Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. said in the U2 rockumentary ‘Rattle and Hum’ that “It’s a musical journey” and maybe this is the best way to describe the latest offering from Californian band Switchfoot. In fact to say ‘Fading West’ is an album is almost incorrect, it’s more like the soundtrack of a journey.
‘Fading West’ is a musical photo album that shows us snapshots of Switchfoot’s tour around the world, taking in the new sounds they found, the sights, the struggles and the moments of insight.
An album of fresh breath, music and the magnetic pull of the sea…
This is the most personal Switchfoot album so far… it’s so fresh you can still taste the salt from the waves they’ve just surfed!
Before I heard ‘Fading West’ album I thought, “How can Switchfoot better their previous album ‘Vice Verses’? “
‘Vice Verses’ could be considered one of the best albums out in the past couple of years, an album that is musically gifted, emotionally challenging and yet still accessible…”
How can you beat that?
The Answer… You don’t!
Vice Verses, was Vice Verses… It was the past, lets leave it there and give it the credit it’s due!
Fading West is something new something exciting, and something daring.
It’s daring because ANY band can live on past glory by bringing out an album of 12 songs that mimic what has been done before.
However it’s a risk for a band that says “Let’s create something organic. Let’s push ourselves into the unknown. Let’s discover who we are…”
This album is maybe more mellow than most people are used to hearing from Switchfoot. The screaming guitars and grunt of something more heavy have been pushed back to an extent as the band venture into new sonic inspirations. This might make some Switchfoot fans a little uncomfortable… and that’s GREAT.
Music is there to make you feel good, but there is often nothing that challenges you more than music either and having a band take you off your usual stride is good for the soul, and challenges the band the strive for something that is just as meaningful in other ways.
This is the perfect soundtrack for those who enjoy surfing/skateboarding/snowboarding or anything that gets you away from the crushing monotony of our busy lives… it was an album made for space… of fun and adventure.
There is no doubt this is a surf pop/rock album that is meant to be the soundtrack to your adventures, just as it was for the band.
There is plenty here for everyone and while it’s not going to please those who wanted a whole album with screaming guitars and solos, there are tracks like “Let it out” and “Say it like you mean it” that will cater to that market.
Tracks such as “Love alone is worth the fight” and “Who we are” will reach out to maybe a new generation, as poppier songs that still give emotional depth seldom seen in a pop song these days.
Buy or download the Surf/Rockumentary ‘Fading West’ (the film) and you will have a greater understanding of where the songs come from… While being able to admire the AMAZING surf skills of Rob Machado and Tom Curren.
I don’t think that this is a step in a new direction for the band…. I think it’s an album that shows the band at their most vulnerable.
SURFS UP… let this be the surf album for the adventure you were made for!