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Switchfoot back with more ‘popular’ sound

Jan 22 • Arts & Leisure • 616

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Switchfoot has released their ninth studio album, “Fading West,” the first since their 2011 album “Vice Verses.”

The band has been around since 1996 and most likely was looking for a way to spice up their music.

A mix of pop and rock, Switchfoot crafted songs with uplifting lyrics and fairly good beats to create an overall good, solid record.

The first song and single released, is “Love Alone is Worth the Fight.”

It is a nice feel-good song. With lyrics like, “I’m trying to find where my place is/ I’m looking for my own oasis/ So close I can taste this/ The fear that love alone erases,” it makes for a nice love anthem and a good opener.

Switchfoot continues to uplift the listener with “Who We Are” and “When We Come Alive.”

Both exude a definite pop-vibe and are pleasant to listen to. In “Who We Are,” front man Jon Foreman croons, “They said the fight would break us/ But the struggle helped to make us/ Who we are.”

Switchfoot brings the rock with “Say It Like You Mean It,” and while the feel of the song may be more typical of Switchfoot, it doesn’t flow with the rest of the album.

“The World You Want,” slows the pace of the record down but the song has a very powerful message.

It states that we make the world and through our actions, is it really how we want it to be? It causes the listener to reflect by stating, “If the waters of time are made up of you and I/ If you change the world for you, you change it for me.”

“Slipping Away” brings back the ‘pop-y’ and upbeat songs that appeared previously on the album. It’s a nice song, but not necessarily memorable. Next up is “Ba55” and with it comes an MGMT/Arctic Monkeys vibe.

While that isn’t a bad thing because it breaks up the catchy tunes, it does seem a little misplaced on an album that seems to be so focused on staying relatively upbeat.

“Let It Out” is a fun listen but sounds a bit like a song by One Direction and who knows if that’s a good or a bad thing. “All Or Nothing At All,” is another good song but blends into the rest of the album without standing out.

The last two songs are “Saltwater Heart” and “Back To the Beginning Again” and they wrap up the end of the album nicely.

“Saltwater Heart” is one of the best songs on the album due to the combination of lyrics and beat. It’s fun to listen to and fans will no doubt be tapping along to the beat. “Back To the Beginning Again,” seems to have a very similar beat to that of “Love Alone is Worth the Fight,” which allows the album to come to a full circle.

Overall, “Fading West” is a nice album to listen to. With definitely more pop vibes, it brings a new side of Switchfoot that listeners may not have heard or expected. “Say It Like You Mean It” and “Ba55” are good, solid songs but stand out like a sore thumb against the other songs. They bring the typical rock side of Switchfoot, but with the overwhelming amount of pop tunes on “Fading West,” they just don’t fit.

Switchfoot put out a great album and showed a side that many are not used to. It may not be the usual sound fans are used to, but it will leave listeners content and wondering where the band will go with its next album.

 

 

SAMMIE JANIK

janik001@knights.gannon.edu

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