FOO FIGHTERS There Is Nothing Left To Lose (RCA)

Having been mightily and belatedly impressed with "The Colour And The Shape", there seems to be something mildly anticlimactic about the latest Foo Fighters offering. Maybe the melodies just aren't as cast-iron strong as before, or the production a little too one-paced, but "There Is Nothing Left To Lose" doesn't seem to crackle as crisply and pleasingly as I recall its predecessor doing. The finer moments are often the slower, reflective ballads that huddle on side two, for example "Next Year" and "Ain't It The Life". At its most cranked, however, "There Is Nothing Left To Lose" seems to lack some magical x-factor that leaves potential stadium stompers such as "M.I.A." sounding strangely emasculated. Grohl and cohorts seem to want to emulate the chunkiness and universality of early 70s heavy rock - Black Sabbath and Queen are both namechecked in the credits - but on the evidence presented here that laudable aim isn’t really achieved, unfortunately. Nevertheless, "There Is Nothing Left To Lose" is the first album I've bought to arrive with a free tattoo, which is progress of a kind, I suppose.