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Fading West

Switchfoot

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Album Review

San Diego's Switchfoot made a splash in the early and mid-2000s with such hit singles as "Dare You to Move" and "Stars." Those songs showcased Switchfoot's anthemic, passionate guitar-based rock sound and helped secure their position as one of the most successful Christian rock bands on the secular pop scene. Since then, Switchfoot have released several albums that found them experimenting with various pop sounds that moved them away from the straightforward punk-influenced rock of their earlier work. Switchfoot's ninth studio album, 2014's Fading West, continues in this varied creative direction with a batch of songs inspired by the band's love of surfing. Recorded in tandem with a worldwide tour of well-known surf spots, captured on the 2013 Fading West documentary, the album is an upbeat, uplifting affair. The band, once again centered around lead singer/songwriter Jon Foreman, returns to both its musical roots and its beach and surf culture roots. The result is an album that at once pushes Switchfoot's sound forward, while displaying the band's long-running knack for melodic, catchy pop songs. Essentially, Fading West finds the group splitting the difference between the anthemic guitar-based uplift of 2003's The Beautiful Letdown and the more post-punk/dance-rock-inclined approach of 2006's Oh! Gravity. Tracks like "Say It Like You Mean It" and "Who We Are" bring to mind Achtung Baby-era U2, while other cuts like "Slipping Away" and "Let It Out" fit nicely alongside work by more contemporary bands like OneRepublic. Ultimately, much like riding a surfboard from wave to wave, Fading West moves from earnest ballads to dancey, groove-oriented cuts to breezy, sunshine-soaked rockers with an easy, athletic flow.

Customer Reviews

They blew me away live.....

Saw them at Heaven Fest and it was one of the highlights of the day for sure. God moves in their music without the wishy washy Jesus innuendos just to make it "Christian". These guys know how to write a great pop song and have the staying power that puts them truly on the map with other great bands, even in the secular. I don't like a lot of what I hear on Christian radio because it often sounds disingenuine. I like the positivity and the message but the art of the songs gets lost in the "genre". Switchfoot really transcends that stereotypes even if "Becky" likes it. I will likely buy this sight unheard just because I know it is gonna be good. Switchfoot rocks!

Same Identity, New Sound

Switchfoot is my all-time favorite band, and they don't fail to impress me again. Their lyrics are meaningful, their musicality is creative, and you can still hear in these songs that they're passionate about what they do. If you appreciate anything good in this world, you will appreciate this album. Fading West is different than any other Switchfoot album, and that's a good thing. They maintain their identity while exploring new sounds. Well done, gents. Once again, I'm impressed.

Not the Switchfoot I Fell In Love With

I was thrilled to see that Fading West was available on iTunes first play. While listening to the album all the way through for the first time, I waited for that one song to jump out at me with thought provoking lyrics and raw emotion that I've come to know Switchfoot for. However, I'm sad to say that I'm a little disappointed with this album. I feel like Switchfoot has made a huge transition from alt-rock to pop rock, almost comparable to bands like Coldplay. I didn't dislike Fading West, but it was not what I as a long time fan was hoping for. After Vice Verses, I think a lot of Switchfoot fans saw a major change coming in their style. Switchfoot has been my favorite band for 5 years straight and I will continue to be a fan, but Fading West just doesn't reflect the Switchfoot that I fell in love with.

Biography

Formed: 1996 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Rock

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
Fading West, Switchfoot
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