Music review by Luchae Williams
SWITCHFOOT: FADING WEST
Fading West, the 9th studio album by American based band, Switchfoot, proves to be their most eclectic album to date, showing off the band’s earlier influences. Released in January 2014, the album sold 39 000 units in its first week of release and debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming the band’s highest charting album since their 2005 release: Nothing Is Sound.
Interestingly enough, the band had originally released a feature film/documentary, also titled Fading West, which premièred in September 2013. It showcases behind the scenes footage documenting their surfing destinations and inspiration for most of the creative content of the album.
Fading West definitely shows off a more experimental side to the alternate rock band, with its lyrics being deeply inspirational but with lighter, more harmonic melodies. While listening to it, I was reminded of sunshine-soaked days on the beach, bonfires and youthful declarations of freedom and love. This is clearly a surf-day, sand-on-the-beach kind of album whilst still being God focused and injected with a positive message.
Opening track, “Love alone is worth the fight”, spoke to my heart about finding our purpose and clinging to love in spite of fear. It is catchy and definitely sets the pace for this imaginative and creative compilation. Other tracks like “Who we are”, “When we come alive” and “The world you want” are bold guitar based anthems that will appeal to the young at heart – lyrically clever and musically bright!
“Say it like you mean it”, a rocky hard hitting track, speaks about making sure your actions match your words and convictions, with the lines ‘I’m still looking for a correlation/Between what you say and how you roll,’ hitting the nail on the head for me.
Songs like “Let it out” and “Slipping away” are more contemporary but still cleverly written.
“Saltwater heart” is definitely one of my favourites, with its quirky melodies and witty lyrical composition. It speaks about going through a time of refreshment with God, with lead singer Jon Foreman singing ‘When I’m on Your shore again/I can feel the ocean/I can feel Your open arms/Like pure emotion/I’m finally free again’.
I must admit, with a little help from my rocker husband and music loving son, Fading West really grew on me, despite my previous reservations. The lyric content is thought provoking and the experimental way in which the album was produced left me wondering what the next song would sound like.
It’s easy to listen to, if you’re looking for something light to play in the background but its also deep, and message filled, if you are looking for something to think about.
Praise God for sharing His amazing creative ability with us!