Review: Switchfoot, “Hello Hurricane”

switchfoot, hello hurricaneWhile I may be biased with this review, I understand that every band has flaws. There are no bands out there, anywhere, that will make a record that is without error or without songs that certain fans aren’t going to enjoy. That said, I jump into my most anticipated record of the year: Hello Hurricane.

Hello Hurricane is the band’s first release free of any record label, debuting off of their own imprint Lowercase People Records. Overall it is their seventh album, and the band has come out and said they’re planning on releasing a total of four records in the next coming years, starting with Hello Hurricane. Typically, Switchfoot gears towards materialism and becoming something bigger than yourself, but this record is different on so many levels. Hello Hurricane is a journey of pure love, emotion, and heartache for more in this life. Many people wondered that maybe the band would break up due to the immense success of lead singer Jon Foreman’s foray into a solo act and the start of Fiction Family, his side project with Nickelcreek’s Sean Watkins. But on this new album, new light shines onto a band that has been through it all, and has come out victorious.

Songs like the title track describe this feeling: “Hello hurricane / you’re not enough / hello hurricane / you can’t silence my love / I’ve got doors and windows boarded up / all your dead end fury’s not enough / you can’t silence my love.” “Free” describes a man who is caught in the chains of destruction in his life, and how God can come and break him free from it all. Piano abounds on songs like the worship ballad “Always” and a mix of acoustic guitar and brilliant piano comes through on “Enough To Let Me Go”. While it’s easy at times for someone to mix an intimate relationship with lyrics speaking of God, anyone who knows the band’s history and reputation knows where Foreman writes from.

The album doesn’t disappoint when it comes to solid rock tunes, which are key to a great Switchfoot recording. “The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)” proves to be one of most fun songs on the record, even if the video version is much more slowed down and makes for a better live track. The band has said they were inspired by their fans to create a true rock record, and much of the album catches what Switchfoot appears like live. Foreman pushes himself more than ever, practically screaming on rocker “Bullet Soul”. The lead single “Mess Of Me” is one of their most popular singles and it definitely captures new elements of a much more raw Switchfoot sound.

Switchfoot has subscribed to a standard that works for them, but on Hello Hurricane, they step out of that box and make the new elements and songs work. They’re so proud of this album they’ve been playing it in its entirety on the road, and rightfully so. Some of their best work is represent on this seventh recording, and it sounds like a band starting over, from scratch. Don’t expect Switchfoot to slow down anytime soon either, because at this point, it’s not even a thought in anyone’s mind.

Star Rating: 4 1/2 stars

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