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Music / The Colour and the Shape

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The only thing I'll ever ask of you: You gotta promise not to stop when I say when

The Colour and the Shape is the second album by rock superstars Foo Fighters, released in 1997. Technically their debut album, since Dave Grohl was the only member on the self-titled debut, the lyrics dealt with breakups and divorces, homesickness, and mental health—the tracklisting was designed to resemble a "therapy session," in Grohl's words. What resulted is an album that is sometimes considered the Fighters' best album, if not one of the best albums ever. Backed by the singles "Monkey Wrench," "My Hero," and possible Signature Song "Everlong," the album has sold 2 million copies since its release, by far their best-selling record.



Side One

  1. "Doll" (1:23)
  2. "Monkey Wrench" (3:51)
  3. "Hey, Johnny Park!" (4:08)
  4. "My Poor Brain" (3:33)
  5. "Wind Up" (2:32)
  6. "Up in Arms" (2:15)
  7. "My Hero" (4:20)
Side Two
  1. "See You" (2:26)
  2. "Enough Space" (2:37)
  3. "February Stars" (4:49)
  4. "Everlong" (4:10)
  5. "Walking After You" (5:03)
  6. "New Way Home" (5:40)

Later pressings have "The Colour and the Shape" (3:21) as the final track.

"Farewell my sweet tropeamania...":

  • Album Intro Track: "Doll," which is about going into things unprepared—fitting, considering the Mood Whiplash transition into "Monkey Wrench."
  • Careful with That Axe: "Enough Space"'s chorus consists of Grohl screaming "SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE, SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE" at the top of his lungs.
    • "The Colour and the Shape" takes this Up to Eleven. Even God wonders how Dave Grohl's lungs survived this song.
  • Changed for the Video: The video for "Everlong" features a repetition of the final chorus which isn't present in the studio version.
  • Dream Sequence: The video for "Everlong" is made up of these.
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  • Emo Music: The whole album is frequently the 90s variety, carrying over some of the melodic style of new recruits Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith 's previous group Sunny Day Real Estate. The album, (and in particular "Everlong") was influential on the 2000s emo scene, although the group has become both simultaneously heavier and more acoustic oriented over time, thus only bears traces of the style.
  • Fading into the Next Song: The whole album subtly fades into each other, but "Hey, Johnny Park!" —> "My Poor Brain" is the most obvious. This was intentional, to seem like a therapy session.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: In the video for "Everlong".
  • Genre Roulette: The album switches between amazing hard rockers and more tender songs pretty much all the time.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: The album ends with "New Way Home" (5:40).
  • Loudness War: The album regularly flitters between maxed out and dynamic, which makes it somewhat exhausting to listen to all the way through.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Doll".
  • Metal Scream: The entire bridge of "Monkey Wrench" is yelled out in seemingly a single breath.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Doll" (1:23).
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Hey, Johnny Park!"
  • The Oner: "My Hero"'s video appears to be this. It's however subverted in that the actual cuts are disguised by smoke.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • "Monkey Wrench":
      "Every single word you said and all the shit that somehow came along with this"
    • "My Poor Brain":
      "Sometimes I feel I'm getting stuck
      Between the handshake and the fuck"
  • Stop and Go: Occurs in "Monkey Wrench" constantly, but the longest is between the intro and first verse.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Walking After You", which comes directly after the rocking "Everlong". "Doll" would be this, but it's the first track.
  • Surreal Music Video: "Everlong". Takes place partially in dreams, but not All Just a Dream as such. It involves giant phones, band members discarding false skins to reveal their true identities, and Dave Grohl (in-character) gaining a massive right hand with which to administer bitch slaps of death. It's directed by Michel Gondry, one of the kings of surrealist videos.
    • "Monkey Wrench" is also pretty weird, with the multiple versions of the band.
  • Title Track: While they did have a song called "The Colour and the Shape", it was cut from the album because Dave felt its "Weenie Beenie 2.0" vibe didn't fit with the record (it was released as a bonus track on the 10th anniversary edition).
  • Uncommon Time: "Enough Space" is in 6/4. Dave states in the "Back and Forth" documentary that he wrote the main riff backstage on tour, around a beat he pictured the audience in London bouncing to, and the band had a mostly complete song by the time they came out onto the stage.
  • Window Love: The video for "Walking After You".

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