s the best album in my opinion.
Inspired by grandiose 80’s rock (think Queen) Taylor Hawkins has put together a solid album of tunes. The first thing to capture me was his vocals. Rough around the edge with great pitch and harmony, singing is clearly a hidden talent for the drummer. The second was the quality of songwriting. Taylor definitely doesn’t fall into that cliched drummer category. There’s an abundance of musical talent here and it’s hard to not make comparisons to band mate and friend Dave Grohl.
Starting proceedings off with the great ‘Not Bad Luck’, the album displays fine rock n’ roll with an emphasis on solid riffs, well thought arrangements and smart use of instrumentation to create a really great record. Guest appearances by Queen’s Brian May, Elliot Easton of The Cars and Dave Grohl add substance to the songs and the style Taylor has created. My only criticism is that the album seems a little too polished and over produced, which takes away the jagged edge to the some of the tracks.
Outstanding tracks include ‘Hell To Pay’, ‘James Gang’ and ‘Don’t Have to Speak’. If for some unknown reason Foo Fighters ever call it a day, I think Taylor could easily have success with his own offerings. In fact, I’d prefer to see another album like this than what the Fooies come up with next. It’s a hell of a call, but this is a hell of a record.