“Hello Hurricane acknowledges the storms that tear through our lives,” states Switchfoot singer and songwriter Jon Foreman. “This album is an attempt to respond to those storms with an element of hope, trying to understand what it means to be hopeful in a world that keeps on spinning.”
With Hello Hurricane, Switchfoot is set to thrive in 2009 with a newfound independence: a new home studio HQ, a new label, and a return-to-roots creativity and sense of purpose. After ten non-stop years of working as the world’s most humble multi-million selling rock band, the hard-charging North County San Diego-based quintet saw recording sessions for their aptly-titled seventh full-length album as a unique chance to reassess, reflect, and rededicate.
“We built our own studio so we wouldn’t be paying and playing by the hour,” says Foreman of their self-styled Studio of the Foot home. Beginning in 2007, the band tracked more than 80 songs and allowed themselves to get lost in the music again and get back to basics. “That’s why we see this album as a new beginning of sorts,” continues Foreman, citing the inspiration that likewise moved bandmate/brother Tim Foreman (bass), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (keyboards), and Drew Shirley (guitar). “For us it was a feeling of true freedom.”
The album’s driving and urgent “Mess of Me” – with its personal declaration of independence, as Foreman passionately announces to the world that “I wanna spend the rest of my life alive!” – powerfully demonstrates the edge behind the new tones. Not content to settle into a single groove, the band moves from the high flying album opener, “Needle and Haystack Life,” to songs like the stirring “Always Yours” and the sweetly soaring “Your Love is a Song,” which – by its very nature – cries out for many waving hands illuminated by a blue cell phone glow.
The anthemic, riff fueled “This is the Sound,” with its utterly timely generational themes, finds Foreman spitting, “This is the sound from the discontented mouths of a haunted nation!” The “Hello Hurricane” title track is even more poignant when it comes to the band’s perspective on themselves and the world around them. “I’m not talking about ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane,’” says Foreman with a wink before turning reflective. “There is a real despair that I see when we travel around the country… and its music that people turn to in a time like this. I wanted to reach out to those people with song.”
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Switchfoot Offers a Fun and Memorable Ride| Posted May 13, 2010
Switchfoot has always been one of those bands that I've liked, but not loved. They had many good songs, and even a good album in "The Beautiful Letdown." But I've never felt their music reaching the level of "must hear" before, that is, until they released "Hello Hurricane."
I must admit, I was initially not as impressed when I heard lead single "Mess of Me," but it's grown on me and I like it a lot now. But it's actually other songs on the album that have really hooked me and made me re-evaluate my view of Switchfoot.
"Free" is an intense and catchy rocker and one of the first songs from the new collection that hooked me. Crossover rockers "Needle and Haystack Life" and the title track also wheeled me in with their catchy hooks and soaring choruses.
Ballads like "Your Love Is A Song" and "Always" also have become favorites, and apparently I am not alone as both have been featured on television shows, and the latter got a commercial placement. Both have also been released as singles to complement the rock singles. So these are definitely great new additions to Switchfoot's catalogue.
"Red Eyes" is another highlight, closing the album in a memorable way.
While the other songs are not quite as memorable, I liked almost all of them from the made-to-be-pop-hit vibe of "Enough to Let Me Go" to the gentle and relaxing feel of "Yet."
"The Sound" also has become a hit from the album, scoring a commercial placement and the title of the band's second rock single from the album. It's another good anthem from Switchfoot.
"Bullet Soul" is the only song I really did not like from the bunch. Maybe it's because I am not fond of screaming or that it sounds so weird to hear so many coming from Switchfoot. Or maybe the rough song just doesn't work as well with the rest of the songs(even if it isn't the only track on the album to feature some screaming). I am sure many will adore it, but it's subpar for me.
Ultimately, Switchfoot has really impressed me with this outing, and I hope they continue to do so in the future. I may not have considered them great before, but I think "Hello Hurricane" has definitely elevated them to that level in my book.
Switchfoot [Hello Hurricane]| Posted October 27, 2009 Hello Hurricane, Switchfoot?s first studio album since 2006?s Oh! Gravity, which debuted at No. 18 on The Billboard 200, acknowledges life?s storms while managing to find an element of hope in them. The band tracked more than 80 songs at its self-built home studio before narrowing it down to the 12 that appear on the new album. Hello Hurricane is the group?s seventh full-length album and its first on Atlantic Records. Switchfoot is comprised of Jon Foreman (vocals/guitar), Tim Foreman (bass), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (keys/guitar) and Drew Shirley (guitar).
The album grabbed my attention right from the opening notes of ?Needle and Haystack Life?, which will thrill long-time Switchfoot fans, and probably win them new fans with the U2-esque epic feel and extremely catchy music and lyrics. This is one of those albums that is meant to be experienced in the order it is arranged as lead single ?Mess of Me? switches gears musically and brings a new grunge-type sound with the passionate lyrics ?I wanna spend the rest of my life alive!?. My favorite new Switchfoot song is next, ?Your Love Is A Song? in the style of ?On Fire? from The Beautiful Letdown. I?ve enjoyed this band since New Way To Be Human released in 1999 and Hello Hurricane truly brings a great mixture sonically and stylistically that fans of rock anthems, alt-rock and grunge-rock will enjoy. ?The Sound? will also have you shouting along with Jon, whose vocals have never sounded better and musically this song reminded me of ?Stars? and ?We Are One Tonight? from Nothing Is Sound, my previous favorite Switchfoot album. There is little that reminds me of Oh! Gravity, other than maybe the up tempo but more refined sounding rock songs that perfect the sound introduced with the title track and ?Awakening?.
