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Review of the Album "One by One" by Foo Fighters

This image is also present on the album cover of One by One a heart in the middle.

This image is also present on the album cover of One by One a heart in the middle.

Introducing the Album "One by One"

One by One released in 2002 is the 4th studio album by alternative rock band Foo Fighters and being a big fan of this band, there is the tendency to want to dive in further and explore this band’s discography. One by One sees the band explore even further and get softer in some instances and in this case it works out okay. There is even a partial Nirvana influence in the song called “Tired of You.” I get the feeling that the beginning riff sounds a bit like the song “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle.” It may as well be considered an alternative rock kind of ballad. Sometimes in life we go through certain relationships where we feel sick and uninspired by what they bring only to realize that we were not tired of the other person at all. So far as of this writing I have heard 4 Foo Fighters albums fully and none of them are bad. Four albums listened to so far is a decent amount to have listened to in order to get a general idea of where a band is headed. The song we just discussed in this paragraph sounds like something I would have heard on The Gathering’s 2009 album The West Pole but that would be seven years later.

"One by One" is an Album That Represents Both the Highs and Lows of Foo Fighters

Initial recording sessions of the album were unsatisfactory and this raised tensions within the band. Fortunately, Foo Fighters decided to re-record this album from scratch and they made things work out. One by One became a commercial success reaching the top of the charts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. To this point in time, Grohl had been already established as one of the most well-known drummers when he joined Nirvana in 1990 and he might have not had a career after the death of Kurt Cobain but he became a musician that rose to the top of the ranks in the alternative genre. One by One was composed during a time in which the band almost reached their breaking point literally.

There was a feature story written about the album on October 22, 2020, 18 years after the album was released. Dave Grohl talked in depth about what wasn’t working with the album when he said: “We’d never taken a substantial break. We've never been away from the band. The band has always worked very hard and has always spent all of our time in the studio or on the road. It only made sense after seven or eight years we do that – to take a step back and look at the big picture, especially when you’re lost in the process of making a new album that’s going nowhere.”[1] There are times in life that even musicians need a break as Dave Grohl was absolutely correct. The band had been constantly releasing material since the earliest days in 1995 and they were more likely facing exhaustion or burnout. The album was re-recorded at Studio 606, Grohl’s home studio and it was around this point that the album was finally finished. What results is not an album that is fragmented but an album that while being experimental is also an album that still has that Dave Grohl aggressive vocal approach as well. He can sing loud or soft and this range makes him one of the best vocalists in the genre.

[1] Chad Childers, “18 Years Ago: Foo Fighters Unleash One by One,”, October 22, 2020, Accessed on February 21, 2021,


Final Thoughts About the Album "One by One"

Even the unusual sounding song “Low” which I think sounds kind of like something like System of a Down but is not as heavy is still a good song. Songs like “Times Like These” lyrically tell us the story that we can learn to love again or live life again on our own terms. Dave said that the song was about the fact that he did not feel totally like himself at that time. “Halo” is a song about how we can experience about the good and bad times of life. I look at this 4th Foo Fighters album as an album that was finally finished after the band overcame their tensions and the fact that it wasn’t musically working out.

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Childers, Chad. “18 Years Ago: Foo Fighters Unleash One by One,”, October 22, 2020, Accessed on February 21, 2021,

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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