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Music Review: Switchfoot – Hello Hurricane

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Hello Hurricane might be the seventh collection of songs Switchfoot has put forth to an audience, but is marks a new start for Jon Foreman and his band-mates. This is a group known for selections of alternative rock which tend to become popular without too much effort. For this work, the group decided it wanted more aggression.

Switchfoot first started back in 1996. Foreman, the band's lead singer, his brother, Tim (bass), teamed up with Chad Butler (drums), to pursue their love of rock music. San Diego proved to be a source of inspiration by way of the independent rock groups already making careers as professional musicians. In 1997, they released The Legend of Chin, the first album, soon followed by New Way to be Human in 1999, which put them on the Billboard charts. 2000 had them adding Jerome Fontamillas on as a keyboardist.By the end of the year. 2005 brought forth their studio album, Nothing is Sound. This was the fifth one for the band, but the first with Drew Shirley, Switchfoot's touring guitarist.

By the time Hello Hurricane was decided upon for the next album title, there were already 80 songs to choose from. These were recorded in a home studio and the tracks which made the cut are as diverse as the band members themselves.

"Needle and Haystack Life" kicks things off with a keyboard loudly announcing its presence. The song talks about how right a certain couple is and will only be found once in a lifetime of trying. The beat makes one sit-up and starts toes tapping.

"Mess Of Me" is my favorite tune out of the entire bunch. Foreman makes a decision to live a life fully alive rather than one simply sitting by the curb taking up space. The strong guitar makes a terrific backdrop for the powerful statement. Despite the bad choices made early in life, the lyrics suggest someone ready to take charge.

"Hello Hurricane", the album's title song, is a message with a built in hope. No matter how many storms come in one's life, there will be a fight to hold on. The steady drumbeat issues a declaration to stand strong against all adversity.

"Enough To Let Me Go" is not as hard edged as some of the other selections, but it still stands on its feet. As a parent loves a child, the same relationship changes down the line. It has to. The plaintive question applies here to someone who wants only to follow his dreams. A steady guitar riff echoes the constant need for an answer.

"Red Eyes" asks the question of what exactly one desires most in life. There is a gentle tone as Foreman sings. The keyboard enhances the quietly spoken question by echoing it.

In addition to their music, Switchfoot hosts a charitable event each year. The proceeds go to Stand Up For Kids, an outreach organization founded in San Diego. However, it reaches across the nation. The "Bro-Am", as it's called, combines a concert with an auction and surf contest.

If you are a fan of rock music, chances are you will probably like this album. There are a dozen songs, meaning some may appeal more than others. That's okay – music reaches out to everyone by making something for everyone.

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About NancyGail

  • I thought I’d suggest fixing an error. Needle is not about a couple, it’s about the worth of human life and how everything in life is a miracle. But I can see how you saw the song in that light and Jon Foreman has said he doesn’t want his songs to have a set statement and wants them open for defining. However, I still believe Enough and Yet are more of couple or love songs, while Needle is more of a philisophical song. I appreciate your review!

  • Nancy,

    Good review. I love Switchfoot. Their music is meaningful for world change.

    P.S. Cute dogs. 🙂