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Love Is (Still) The Movement
Posted January 16, 2019
By JohnHisel_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need To Know:
Switchfoot. A name that needs no introduction to music fans - christian, mainstream, rock, alternative or whatever other genre they might fit into. A hiatus announced in December 2017 cast doubt over what may come next for the San Diego band, but late 2018 brought a sigh of relief and an announcement of their 11th (!) full length album. Here to launch 2019 with a bang is Native Toungue, and it's vintage Switchfoot with sprinkles of the creativity they are known for. 
 
What It Sounds Like:
Native Tongue sounds like you'd expect Jon, Tim, Chad, Drew, Chad, and Jerome to sound - rock/alternative with dashes of whatever else they decide to add. Always familiar yet also always unique, there are the things that make Switchfoot good - compelling songwriting both lyrically and instrumentally, guitar riffs, soaring vocals, spot on production - anyone who knows the band knows what will be there. However (and as always), there are new touches and surprises. In particular, Native Tongue contains a little more spoken word/rap here and there, a couple songs that are Twenty One Pilots-esque, and Tim Foreman singing a verse to name a few. The list doesn't stop there, as there are endless good things on this record that Switchfoot and rock/alternative fans should appreciate.

Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights:
Jon Foreman has always been able to write poetic, meaningful songs. Spiritual highlights are all over Native Tongue, but as always with Switchfoot, it never seems pushy or over the top, and the theme of love being the best language we can speak is all over this record. Particularly meaningful are the hook of Joy Invincible which proclaims "Hallelujah/nevertheless/was the song the pain couldn't destroy," and later "Open your eyes/look to the skies/we are the children of the promise." Prodigal Soul is a song that will hold meaning for anyone who has questioned where God may be, or if it's possible to run farther than He can reach. Previously released single Voices is as smooth lyrically as they come, with the absolute earworm line "I used to listen to the radio/but I've got an army of voices in my head."
 
Best Song On The Record:
Depending on how one feels on a given day, there are several songs that could be considered the best song on Native Toungue. Aformentioned Voices is a great canidate, and it's as catchy a song as you are going to hear. Prodigal Soul is classic Jon Foremen poetry set to music, and will find a place on many playlists. However, the crunchy guitars of Take My Fire are vintage Switchfoot and will make it a favorite.  

Final Word:
The guys in Switchfoot have recently stated that the purpose of Native Tongue is to let anyone who will listen know that love is greater than hatred and fear. It's the reason they didn't stay on hiatus, and the reason they sing the songs they do. This album is full of anthems filled with hope, but it's also not afraid to ask hard questions or make unpopular statements. It's classic Switchfoot from top to bottom, but has enough new ideas sprinkled in to keep the listener coming back for more. Native Tongue desrves a spot in your rotation as soon as you can get your hands on it.

For Fans Of:
House Of HeroesColony House

Buy it on Apple Music or listen on Spotify.

View All Music And Book Reviews By JohnHisel_NRT | View JohnHisel_NRT's Profile

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