CD Review: Switchfoot
By Ryan Day
The “American Dream” has changed dramatically in the last half-century. Shifting from a desire to construct the “nuclear family” (a husband, wife and 2.5 kids) in the 1950s, America has now branched out into literally thousands of ideals, beliefs and points of view on how the “American Dream” should look.
Through intelligent lyrics and solid, thought-out musicianship, Switchfoot shares what they believe the “American Dream” should be: Love for yourself and your fellow man. The guitar leads of Jerome Fontamillas and Andrew Shirley are never over the top as to detract from the song, Tim Foreman’s basslines are as solid as any in mainstream music and the drumming of Chad Butler only serves to complement the central message and mood of each song.
Each of the 12 tracks on Oh, Gravity is powerful and emotional. From the opening title-track of “Oh, Gravity” to the closing song of “Let Your Love Be Strong,” frontman Jon Foreman sings with a uniqueness that American Rock has lost with such bands as Good Charlotte, New Found Glory and Simple Plan.
Though labeled as a Christian-Rock band early in their careers, they are not as fervent in professing the name of God as many of their contemporaries, but rather on relaying a message of love and hope and personal responsibility. That’s been one of their strongest attributes for the past decade they’ve been making music and why they’ve clawed their ways into the mainstream of American music. Instead of berating listeners with the name of Christ a dozen times a song, they lead by examples of morality and love and sing as though they’ve found a different plane of happiness and contentment than the rest of us. Listening to their songs, I can’t deny they haven’t.