Switchfoot - Vice Verses

Published Thursday 27th October 2011
Switchfoot - Vice Verses
Switchfoot - Vice Verses

STYLE: Rock
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 117461-18464
LABEL: EMI Christian Music Group 5099930672727
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1
RELEASE DATE: 2011-09-26
PRICE: £9.97 RRP £12.99

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Reviewed by Ewan Jones

'Vice Verses' plays like an album Switchfoot actually wanted to write and play. Having famously cherry-picked 'Hello Hurricane''s track listing from over 80 songs, this, their eighth studio album, sees the band focus on a much more limited selection, finding in discipline a freedom to be inventive. 'Vice Verses' was on the cards before 'Hurricane' had even hit the shelves although little of the band's original track listing made it through to the final recording. Thematically the album treads similar paths to previous albums - nostalgia and loss ("Souvenirs"), making the most of this life ("Dark Horses", "Rise Above It"), vacuous media hypocrisy ("Selling The News") and the title track which examines the serious questions that arise out of life, death and suffering. 'Vice Verses' also conveys that our reality is more than what we see in front of us: "A warm body doesn't mean I'm alive," Foreman sings on "Thrive"; "Just because you're present/Doesn't mean that you're here," he claims on "Rise Above It" while the album's seven minute closer, "Where I Belong", sees Foreman expressing his hope for an eternal reality: "This body's not my own/This world is not my own/Still looking for a home/In a world where I belong". Switchfoot's diverse approach to rock music means that there are some pleasant surprises amongst the obligatory acoustic introspection and foot-stomping rock - highlights are first single "Dark Horses" and anthemic "The War Inside" - the latter kicking off with an electronic vibe, its flowing fight-lyrics and dark grooves combining to put a strong emphasis on rhythm - Tim's bass and Chad's drums kick in at the end of the first verse and gave me the same excited feeling I got the first time "Chem 6A"'s riff stopped me in my tracks. The songs on offer here are naturally a world away from those early albums in terms of style, production quality and songwriting maturity, but 'Vice Verses' has the innovative Switchfoot spark that's been missing off the last couple of albums. "Selling The News" is a distant cousin to Larry Norman's "Readers Digest" and Foreman can't hide the sarcasm in his spoken delivery which culminates in the accusatory chorus; "Fact is fiction/Suspicion is the new religion". Foreman is one of the most dexterous and exciting songwriters in the whole alternative rock scene. He has the ability to express truth without pretension, deep yearnings unencumbered by cliche and crucially he can make you feel like he's written a song just for you, framing his quests and questions with declarations of hope and expectancy. 'Vice Verses' is a rock album of the highest calibre.


Sample Track Listing:
1. Afterlife [Listen]
2. The Original [Listen]
3. The War Inside [Listen]
4. Restless [Listen]
5. Blinding Light [Listen]
6. Selling The News [Listen]
7. Thrive [Listen]
8. Dark Horses [Listen]
9. Souvenirs [Listen]
10. Rise Above It [Listen]
11. Vice Verses [Listen]
12. Where I Belong [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version. You should not assume that products purchased through Cross Rhythms Direct will necessarily have identical track listings to those shown.

Product Description

Vice Verses is the work of a band that is so restless, they devote an entire song (Restless) to the condition. Itís that very uneasiness Ė an unwillingness to choose the treadmill over the triathlon Ė that fuels the bandís forays into new musical territory and Jon Foremanís unflinchingly honest lyrics. You can hear the tension build along with the first chords of album opener Afterlife, leading into a bold statement of intent: ďIíve tasted fire Iím ready to come alive / I canít just shut it up and fake that Iím alright / Iím ready now / Iím not waiting for the afterlifeÖ.I believe we start forever now.Ē

As the rousing lead single Dark Horses makes abundantly clear, we were designed to transcend, to stand up against the darkness.

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