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Nothing Is Sound

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Album Review

With over two million copies sold of their 2003 breakthrough Beautiful Letdown, Switchfoot have finally found the universal audience they've been searching for since 1999's New Way to Be Human. Their CCM inspirations had always been more curious than self-righteous — "We're all in this together, Jonathan Foremanwould sing in his lyrics, "so let's figure out what it all means" — and on Letdown, those impulses meshed ably with slick post-grunge guitars and the production of John Fields. It's the same formula on Nothing Is Sound, Switchfoot's 2005 effective, but too calculated follow-up. Fields is back in the producer's seat, and Foreman is still striving to separate honesty from commodities and find a place for his soul to stand up straight. On songs like "Blues," "Shadow Proves the Sunshine," and "Happy Is a Yuppie Word" his vocals mix Bono's plaintive wail with the laconic surfer drawl of fellow Southern Californian Mark McGrath. He conveys his passion for key topics like life, death, sex, and redemption. But Foreman's also careful not to lose that laid-back edge, so we know there's still an easygoing beach kid under that washed-out blonde mane. Together with Foreman, Switchfoot succeeds incredibly well with this meaningful innocuousness. Vestiges of Nirvana remain in their melodic crunch, but there's no teeth, and nothing threatening. Instead the wrangled yells and lurching notes of "Politicians," "Lonely Nation," and "Easier Than Love" are balanced by hopeful verses, tinkling programming, and layers of airy reverb. With Nothing Is Sound Switchfoot have realized that with universal success comes being all things to all people. So they're prayerful — "Please Lord don't look the other way...Shine on me," goes "Shadow Proves the Sunshine" — but they're also just plain likeable, giving "We Are One Tonight" the easygoing flair of the Gin Blossoms. Foreman probes the big issues with a personal touch, his band keeps the beat steady and true, and it sounds like nothing and everything at the very same time.

Customer Reviews

Rising Stars

Switchfoot has always been the best band ever, but I think this album topped all the rest. With great lyrics that actually have meaning and depth, Jon Foreman sings them clearly and in a way that is understandable. He has figured out a super way to combine great words with great sound. I give them TEN STARS!!!!!

Underrated Album!

How this album only sold a little over 500,000 copies is beyond me. It is quite a great album. Besides the fact that Sony put copy protection on the physical copies, I can't imagine why else it sold so little. Anyways, about the album, if you like the massive, anthemic, "wall-of-guitars" sound, you will most certainly dig this album. It's not "The Beautiful Letdown," as it is a much darker-feeling album and isn't chock-full of feel-good melodies, but it definitely carries over the same kind of radio-friendly slick that "Letdown" had. Notable songs: They are all good, but Lonely Nation, Stars, Shadow Proves the Sunshine and Easier Than Love are some that stick out in my opinion. I strongly recommend buying this album!

Big Upgrade from Beautiful Letdown

Does it get better than this? NO! (Did you click purchase? C'mon son, we ain't got all day...)


Formed: 1996 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After gaining a foothold in the contemporary Christian music scene, Switchfoot went mainstream with 2003's The Beautiful Letdown, a double-platinum album that straddled the line between sacred and secular rock music. Years before Switchfoot's commercial breakthrough, though, the group struggled to make a dent in the San Diego area, where singer/guitarist Jonathan Foreman, bassist Tim Foreman, and drummer Chad Butler began playing together in 1996. The lineup logged several shows under its original...
Full Bio