When you think of Grammy darlings, Foo Fighters should come to mind. The icons have received 15 Grammys throughout their career, including a record five wins for Best Rock Album. But all these awards, although impressive, did not help the rockers to win outside the fields of rock and film music, although the group took a couple of nominations in the general field of the road. It’s hard to argue against Foo’s total field loss against heavyweights like Adele, Herbie Hancock and Amy Winehouse, but it feels like the legendary band should have won a big category now after getting nominations for more than 25 years. What if I told you that their time is finally here?
The Foo Fighters’ “But Here We Are” is the band’s most beloved album by critics. On Metacritic, it has a score of 86, the highest of their career. Part of the record’s critical success has to do with their changing sound, focusing less on the hard rock aesthetic of their previous records and more on sophistication. While the Foo Fighters have done rock ballads and quieter music before, “But Here We Are” takes this approach to the max, even going as far as dream-pop (“Show Me How”). This change can be greatly appreciated in academia. First, because the album will be more palatable to pop voters than their harder, grungier past material. And secondly, because the Grammys love artistic evolution. If they like “Medicine at Midnight,” their previous album that won three Grammys but was considered “an album that sounds like Foo Fighters,” then they’ll love the Foo who aren’t afraid to take risks: just ask. Beck, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift.
Speaking of Swift, who seems like this year’s artist to beat in most Grammy categories, how did the Foo Fighters beat her? The answer is to split the vote. While Swift is the clear front-runner, she has to hold back Olivia Rodrigo for the pop vote, which will be difficult due to Rodrigo’s record “Guts” being widely acclaimed and commercially successful. Considering that rock music has underperformed in general categories in recent years, it’s likely that Foo will be the only rock nominees, allowing them to monopolize the voting bloc. Also, the Foo Fighters may have a stronger narrative, reuniting to produce a career-best record after the death of the beloved drummer. Taylor Hawkins who died suddenly in March of 2022. The Grammys would probably love to honor Hawkins, and that would be more weighty than giving Swift another Album of the Year trophy, or giving Rodrigo or SZA with honor if both probably have at least half a dozen great albums on it.
If ever there was a time to award the Foo Fighters with Album of the Year, this is it. The competition is scarce enough for a win that doesn’t feel strange, the album is well-regarded, there’s a really strong narrative behind the record, and their rivals feel they can wait for one more. years. Admittedly, you’d have to feel confident declaring a Foo a win now – for all we know, they might not even get nominated. But it feels like, in the vein of Beck or Steely Dan, Foo Fighters could be the next overdue veteran act to surpass more commercial records to achieve Grammy glory. And like those two rock legends, you can’t deny that the win is overdue, and that it’s a long-awaited salute to one of rock’s brightest talents.
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