Switchfoot switches sound in new album

Switchfoot has a fresh and interesting new sound in their newly released album, “Fading West.” This is the ninth studio album from the Southern California-based Christian alternative rock band.

Released Jan. 14, “Fading West” is an album that represents a turning point for the band. The new album showcases the band’s new sound by featuring an intensified pop/rock beat as opposed to the heavier rock feel found in songs such as “Afterlife” or “Vice Verses.”

The band revealed a trendier musical style resulting from a combination of both the instrumental sounds and smooth lyrics, which can be heard in tracks such as “Love Alone Is Worth the Fight.” This interesting combination created catchy songs throughout the album for fans to    enjoy.

“Fading West” is mostly composed of upbeat songs; however, there are a few tracks throughout the album that have a slower pace and grab the listener’s attention with the change in tempo.

The creative arrangement of the piano combined with the drums is an interesting pairing not often used by rock bands and impresses listeners with its light-rock vibe. A great example of this arrangement is the song “Slipping Away” because it not only has the sounds of rock, but it throws in a twist of country with the help of a banjo.

Throughout “Fading West,” listeners can hear the emotion in each song’s lyrics. Switchfoot’s music expresses the moods and feelings of the band.

In “Who We Are,” the band talks about the journey it took to become the successful Christian musicians they are today. This track is also an example of how they use different volume levels and faster paced sections to bring the lyrics alive.

“Ba55,” the third track on the album, highlights bass guitarist Tim Foreman and has a mysterious rock vibe, making for an interesting sound. However, the power of the drums makes it difficult to understand lead vocalist Jon Foreman’s voice making this track frustrating for listeners.

The band was formed in 1996 by brothers Tim and Jon Foreman and friend Chad Butler, and was originally called Chip Up. The Foreman brothers and Butler changed their name to Switchfoot after a surfing term due to their passion for the sport. The band now has two additional members, Jerome Fontamillas and California Baptist University alumnus, Drew Shirley.

The band first received mainstream recognition when its music was featured in the film “A Walk to Remember” in 2002. The band eventually won a Grammy for Best Rock Gospel Album in 2011.

Switchfoot went from being known only in the world of Christian music to being recognized in the circle of mainstream music when they signed with Columbia Records, and then eventually with Atlantic Records. Although they have switched labels, they still continue to stay true to their music and indie sound.

The members of Switchfoot have listed veteran musicians Keith Green, Stevie Wonder and U2 as influences for their musical style.

“Fading West” is accompanied by a movie with the same title. The film documents the band’s journey of promoting the album through a tour and was released in December 2013.

The “Fading West” album and film combination can be purchased on the band’s website www.switchfoot.com.

About Khelsey Pellum

Asst. A&E Editors

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