Foo Fighters can hardly be accused of not being happy with their success. One of the biggest rock acts in the world, the Dave Grohl-led band have sold millions of albums, regularly play to sell-out crowds all over the planet, and have two 'Best Album' Grammys on their mantelpieces. Yet perhaps somewhere, in the deepest recesses of Grohl's mind, he realised that unless they enlisted Gil Norton's production expertise once again, they would never better their second album, 1997's Norton-produced The Colour and the Shape. And perhaps that's why Norton, erstwhile knob-twiddler to Pixies and Echo and the Bunnymen, has been drafted in for their sixth studio album. Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace possesses an uber-professional sheen, certainly; but it rarely comes close to recapturing the band's glory days. The occasions on which it does (Cheer Up Boys, Summer's End, Statues) are where Foo Fighters excel, and have always excelled – uptempo pop-rock with a heavy, yet modestly whimsical edge. Far too much of the album is formulaic, however; Grohl's penchant for quiet acoustic intros, power chord-laden middle sections and murky endings is in full swing here, with a good 70% of tracks adhering to that blueprint. There are some surprises, however - Long Road to Ruin is one of several that sound like beefed-up Springsteen tracks, Come Alive suggests that the band have been listening to Pink Floyd during their hiatus, and the instrumental Ballad of Beaconsfield displays some impressive fretwork. However, the constant shift between downbeat ballads and fist-punching rock anthems makes for a distinctly uneven album. Foo Fighters either need to stick to where their strengths lie, or make a clean break from their past; on this evidence, they do neither convincingly.