Hey fans! It’s Monday which means the beginning of a new week – a week full of some AWESOME Switchfoot news! As you know, “Dark Horses” will be released to radio in just two days, but this week also is going to bring some FANTASTIC new video and new music your way – I can’t say too much yet, but just keep checking back in! To start off the exciting news though, Air1, one of the largest CCM radio stations around, has already started to play “Restless”! “Restless” is being released to CCM radio, while “Dark Horses” works the rock market, so I guess they’ve decided to send both songs out to radio at the same time. Check out the latest Air1 blog:
A few LOBHers have already heard the tune being played on the station, so we suggest you tune into Air1 today – they’re sure to play it again! You can listen online by heading right over HERE.
As we get closer to the album release date (according to our countdown – only 70 days left!), more and more reviews are starting to pop up! We’ve got two more early Vice Verses reviews for you today – a short review and a much longer and more complete review than the last one we posted – so read on for another glimpse at the new album! (Thanks for the link Podge!)
After 15 years together and seven highly successful albums released, one might think that this is the point when veteran rock band switchfoot would reach a creative standstill. Multi-platinum records, numerous industry awards, and sell-out concerts are just a few of their laurels upon which they could rest. However, switchfoot shows no sign of slowing down, instead doing quite the opposite, by charging full-speed ahead into new musical territory with their eighth album, Vice Verses.
With scorching, mile-a-minute guitars, and bouncy rhythms that are hard to resist dancing to, Vice Verses is the band’s most energetic album to date. The first two tracks, “Afterlife” and The Original,” are rousing introductions to the album, serving up heavy doses of hard-rocking guitar and drums. The Lenny Kravitz-esque “The War Inside” features a sonic, hip-hop beat over which Jon Foreman laments about being his own worst enemy. The band even experiments with spoken word on “Selling the News.” The first single “Dark Horses,” an electrifying anthem, is a surefire hit.
The mellow moments on this album are few, but when the band does slow down, it results in gems, such as “Souvenirs,” a reminiscent love song, and the title track “Vice Verses,” an acoustic ballad about life’s seemingly simultaneous blessings and curses.
View the source review HERE!
Vice Verses – Switchfoot
Louder Than The Music Rating 5 out of 5 Stars
Selling The News
It seemed like the moment the most famous Christian rock band in the world Switchfoot released their last album Hello Hurricane, people were already talking on the internet about the follow up, which at the time already had a working title of Vice Verses. The band have come a long way since the early days of their first release The Legend of Chin back in 1997, when the band were only a three piece made up of Jon Foreman, his brother Tim, and drummer Chad Butler. Soon followed New Way To Be Human, Learning To Breathe and then the album that changed everything for the band The Beautiful Letdown.
In more recent times the band released what I would count as their most radio/pop friendly recordOh Gravity and then their last release Hello Hurricane. For me there was something not quite right about Hello Hurricane. Yes it had many a great track, but as I said in my review back in 2009 “Will this be counted as the best Switchfoot album? No. Is this the most complete album they have made? No” and I think overall that wasn’t far off the mark. In talking about the new album the band makes reference to this. “The making of Hello Hurricane was really difficult for us,” says Chad Butler. “We were on a journey where we didn’t know what the destination was. This time was much easier, and I attribute that to knowing exactly what the songs were that we were going to work on… That put us in a position of strength this time. The process of recording was more enjoyable and much more focused.” For me that does come out in the songs. If I was writing a quick overview of what Vice Verses sounds like, I would have to say this rock album is a traditional sounding Switchfoot album, but with many twists and turns along the way.
The album kicks into life with Afterlife, which is a dark Foo Fighters sounding rock number. Jon Foreman sings with aggressive intent “I’ve tasted fire I’m ready to come alive, I can’t just shut it up and fake that I’m alright, I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the afterlife”. From the word go you know these lads mean business, there is a hint of self confidence in this song. The band go on to sing “And I wonder why, Would I wait till I die, to come alive? to alive I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the afterlife” Second track The Original has more of a rock swagger to it, there is a hint of Rolling Stones clashed with Jet’s track Are you gonna be my girl. Guitars rocking but with a bit of soul to this one, you can imagine Jagger strutting his stuff around the stage to this track, great tune.
