Spiritually evocative and socially aware, your favorite power pop band returns with a whole new string of gritty rock 'n' roll anthems! Includes "American Dream," "Awakening," "In This Life," "Yesterdays," "Just," "Dirty Second Hands," "Amateur Lovers," "Circles," "Burn Out Bright," "Let Your Love," and the mainstream-single title track.
Format: Compact disc Vendor: Capitol Christian Music Group
Mama always said, If it aint broke, dont fix it. On Oh! Gravity., Switchfoots sixth studio release (third for mainstream label Columbia), the band doesnt waste time reinventing the wheel. Why mess with a winning formula and music that sounds this fun to play?
Jon Foreman & Co. have won hearts both in and beyond the Christian audience with bold, melodic rock and smart, culturally-adept lyricism that addresses the vacuous nature of modern existence without getting all preacherly up in our faces on The Beautiful Letdown (03) and Nothing Is Sound (05). Like the best bands of this genrethink dada, Third Eye Blind and, obviously, U2Switchfoot digs a little deeper, rocks a little harder and reaches up for the next rung of the ladder only to find a fresh handle for familiar themes.
These San Diego-based rockers broke out on the pop charts telling us that we were Meant to Live for so much more. They wanted to Dare You to Move because salvation is here. While those lyrics may have been too subtle for some weaned on a steady diet of modern worship, it was clear to most that Switchfoot was seeking to address the existential longings of a generation disappointed with pleasure-driven materialism and consumer-focused expressions of pseudo-individuality.
Throughout Oh! Gravity., crunchy guitar riffs set the tone, while Jon Foremans voice proves up to the challenge of forging memorable hooks that dont melt on contact. Catchy yet durable, Switchfoot manages that delicate balance of rocking out without losing the songs in the process.
But the issues and insights havent changed. In a country where success is equated with excess, the band affirms that aint my American dream. Failed by the stuff we buy, the title track asks, Why cant we seem to hold it together? Left to our own devices, were merely Amateur Lovers with Dirty Second Hands who need love like drugs. But, like the failed stories alluded to in Faust, Midas, and Myself, with its moving use of orchestral strings, we sell out the things that give life purpose and meaning for our pick of pretty things.
Faced with the emptiness of our choices, we learn that life begins at the intersection, when the protagonist cries out for a chance at real meaning: Before I die, I want to burn out bright. That creates the
possibility of an Awakening, where Foreman sings, I want to know my heart is beating.
Crisp and compelling, Switchfoot hasnt wandered from the path that brought it this far, but the band is not merely going through the motions either. No reinvention was necessary. So, this time, they crank the wheel up, suggest modifications and adjustments and, then, take it off-road, freewheeling on unsullied hills and vales. Reliability is not to be mistaken for predictability, and this sixth expression celebrates the vitality in the form, the fun that thrives in the functioning of this great little rock & roll band.