18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Fading West (Audio CD)
Either this is the beginning of the end for Switchfoot as we've come to know them, or we'll just have to wait another couple of years to see if they have a resurrection.
I refuse to give this album less than three stars because I feel like that would be a disservice to the band and the excellent music they have been churning out over the years. They write thought-provoking lyrics (and that's more or less true in this album). They test the waters, never being afraid to do the kind of music that arises in their creative minds (and that has happened here, too).
In spite of these fine qualities, the sound of this album just doesn't do it for me. Most of the tracks remind me of something that comes off of a Disney movie soundtrack. Not that I have anything against Disney movie soundtracks, but it just doesn't match what I expect from a band like this one. I don't expect Switchfoot to do a repeat of a previous album, but there's a certain edginess that I love about most of their music - rough, abrasive textures that stimulate the soul towards action. And that seems to be missing here for the most part.
If I had to pick a couple of highlights from Fading West, it would be "Ba55" and "Say It Like You Mean It". These two songs maintain some of the band's essential qualities I mentioned above. But even with the latter, it feels like a rehash of "Selling the News" and "The War Inside" from the previous album (Vice Verses). Instead of Fading West, it's more like they are going south for the winter.
I have immense respect for these guys. And if perchance someone is new to Switchfoot and reading this review, I would encourage him/her to start with another album like "Nothing is Sound" or "Hello Hurricane" or even their earlier recordings. Then, see how you like this one. With this latest offering, it's almost as if instead of daring us to move, they are daring us to run away. But I'll be back to see what they come up with next time around.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2014 7:05:12 PM PST
I have been a longtime Switchfoot fan and they are probably my favorite band but I am disappointed with this album as well. I really like the first one getting radio play 'Love Alone Is Worth The Fight' and I like a couple others but overall it sounds like they have gone back to the 80's for sound or there is a similarity to some of the songs I didn't like on 'Vice Verses' where the rhymes and melody are repetitious to the point that I'm missing some of the creativity I'm used to hearing from Switchfoot. I've been listening to this on iTunes 'first play' for free but I'm sure I'll go ahead and buy the CD for the songs I like. I just may be a little mad at myself for eventually liking the repetitious ones. They are still one of the best bands out there but I am disappointed in some of the songs that made it to the album.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2014 8:55:01 PM PST
J. White says:
I agree on all accounts. And I'm sure many others do, too.
It's probably worth having for people like us, the ones who have been following the band for a while. But it certainly falls short of what it could have been.
Posted on Feb 15, 2014 6:36:00 PM PST
Robert M. Kirby says:
You said what I have been thinking very well. I realize artists need to mix it up, however, this doesn't do it for me (an owner of all of their releases).
I miss the guitar edginess and the originality of lyrics and fills put into what could easily be more of the same but is in a class by itself, and worthy of hundreds of listens.
Love the guys and their immense talent, and I'll be around next time - but this has Switchfoot meets Up With People in some tracks and I haven't been able to get into it.
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