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New Sound from Switchfoot
Posted August 20, 2021
By BPence,


interrobang is Switchfoot’s 12th studio album and the follow-up to 2019’s Native Tongue album and 2020’s forgettable Covers EP. It was produced by Tony Berg. The album’s title comes from a punctuation mark ‽ designed for use especially at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question.  
This is a serious album that features an experimental late 1960’s era pop sound, with familiar Switchfoot guitars and good backing vocals. The band stated that the album is unlike anything they’ve ever made before, and I agree with that. I give the band credit for not resting on their laurels, and instead pushing themselves. Though I found the music fresh, some of the lyrics are vague to the point of being hard to determine the message/meaning, and there is minimal explicit Christian content, which may make it difficult for these songs to get Christian radio airplay. Although Switchfoot is one of my favorite bands, this is not one of my favorite albums by them, and I probably won't revisit it much in the future. Themes on the album include questions, love, looking for truth and light, disagreeing, being wrong and learning things the hard way.     
Below are a few comments about each song: 
beloved – This song about looking for truth and light was written by Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman and Tony Berg. The song features keyboards, drums, guitar, bass, backing vocals and a Beatle sounding chorus. If he could open his eyes, would the truth be what would set him free. He can’t find the truth in the news or his social media feed.
Key lyrics:
I'm still looking for the truth
But I can't seem to find it in the news
Maybe I'll start singing like the blues, maybe

lost ‘cause – This song was written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. The song features a driving beat, led by guitar, drums and bass. The guitar work on this song stands out, reminding me of The Edge from U2 .   
Key lyrics:
Are we a lost cause?
Are we just lost 'cause
We won't be the future we refuse to see?

fluorescent - This song was written by Jon Foreman. The song opens with guitar and cello and then breaks out with a heavy rock drum, bass, keyboards and backing vocals. Foreman sings about being a moth outside a window, beating his wings against the front porch light. It’s a call to a woman he’s dreaming of, and his wings can’t sustain him too much longer. He wonders how long it will be until his florescent girl is his.  
Key lyrics:
We are always separate, always near
if i were you – This song was written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. The upbeat song is driven by a fast bass beat and drums, with guitar, keyboards and backing vocals. There are references to being 2020 enemies, Twitter, fear, and disagreeing.     
Key lyrics:
If I were you
And you were me
Would we still be doomed

To disagree?
the bones of us - This song was written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. The ballad has Foreman reflecting on a relationship. The song features guitar, keyboards, bass, light percussion, backing vocals and a memorable chorus. 
Key lyrics:
Our heart's like a flood
That washes us new
I'm fighting for us
But most of all, for you

splinter – This rocker was written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. The song features a driving beat led by drums, guitar and bass. It also features backing vocals and keyboards. It’s only illusions. Who can take the broken splinters from his head?  
Key lyrics:
My mind is at war
I lie awake in bed
Like a splinter in my hand
Like a splinter in my head

i need you (to be wrong) – This mid-tempo song, which was started a decade ago, was written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. The song features guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals. Often times we need the other to be wrong, but we find out that we were both wrong.   
Key lyrics:
All along we both were wrong
I need you
the hard way – This upbeat song was written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. The song features guitar, backing vocals, bass, drums. He always learns things the hard way.     
Key lyrics:
Maybe there's no such thing as a rewind
There's no way to go back in time
I learn best from the replay
I always learn things the hard way

wolves – This song was written by Jon Foreman. Musically, this song is unlike any other on the album. The song features cello, bass, drums and backing vocals. All of his world is a collision and spin. It’s my least favorite song on the album.    
Key lyrics:
All of my world's a collision and spin
Hope is a war that we're already in
backwards in time – This mid-tempo love song was written by Jon Foreman and Tim Foreman. The song features guitar, bass, drums, Sgt. Pepper type sound effects, vocals from Tim Foreman and backing vocals. The song is about going back in time to give a relationship one more try.
Key lyrics:
If we could go back, would we take the same path?
If we knew what we know?
electricity – This love song was written by Jon Foreman. The song features guitar, drums, backing vocals and Sgt. Pepper type sound effects.   
Key lyrics:
Come on, hang up and hang out
Best songs: 
beloved
lost ‘cause
the bones of us
splinter
if i were you
the hard way
 

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