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Fading West


Jon Foreman – lead vocals, rhythm guitar

Tim Foreman – bass

Chad Butler – drums

Jerome Fontamillas – rhythm guitar, keyboard

Drew Shirley – lead guitar


          Oh 1996, where were you then? Switchfoot was just getting started on their storied career. Then, though, they were called Chin Up, but that didn’t last long. After only a few shows the band was contacted and then eventually signed to Re:think Records under the current name Switchfoot. On that label they released their first three albums, The Legend of Chin, New Way to Be Human, and Learning to Breathe. The label was bought out before the first release which put a damper on the band’s marketing plan since the new album was a Christian label. Soon after some exposure from the movie “A Walk to Remember” the band attracted a lot of attention from major labels and finally signed with Columbia Records. The major label debut, The Beautiful Letdown followed the signing. Since the album has went double platinum, selling more than 2.6 million copies. In 2005 the band released its fifth album Nothing is Sound. The edgier album produced well including HBO ads and the 2006 Winter Olympics. The sixth release Oh Gravity! hit stores in 2006 debuting at #18, however the band decided separate from their label the very next year. After several tours and their own independent label started the guys came back with their next album Hello Hurricane. The album was nominated and won a Grammy for Best Rock or Rap Gospel album in 2011. The eighth studio album appeared in 2011. Vice Verses was considered to be a cousin album to Hello Hurricane. The ninth album accompanied by a “film,” which was filmed while on tour in 2013, hit stores in January 2014. The album acts as the soundtrack for the documentary of the band and features 11 tracks and spreads 43 minutes. They get the album going with “Love Alone is Worth the Fight.” The track opens up with a grand intro that is up lifting and gets you into the mood for smooth vocals and perfect tunes. The track delivers just that. Jon’s vocals come sliding in with ease and offer up well written lyrics. Everything just sweeps along with precision and it will have you closing your eyes and just enjoying, although the ending does carry on just a little too long. “Who We Are” is a low key number that offers up some pop inspired vocals that have a little rap edge to them. The backing vocals also pop up in the tune to round out the sound. Musically the tune is a little light on making an impact. This one might get lost in the shuffle. “When We Come Alive” is another slower track, but it has lots of attitude. The passion that radiates from the tune is great and you can really connect with it. The music again is just there for the most part. There really isn’t anything that makes it stand out. “Say It Like You Mean It” however does have the sound that makes it stand out. The funky tunes blended with the rap style vocals (that also has some effects placed on them) is a perfect marriage. It’s a fun tune that stands out above the rest of the tracks thus far. I can see many people latching onto this one and not letting go, but with that said I think there will be some that don’t like it at all. There is some repeating in the track, but the tunes make up for and distract you from it. “The World You Want” offers up a very weird intro that could begin a show or come in after a little break in a show. Once the track does get going it is a very slow moving tune. It does offer up an emotional and powerful set of lyrics that people are going to hang onto. This track is a wonderful display of faith and should impact nearly everyone that comes across it. “Slipping Away” is another slow track that sweeps by with not much to remember. They do put some effects on some of the vocals, but other than that the track is forgettable. “BA55” tosses out some more cool vocals along with a nice little vibe. The tune draws you in close with a low key sound that gets things going and builds slightly. The track is a bit weird, but it holds your attention well. Its one of those tracks that you can just let play in the background while you are doing something and dance around a little. “Let It Out” is another slow tune, but the music and the vocals are a bit lighter than others on the record. It turns the volume up a bit and will have you shaking your head to the beat. It’s an uplifting number that is very enjoyable. It will be one of the most listened to tunes on the album I have a feeling. “All or Nothing At All” is a decent tune that keeps with the slow tempo. They do change up the arrangement as well as the vocals slightly to create a new experience which is nice. This is another track that I can see doing some work with the message that they lyrics give up as well as the overall sound of the music. Everything works together and the boy band section is, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, a nice addition and surprise to the song. “Saltwater Heart” is a fun sounding number with another vocal style change. There are a lot of “ooos” throughout the song which hampers the track in my opinion, but aside from that item it is a really great sounding track. I just think it will get lost in the shuffle like many of the others on the record, because it doesn’t standout as much as others. “Back to the Beginning Again” wraps up the album with solid tune. I would actually put it up near the top of the list for this album. I like the vocals and the tempo of the tune. Its slower than more bands, however for this album its up tempo. Overall the album is okay. I think that the tempo of the album is too slow and needs to be spiced up a couple more times than it was. Don’t get me wrong there are a few tunes that should do some work as they stand out to me, however the bulk of the album slides right past you. The vocals are clean and clear as is the music that is laid out in front of you. There are more spectacular releases the Switchfoot as offered to listeners prior to this release. This one might take a step back in some aspects; however the lyrics and how well they are written do stand out to me. This one might be better written than most, but lacks in overall catchiness and surprises.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Tracks to Watch:

Say It Like You Mean It, Let It Out, Back To the Beginning Again


Track List:

  1. Love Alone is Worth the Fight
  2. Who We Are
  3. When We Come Alive
  4. Say It Like You Mean It
  5. The World You Want
  6. Slipping Away
  7. BA55
  8. Let It Out
  9. All or Nothing At All
  10. Saltwater Heart
  11. Back to the Beginning Again


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