Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hello Hurricane

I still remember the first time I listened to Switchfoot around age ten. Having grown up on the likes of Michael W. Smith, I loved how cool I felt listening to them.
Yet, They'd already released three albums before I had the pleasure of discovering their music.

Seven albums since there debut and the band has become a mainstay of alt rock music. While the band members are Christian, the music isn't praise and worship. This doesn't mean they ignore faith, but it's not the only subject choose to write about.

"Hello Hurricane" is new and refreshing, while still retaining everything that makes the band unique.

Needle and Haystack Life: The opening track is an upbeat love song which reminds one of "Dare you to Move." It can almost be described as happy, which is saying something when you consider the often dark overtones in their music.

Mess Of Me: The band follows the opening track with a rather heavy song about humanity's inability to cure itself. Characteristically heavy, the song is laden with riffs that complement Jon Foreman's lyrics with perfect accuracy. "There ain't no drug" sings Jon in a voice dripping with pain "The sickness is myself."

Your Love is a Song: A much quieter track, "Your Love is a Song" is a beautiful testament to the love of God. It describes God's affection as an enthralling piece of music, one which cures all pain.

The Sound: The track is more of a fun rock number than anything else yet the theme of Love's supremacy is still strong.

Enough to Let Me Go: Jon quietly asks if the woman he loves could ever let him go. This song is like a tearful conversation on a gray and rainy day. Still, a glimmer of light shines through the clouds of sorrow.

Free: Perhaps one of the album's best songs, "Free" is a desperate plea for God to rescue us from our own short comings. "Inside this shell's a prison cell" laments Jon. Just a few verses later he sings, "I had a dream that my chains were broken, broken open."

Hello Hurricane: This is my personal favorite and an excellent title track. It was inspired by a woman who lost everything to Hurricane Katrina. The song reminds us that material things are temporary but true love cannot be shaken by the storms of life.

Always: This song sounds as though it were written to one of the band member's children. "I'm always yours" promises Jon repeatedly. About halfway through the song takes an abrupt turn towards introspection, describing the singer's heart.

Bullet Soul: A playful but rebellious anthem, it challenging the listener to express love without regard for the ridicule of others.

The last three tracks (Yet, Sing it out, and Red eyes) bring the album to a strong (if somewhat subdued) conclusion. Even as three separate songs they still feel as if they are one continues lullaby.

For my part I think it's Switchfoot's best album to date. Perhaps when the hype dies down I'll change my mind, but I doubt it.

Between their last release (Oh Gravity!) and Hello Hurricane, Swithfoot wrote over 80songs together. They chose the best for the new album. Another album called "Vice Verses" is expected out in the spring of this year. You can be sure that I'll be waiting in line for that one!

Thanks For Reading!


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