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Album Review

*** FOO FIGHTERS, "The Colour and the Shape," Roswell/Capitol

May 18, 1997|Sara Scribner

Many were surprised when Nirvana's closed-mouthed drummer, Dave Grohl, stepped out from that band's dark shadows as a singer and guitarist with a youthfully effervescent album under the banner Foo Fighters. Listening to his songs "This Is a Call" and "I'll Stick Around," you had to wonder where the issues were. What about the fear, guilt, regret and sense of loss?

Here they are.

"The Colour and the Shape" begins with "Doll," a frayed folk-rock tune that quakes under the words "I've never been so scared . . . I wish I never had taken this dare / Doll me up in my bad luck / I'll meet you there." The song is one of the best on this big-sound powerhouse, which brims over with bombast a la Queen and scrappy, ornery guitar back talk punched up by producer Gil Norton.

Hard and soft, erratic and edgy, packed with anger, fear and foreboding, "The Colour and the Shape" slips fresh air into its sound as guitarists Grohl and Pat Smear duel with kidlike flair. What the album lacks in soul-digging lyrics that resonate--"Doll," "Monkey Wrench" and "Hey, Johnny Park!" are the big exceptions--it makes up for with perfectly good guitar.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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* Excerpts from these albums and other recent releases are available on The Times' World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: http://www.latimes.com/soundclips

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