Dave Grohl, whose throat problems caused the postponement of two Foo Fighters dates originally scheduled for July, has become a reliable professional — a performer who consistently releases product that's steady and well-crafted. But if he's never put out a less-than-good album during his decade-plus as a frontman, neither has he issued a next-level mind-blower. And so it goes with Echoes, the group's most recent full-length, which mixes and matches heavy rockers with acoustic sensitivity showcases. The former tunes are generally more memorable: "The Pretender," which opens the disc, starts slowly before turning up the juice in a persuasive way, and "Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)" mates ringing riffs with a catchy power-pop melody. However, a few of the quieter ditties work pretty well, too, including the tender "Come Alive" and the concluding "Home." Overall, it's another solid "B" for an artist who keeps threatening to wind up on the honor roll.
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