The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Switchfoot thrills with Finding West


Switchfoot, an American rock band straight out of San Diego, Calif., released their ninth studio album entitled Finding West. Switchfoot is known in the rock world for playing upbeat, alternative rock music that is full of delicate and loud guitar melodies and lyrics that hit home.  They are also labeled as a Christian rock band due to their Christian-based lyrics about hope and living life to the fullest. The band consists of singer and guitarist Jon Foreman, bassist Tim Foreman, drummer Chad Butler, guitarist and keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas and lead guitarist Drew Shirley.

Aside from rockin’ ’n’ rollin,’ they take on the stereotypical California surfer dude image, which happens to be one of their favorite pastimes. The album cover features the band staring out into the distance, over top a landscape that starts as a wave and transitions into a field of grass; the members hold a guitar, a surfboard and a camera. The album is the soundtrack to Switchfoot’s new movie Finding West, which follows the band while on tour. It features the band surfing with some behind the scenes action of the tour.

The album opens with the song “Love Alone is Worth the Fight,” which is one of the radio singles. The intro and chorus feature loud guitars with a catchy yet simple melodic beat.  During the chorus, the lead vocals are double tracked while another double tracked vocal harmony plays behind, all over loud driving guitars and steady drums. Throughout the song, there is a melodic riff that is subtle but ties the entire song together. It ends with the guitars pulling back and an orchestra entering. The song totally resembles a rock anthem about fighting for something that is worth every struggle.

The second track is called “Who We Are.”  The song opens with what sounds like a hip hop drumbeat, a funky guitar riff and a voice counting the beats to five. The vocal line remains mostly monotonous until the refrain, where it builds into a full out rock song. The song relies on the bass guitar driving the song forward into the refrain, where a chorus of singers join the lead singer, harmonizing to his vocals. The bridge features the lead singer and a melodic bell pattern. The song ends with several full choruses and finally a line of a cappella to finish the song. The song is a rock anthem about accepting who you are because “we are who we are” and nothing will change that.

All of the songs up until “Say It Like You Mean It” have been uplifting and make the listener feel like s/he is on the top of the world. This song has a more aggressive feel, featuring a heavily distorted guitar. The chorus has instrumental stabs that show a side of anger and creativity. It ends with the electric guitar cutting out and entering an Indian style of guitar with a vocal harmony taking over the melody.

“The World You Want” features the drummer’s skills and abilities. This song isn’t as hard and upbeat as the rest of the album, but rather laid back and chill. The song is about changing the world into something better.

Throughout the album, the songs are simple in nature, as they follow a simple verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge and chorus setup. The verses are laid back, while the chorus features a full sound of blaring instruments and loud vocals. The majority of the songs are upbeat and have driving guitars that push the album forward. The vocal harmonies are superb while the melodies are creative and original while maintaining a hint of inspiration from popular bands before them. The music was inspired by the band’s world travels where they discovered new instruments and musical ideas. The album has 11 tracks for a total length of 43 minutes.

Finding West has received great reviews since it’s unveiling. AllMusic, a music guide, gave the album four out of five stars. CCM Magazine, a Christian music website, also gave the album four out of five stars.

If you’re interested in a feel good album for the ages, Switchfoot’s Finding West is the album for you. The perfect album to play while driving with the windows down, feeling the sun’s rays and the cool breeze of a warm spring day.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Switchfoot thrills with Finding West