"The Pretender" is a song by the American alternative rock band Foo Fighters. It was the first single from the group's 2007 album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. It is one of Foo Fighters' most successful songs; peaking at number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (making it their third top 40 single), only "Learn to Fly" and "Best of You" beat its position on the Billboard Hot 100.


Grohl described "The Pretender" as "a stomping Foo Fighters uptempo song, with a little bit of Chuck Berry in it." The song is written in the key of A minor and showcases the shifting dynamics which Grohl wanted to employ on Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, starting with a very stripped-down introduction, featuring soft guitar and vocals along with a small string section. Then comes an escalating hard rock sound, interrupted by breakdowns and escalations in the bridge, including a repeat of the intro.


Mixing engineer Rich Costey stated that making all these dynamics work, as well as balancing the instruments, was challenging, as Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins always want more focus on their instruments. The amount of guitar overdubs also worried Costey – "The guitars on 'The Pretender' are quite full on, with countermelodies and so forth, and they all tend to be in the same range, so it gets quite dense. The challenge of this type of mix is to retain the power of the track, yet define a space for everything. Handling the guitar balance was a slight chore, and in comparison the drums and vocals were quite easy."





Lyrics



Keep you in the dark You know they all pretend Keep you in the dark And so it all began Send in your skeletons Sing as their bones go marching in again They need you buried deep The secrets that you keep are at the ready Are you ready? I'm finished making sense Done pleading ignorance, that whole defense Spinning infinity, boy The wheel is spinning me It's never-ending, never-ending Same old story 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? 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 that I'll never surrender? In time or so I'm told I'm just another soul for sale, oh well The page is out of print We are not permanent, we're Temporary, temporary Same old story 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? 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? I'm the voice inside your head You refuse to hear I'm the face that you have to face Mirroring your stare I'm what's left I'm what's right I'm the enemy I'm the hand that'll take you down Bring you to your knees So who are you? Yeah, who are you? Yeah, who are you? Yeah, who are you? Keep you in the dark You know they all pretend 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? 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? What if I say I'm not like the others? (Keep you in the dark) What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays? (You know they all) You're the pretender (Pretend) What if I say I will never surrender? What if I say I'm not like the others? (Keep you in the dark) What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays? (You know they all) You're the pretender (Pretend) What if I say I will never surrender? So who are you? Yeah, who are you? Yeah, who are you?