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Posted November 09, 2009
By CCMmagazine,

Very rarely does a band obtain the perfect combination of major label distribution and complete creative independence, but Switchfoot's multi-million album sales and countless crossover hits certainly warrant such an arrangement. Following a several-album stint on Columbia, the band made the timely decision to reclaim ownership of their music, allowing Hello Hurricane to bow on the band's own lowercase people records in partnership with Atlantic.

No matter what the circumstances behind the switch, Switchfoot comes out of the gate swinging on its first CD in three years, recalling the now-classic The Beautiful Letdown in everything from the anthems to the songwriting and even the artwork font. "Needle and Haystack Life" is destined to return the California natives to the top of the charts, coming across like U2 during its Unforgettable Fire days. "Mess of Me" marks a militant follow-up that's amongst the group's grittiest to date, thanks to Led Zeppelin-tipped riffs. "This Is the Sound" lends an experimental vibe with frontman Jon Foreman's growling vocals and the band's rumbling arrangements. And for every super-charged rocker, there's a tasteful power ballad to match, like the inspiring "Always Yours" and the stadium-filling "Sing It Out."

All the while, the group takes an increasingly hopeful lyrical approach, inspired by the guys' work with Habitat For Humanity and perhaps even their artistic liberation, which, after the mildly darker nature of Oh! Gravity, is a welcome return to form. Along the way, Switchfoot maintains its spiritual mindset, but never comes across as preachy in a secular environment, making Hello Hurricane the ultimate benchmark for any like-minded act, and amongst this band's very best.—Andy Argyrakis

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