Thursday, November 12, 2009

Review Week (#4)

This week, I'm reviewing an album each day. I've recently come across quite a few good projects and I want to spread the word.

The newest release from super group Switchfoot leaves no doubt - these boys like to take chances.

A few months ago, videos started to surface on YouTube promoting this new record as something different for the band. Most notable was a candid shot of frontman Jon Foreman breaking down as he talked about desiring to write songs that meant something more. Foreman stated he wanted every song on this record to sound like the last song he would ever sing.

And although is a subjective judgement, I think Switchfoot accomplished just that. The polished pop of previous records set aside, Hello Hurricane is rough, raw and tumbling through multiple sentiments across the record. There's confession is songs like "Mess Of Me," blistering zeal in "Bullet Soul" and multiple songs that seem to center on growing old in the light of God's promises.

Technically, the band has taken some chances. Guitar tones here are fuzzy and overdriven past what you'd expect...quite a few leads sound like the amp is falling apart and the bass/drum section is relentless. There's quite a few piano elements to the record and Foreman's vocals sit much more dry in the mix.

All of that combines to make Hello Hurricane something that does, indeed, feel epic. This record is a peek inside a diary, a wide open assessment of what happens when dark hearts are touched by God. I don't know that we'll see radio hits from the record...but I don't think anyone will make the mistake of passing this record over. Brutally honest and possibly even more passionate that any record they've ever done - Hello Hurricane for sure.