Hello Hurricane, I'd Like You To Meet The Sound
Posted November 18, 2009
I'll admit it. After such a long drought of a solid album (their whole career), and the recent draught of even a decent album (Since 'Beautiful Letdown'), I kind of gave up on Switchfoot. Add to that the fact that this album is three years in the making, and I thought it couldn't possibly be that good. Boy, was I wrong. It's not only the best in Christian rock in quite some time, but 'Hello Hurricane' is a rock-solid rock album.
Mess of Me
At first I was put off by Mess of Me's repeating of the line, "There ain't no drug," but the song grows on you, and it's surprisingly catchy, and it just plain rocks. 'The Sound' has made great prominence as the 'Blackberry Storm 2' commercials, and it certainly works in the stormy atmosphere the ad depicts. It's as much of a storm of anthemic rock as it is a sound. But for me, the highlight is 'Free,' a hook and chord driven piece that builds up to an excellent chorus, and the containment of some great lyrics. Jon Foreman punctuates this song, and the rest of the songs on the album with a more soulful, but ever rock-tinged vocals. 'Bullet Soul' just plain rocks. Note crazy about the lyrics, but make sure to turn it up loud.
Lyrically, while Jon Foreman may say that songs have an underlying political meaning to them, the album's theme is one of redemption, with the subject first acknowledges his trouble (Mess of Me), yearns to be free from his pain (Free), gives his life to God (Always), assures God "You haven't lost me yet"(Yet), then longs for his life to be made into a melody (Sing It Out). Granted, the story seemingly made by the album is incomplete, but the album is about staring into the hurricane of life, then coming out of it by the grace of God. Of course, could be totally wrong in this interpretation. In fact, the only true weak track of the album is 'Red Eyes' simply because nothing works. A big part is the lyrics. What do red eyes have to do with anything the song is talking about? I'm confused...
Overall, a truly solid effort from Switchfoot that adds up to their most quality effort yet. Sure it doesn't have the memorability of 'Beautiful Letdown' yet, but it's a great start, and hopefully in the series of albums the band plans to release in the next several years, they can continue the trend. They've certainly pushed the car into the hurricane, so let's see if they can drop it on some unsuspecting patch of true rock greatness.
Note: On the subject of the album art, while it may not be appropriate for an album with the word 'Hurricane' in its title, it's beautiful nevertheless.
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