Because The Waking loves Switchfoot so much we saw it fit that each of our writers should share their personal review for the band’s latest album, “Hello Hurricane:”
Switchfoot is looking to take full advantage of their newly found independence from Columbia Records with their latest release “Hello Hurricane.” The San Diego based band looked to do things their way and produce an album which encompassed everything they were as musicians and people, free of any outside influence or big label pressure. “Hello Hurricane” accomplishes just that. Switchfoot has once again created a record full of powerful anthems, hopeful messages, and music for “thinking people.” With guidance from producer Mike Elizondo, the band also brought a new flair to their sound, which can clearly be heard in rockers such as “Mess of Me,” “The Sound,” “Free,” and “Bullet Soul.” These songs are at the core of who Switchfoot is: personal reflections as well as anthematic cries for the discontented and broken of our world. However, the band really shines on the softer moments of the album. The heartfelt “Your Love is a Song,” “Always,” and “Yet” are arguably among the most beautiful arrangements the band has composed. The title track is another highlight on the record and speaks of facing the storms in our life and never giving up when tough times come: “Hello hurricane, you’re not enough. Hello hurricane, you can’t silence my love.” Switchfoot also amps up the experimentation in “Sing it Out,” whose heavy elements and textures create a haunting atmosphere which must be listened to carefully in a quiet room. The album closes with a searching heart in “Red Eyes” and delicately circles back to the beginning of the album with lyrics from album opener “Needle and Haystack Life,” completing a turbulent, but beautiful journey.
Switchfoot’s Cd “Hello Hurricane” is one of the most emotional, reflective, and soul-stirring rock records i think you will ever hear. When i first heard this cd i was in my car traveling home from a day of book browsing, it was night time and the stars were out, this is, in my humble opinion, the perfect way to listen to a record of this kind. The record is a journey, when the opening guitar chords of “Needle In A Haystack Life” surge through your speakers you know that you are being taken somewhere, you know something special is happening. The tracks are so relatable, pain, hope, loss, struggle, it’s all there. and hearing the songs on the record really felt like a purging of my own emotions.This record is like a mirror, you see guys’ hearts and souls completely exposed before you, but then you realize that you are also seeing yourself too…it tears the cover off of your soul and forces you to feel, to see, and to reflect. You will find yourself rocking out and head banging, and you will also find yourself crying and worshiping. The guitars are gritty, the drums are tight, the bass is hard, and the vocals are strong and vulnerable. This record sounds nothing like Switchfoot has ever done, it is new and fresh. It’s still Switchfoot, but it’s the guys in a new direction, a new light. We see their souls on this record like never before. It’s hard for me to talk about the songs on this record, because they are all so important. It’s almost like if the songs are a family, they fit so perfectly and tightly together, but at the same time they are their own independent entity, each with its own distinctive personality and purpose.
The moment i heard “Hello Hurricane” i was in tears, this song fits exactly where i am in life. To be honest, this year has been a crazy one for me, it’s been like a hurricane,so the lyrics “Hello Hurricane, you’re not enough. “Hello Hurricane, you can’t silence my love” have become my life’s anthem. It makes me want to stand out by the water, with the sea breeze blowing and the pelicans flying high, and raise my face to the sky and declare “you can’t silence my love”. I love the line “there’s nothing left for you to take away“, this song is a vulnerable yet brave declaration of hope and resilience in the face of destruction. It’s my favorite.Two other personal favorites of mine are “Sing It Out” and “Bullet Soul”. “Sing It Out” is probably one of the most vulnerable and worshipful songs i have ever heard, it’s a song for the broken, yet hopeful soul. “Bullet Soul” is a rock song for sure! It is one that gives you that “Wooo let’s take on the world baby!” feeling. I love the line “You’re a kid with a bullet soul, are you ready to go?” it makes me want to go tackle all of those dreams that i have put on the backburner, it makes me want to live. Really, in the end all i can say is, you must own this cd and listen for yourself. If you are going through something right now, or ever have been through a trying time in your life, this record is for you. This is a cd that will forever be with me, it holds a special place in my heart, and i know it will do the same for anyone who listens to it.
“I feel like with this record, the motto was, what are the songs you want to die singing?” That is what Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman said about the songs on their 7th studio album, Hello Hurricane. My first thought about Hello Hurricane was that these truly are songs you would die singing. They’re songs that are so meaningful and true that they are destined to walk through life with you. You can really tell that this is the guys’ blood, sweat, and tears. Every song is a testament to how much they poured their heart and soul into this record. To me, Hello Hurricane begs to be listened to in order, from the first track, “Needle And Haystack Life”, to the last track, “Red Eyes”. It’s one of those rare cds where skipping any tracks would not give you the full experience. And in my opinion, it is an experience. Every single song has a very specific purpose and place. You can tell that they were very intentional about the placement of the songs because it really is the most cohesive record they’ve ever made. When you listen to the whole cd in order you feel like you’ve been taken on a journey. That’s the best way I can describe Hello Hurricane, as a journey. When you hear the cd opener “Needle And Haystack Life” you get the sense that this journey is just beginning, as you hear Jon sing the energetic rock chorus, “In this needle and haystack life I’ve found miracle’s there in your eyes. It’s no accident we’re here tonight. We are once in a lifetime”.
It’s so hard to choose just a few favorites to talk about here because they all have such special elements that mean so much to me, but a few of my other favorites are: “Free”, which is an emotional cry for freedom that’s only found in Christ – “Free, come set me free. Down on my knees, I still believe you can save me from me. Come set me free. Inside this shell there’s a prison cell”. “The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues)” opens with crunchy guitars and an almost experimental, eerie sounding build to a pounding rock chorus. But I have to say out of all the songs on this cd the two that most have my heart are “Always” and “Sing It Out”. “Always” is a beautiful piano ballad that probably has the simplest yet most profound chorus, as Jon repeats – “I am always yours”. The song builds to a powerful bridge – “Hallelujah! I’m caving in. Hallelujah! I’m in love again.” The very worshipful ballad “Sing It Out” gave me goose bumps and just about made me cry upon first listen. The song starts off with an eerie sound as the verse speaks of losing the song of your soul. It then moves into Jon’s beautiful vocal loudly and powerfully singing a prayer of sorts – “Sing it out. Sing it out. Take what is left of me, and make it a melody. Sing it out. Sing out loud. I can’t find the words to sing, you’d be my remedy. My song. I’ll sing with what’s left of me.” Those lyrics just totally broke me. That song right there, that is my life’s prayer. The cd closes with “Red Eyes” which asks the question – “With red eyes what are you looking for?”. I love how at the very end of this song you hear it going back to lines from the first track “Needle And Haystack life” – “I’ve found miracles there in your eyes. It’s no accident we’re here tonight. We are once in a lifetime”. It really ties the whole record together and makes for an unforgettable ending. It’s hard to put into words just how much these songs mean to me. I really feel like this album redefines who Switchfoot is as a band. It feels like a whole new level and a whole new season for them. In my opinion Hello Hurricane is their best effort to date. It is in every sense of the word what my sister would call “a life cd”, in that these songs were made to stay with you throughout your whole life.