Listen I: Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender”

I started being a casual Foo Fighters fan in 2002 when I saw their music video for “All My Life”. It is one of the 1st rock anthems I literally banged my head to. Since then, they are on my top 20 bands, and I enjoy their classics like “Everlong” and “Best of You”. But, like I said, I was a casual fan; I know the hits, but I don’t know their full albums and deep cuts, and I was not paying attention to their release dates.

But that all changed in 2008 when my friend, Chris Otes, introduced me to “The Pretender” while we are on an MRT ride home.

“The Pretender” is the 1st track single from the 6th Foo Fighters studio album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. The song (and album) were released in 2007, and it was nominated for Best Rock Song and Record of the Year in the 2008 Grammy Awards.

“Everlong” may be the best Foo Fighters love song. But, in my honest opinion, the Foo Fighters delivered their best non-love song in “The Pretender”. The 1st time I heard the song on that train ride, I was in total awe. It has the perfect mix of melody and noise, something I love in a rock song – or any song for that matter. I’m in love with the song’s melancholic strings section. I’m in love with how the lead and rhythm guitars shoot back and forth as they build the most badass progression in rock. And I’m in love with the bass and drums that added more depth to that already-badass progression.

As for the lyrics, I’m aware that it is politically-themed. But if I were to make a personal take on it, it speaks about how much I’m determined to never surrender to powers that be, to continuously fight the forces stronger than I am.

Let me quote one of my favorite parts of the song – the chorus:

What if I say I’m not like the others?
What if I say I’m not just another one of your plays?
You’re The Pretender
What if I say I will never surrender?

The powerful lyrics and the most amazing rock music ever made by Dave Grohl and company are the reasons “The Pretender” is my go-to alarm clock music and simply my favorite song of all time. And “The Pretender” is why I transformed from a casual Foos fan into a die-hard fan who checked and is obsessed with all of their studio albums, extended plays, and interviews.

And have you seen the music video? It has the Foos rocking at an airplane hangar in front of riot police officers. Just watch it. It’s also my favorite music video of all time. Great job, Foos, the director Sam Brown, and the entire production staff.

Check out the awesome music video of Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” on YouTube.

I may have found a lot of other favorite songs since 2008, but mark my fucking words: I don’t think I will ever find a piece that is as perfect and intense as “The Pretender”. And to Chris, my friend who introduced me to my favorite song ever, thank you.

P.S.: Chris, if ever you’re reading this, I hope you’re doing well, and I hope we can talk again soon.

Rating: 🗲🗲🗲🗲🗲


Image header: The music video of Foo Fighters’ “The Pretender” (2007). Edited in Adobe Photoshop 2022.

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The Deranged Writer

Yes, he wears a mask sometimes. And according to most people, he looks like Bruno Mars when he is unmasked. He is a web/graphic designer by day and a hobby writer by night. (Or during his free time. It depends.) He is a huge fan of Dave Grohl and The Undertaker. He is a friendly introvert.

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