Now here is the first twist for me, The War Inside has a hip hop beat backbone, something a bit different for the band. Jon shows the world via this song that he can sing in a very nontraditional rock kind of way. Taking a more rhythmic flow to the lyrics of “Age don’t matter like, Race don’t matter like, place don’t matter like what’s inside”. Moving on from that style of vocals, next track Restless sees Jon sound more like U2’s Bono than I have ever heard before. The U2 comparison doesn’t end there, this song could easily have fitted on a few U2 album. This style of sound also comes out in the stunning Souvenirs, softly and gently Jon sings “We were so young, We had no fear, We were so young, We had no idea… That nothing lasts forever…” Before you think Switchfoot have turned into the next U2, don’t panic, this really isn’t the case just these two tracks have the big stadium anthem rock sound, all ready to fit into the set for those big stadiums gig.
For me the biggest twist happens in the middle of the album, Blinding Lights and Selling News continue where the hip hop beats of The War Inside took us. Think Beck and The Beastie Boys mixed with the rock sound of Switchfoot and this might give an indication of what the band are trying to do. Especially the truly pop sound ofSelling News is something fresh from the band, and one of my standout tracks. This is band ready to take their fans to the next level, and it’s a side of the band I am pleased to have found. But if anybody isn’t too sure about the twists and turns of this album, Thrive and Dark Horses take the sound back to the more long established Switchfoot sound. Thrive is a strong big ballad and Dark Horses is rock and roll, amps to eleven, in your face, kind of song with a groovy bass throughout.
Musically the band members have excelled themselves, drums, bass, guitar and keys are not happy with just being fine, they have pushed themselves to be the absolute best they can be, and this comes out throughout the album as a whole. One of the most poignant moments of Vice Verses is the title track, with lyrics of “Where is God in the city life, Where is God in the city light, Where is God in the earthquake, Where is God in the genocide… Everything feels rusted over, Tell me that You’re there”. At times it sounds like Jon’s vocals are on the verge of crying in pain at what he is singing, a truly sad and wretched song coming straight from the gut. This is probably the most honest you will ever hear Switchfoot in any setting.
What else can I say? Is this the best Switchfoot album ever made? For me, this is the most complete album the band have made. Not scared to talk about how they feel about life and situations. This is a band who are pushing their sound forward, taking their fans defiantly to a rediscovered side of the Switchfoot sound. This is a great come back album from one of the world’s best rock bands.
You can view the source post right over HERE.
Switchfoot’s heading to Europe this fall/early winter, and they filmed a quick promo for one of their shows:
Discussion Point: Hey friends! It’s time for our Monday Comes Around Song Discussion! This week we’re going to mix it up just a little… and do something a bit different! Instead of discussing a specific song this week, I want to discuss album closers. Switchfoot – more than almost any band – is well known for their powerful, emotional album closers. In fact, the closers are often times anticipated more than the lead singles. So which ones are your favorites? Rank your album closers in the comments below and feel free to share why you put the songs in the order that you did!
Here is my list – and this was a lot harder to do than I thought! (“Is ‘Let Your Love Be Strong’ really better than ‘Red Eyes’? But what about that ending on ‘Red Eyes’!? The writing in LYLBS is almost un-matched, but I have SUCH an emotional connection to 24…” – You get the idea):
- Daisy (Nothing Is Sound) – Nothing. Nothing. Can ever top this song. The fragility of Jon’s vocals, the ache, the slow build to the emotionally raw climax? Unmatched.
- 24 (The Beautiful Letdown) – There is so much heart in this song – when I hear it, I think of the TBL DVD, of Jon sitting in the hotel room, playing the song softly; I think of the back story (show off!); I think of sitting on the beach and hearing this song for the first time and watching the waves crash. This song is a journey.
- Let Your Love Be Strong (Oh! Gravity.) – Jon’s song writing on this song is virtually unparalleled – though I suppose eventually, I might agree that it’s matched only by Vice Verses. Also, the drums in this song are absolutely genius.
- Red Eyes (Hello Hurricane) – The ending. The Ending. THE ENDING.
- Living Is Simple (Learning to Breath) – This is a lot less emotional than the above songs, but I just love the wordplay! “All will be made well, will be made well, will be made well, will be well… is this fiction or divine comedy?”
- Don’t Be There (The Legend of Chin) – The loss of a friendship, the confusion, the frustration is all so evident in Jon’s vocals. Even at a young age, Jon’s skill of emoting the lyrics is stand-out.
- Under The Floor (New Way to Be Human) – A good song, not one of their best, but I do like the visuals.
See you in the comments!