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Nirvana Tag

You know the rest of the Twenty-Teens will be a hard slog when even the quality of our rebellion is mediocre. Look at the so-called "rebels" in today's pop culture and what you really see are an endless stream of media frenemies, declaring their disdain

If you want to feel inspired, spend a few minutes talking with Debbie Gibson. Certainly, you’re probably aware of the chart success that Gibson enjoyed in the ‘80s, beginning with her first single “Only in My Dreams” in 1987, the first of five Top 40 singles that she would notch from her debut album Out Of The Blue.

The first three singles from Out Of The Blue charted Top 5 and with her fourth single “Foolish Beat,” Gibson would become the youngest artist (at age 17) to ever write, produce and perform a Billboard #1 single, an accomplishment that remains unbeaten more than two decades later.

Gibson faced challenges while working for the chance to record and release that first album and single, but she fought hard and the story of how Gibson stuck with the songs that she believed in — those very same songs that would be massive chart hits only a few years later, is a good one.

Foo Fighters are the last great American rock band. Now, before everyone races to refute the assertion, let me qualify it by saying that, through Dave Grohl’s years as the leader (and one-time sole bandmember, a’la the debut), the group has never been alt-indie-dance-trance-neo-neuro-prog-samba. Their stock-in-trade has been two guitars, bass, drums, attitude, harmonies in big choruses and, essentially, just what you expect a capital-R Rock Band to be. You’d want nothing less from their latest, Wasting Light and, fortunately for you, you get nothing less either.

A lot has been made of the mini-reunion aspects of this disc — Pat Smear is credited as a member of the band again (his first since The Colour And The Shape back in 1997), former Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic plays bass on “I Should Have Known” and Nevermind producer Butch Vig is behind the boards for Wasting Light. The biggest nod to a reckoning of the past lies on the song “Back & Forth” featuring a rubbery, descending riff not unlike one found in Nirvana’s “Lithium.” But to relegate the album to the minefields of photocopied old glories overlooks other thrills like the crunchy single “Rope” and the crunchier “White Limo.” Grohl’s time with Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures and his own metal offshoot Probot all inform the heavier sides of the disc.