Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Foo Fighters: Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace [RCA/Roswell, 2007]
The real ageist scandal of this year's Grammys wasn't Herbie Hancock, who--unlike Natalie Cole and Tony Bennett in the long-lost '90s--won with the most artistically ambitious album nominee. It was this candid attempt to recapitulate Nirvana Mark II's 10-year-old triumph, The Colour and the Shape, a bonus-cutted reissue of which was released just two months before the Foos' ballyhooed reunion with producer Gil Norton, all of which can be read as the defiant professional credo of The Man Who Invented Nickelback. Kurt was a quitter, but Dave Grohl says he'll "never surrender," just like the download-combatting stalwarts who chose him over Daughtry and Bruce Springsteen. Sure, Grohl is hookier than Nickelback, which is saying something. But he's not as hooky as those bonus cuts, which include Prince and Killing Joke songs, or as intense as his 1997 self. And the well-rounded optimist will go along with the hooky up-and-at-'em of "Cheer Up, Boys" only till he or she notices the subtitle, which is: "(Your Make Up Is Running.") Those emo posers, how dare they? B