Some other highlights for me come towards the end of the album, which cools down with ?Always?, a truly inspirational song in the style of ?Twenty-Four? with this great bridge: ?Hallelujah!, I'm caving in, Hallelujah! I'm in love again, Hallelujah!, I'm a wretched man, Hallelujah!, every breath is a second chance?. ?Always? transitions beautifully to ?Bullet Soul?, another Switchfoot anthem which will have you moving with a great guitar riff and a call to action ?are you ready to go??. As if the album didn?t have enough hooks, my next favorite track comes next with the ballad ?Yet? a gorgeous contemplative song with a sincere chorus: ?I'll sing until my heart caves in, no, you haven't lost me yet?.
I find myself singing at the top of my lungs with each song and ?Your Love Is A Song? is one of my top 20 songs of the year. For me, Hello Hurricane is now the best overall album by Switchfoot and is one of my top 5 albums of 2009. The standout songs are ?Needle and Haystack Life?, ?Mess of Me?, ?Your Love Is A Song?, ?The Sound?, ?Always?, ?Bullet Soul? and ?Yet?.
Top 10 Album Of 2009| Posted January 04, 2010
Switchfoot returns to form with their seventh full-length album, Hello Hurricane. After the misstep of Oh! Gravity and lead singer Jon Foreman's solo efforts that were critically accepted but made little impression to me, I was afraid that Switchfoot's glory days of dominating popular music were over. Granted, Jon's solo efforts were always music that Switchfoot would never make, but I was still looking for something to grab hold of and shout about. Needless to say, I'm excited to be excited about Switchfoot again.
Hello Hurricane is on par with the incredible albums Nothing Is Sound and The Beautiful Letdown. From instant rock classics like "Bullet Soul," "Mess Of Me" and "The Sound" (all of which pull heavy influences from artists like Foo Fighters and Green Day) to soaring anthems like "Free" and "Enough To Let Me Go," the album is overflowing with tracks that will please any pop, alternative and/or rock consumer.
The album's crowning achievement is "Your Love Is A Song," easily my favorite track from Switchfoot in a long time. It's simplistic, soaring, layered and instantly familiar and you'll be challenged not to crank up the volume and sing about God's amazing presence symbolized through songwriting at the top of your lungs. This is Switchfoot returning to the top of their game, and it's great to have them back.
Hello Hurricane, I'd Like You To Meet The Sound| Posted November 18, 2009
I'll admit it. After such a long drought of a solid album (their whole career), and the recent draught of even a decent album (Since 'Beautiful Letdown'), I kind of gave up on Switchfoot. Add to that the fact that this album is three years in the making, and I thought it couldn't possibly be that good. Boy, was I wrong. It's not only the best in Christian rock in quite some time, but 'Hello Hurricane' is a rock-solid rock album.
Mess of Me
At first I was put off by Mess of Me's repeating of the line, "There ain't no drug," but the song grows on you, and it's surprisingly catchy, and it just plain rocks. 'The Sound' has made great prominence as the 'Blackberry Storm 2' commercials, and it certainly works in the stormy atmosphere the ad depicts. It's as much of a storm of anthemic rock as it is a sound. But for me, the highlight is 'Free,' a hook and chord driven piece that builds up to an excellent chorus, and the containment of some great lyrics. Jon Foreman punctuates this song, and the rest of the songs on the album with a more soulful, but ever rock-tinged vocals. 'Bullet Soul' just plain rocks. Note crazy about the lyrics, but make sure to turn it up loud.
Lyrically, while Jon Foreman may say that songs have an underlying political meaning to them, the album's theme is one of redemption, with the subject first acknowledges his trouble (Mess of Me), yearns to be free from his pain (Free), gives his life to God (Always), assures God "You haven't lost me yet"(Yet), then longs for his life to be made into a melody (Sing It Out). Granted, the story seemingly made by the album is incomplete, but the album is about staring into the hurricane of life, then coming out of it by the grace of God. Of course, could be totally wrong in this interpretation. In fact, the only true weak track of the album is 'Red Eyes' simply because nothing works. A big part is the lyrics. What do red eyes have to do with anything the song is talking about? I'm confused...
Overall, a truly solid effort from Switchfoot that adds up to their most quality effort yet. Sure it doesn't have the memorability of 'Beautiful Letdown' yet, but it's a great start, and hopefully in the series of albums the band plans to release in the next several years, they can continue the trend. They've certainly pushed the car into the hurricane, so let's see if they can drop it on some unsuspecting patch of true rock greatness.
Note: On the subject of the album art, while it may not be appropriate for an album with the word 'Hurricane' in its title, it's beautiful nevertheless.
BACK TO THE BEAUTIFUL LETDOWN BRILLIANCE| Posted November 09, 2009
Very rarely does a band obtain the perfect combination of major label distribution and complete creative independence, but Switchfoot's multi-million album sales and countless crossover hits certainly warrant such an arrangement. Following a several-album stint on Columbia, the band made the timely decision to reclaim ownership of their music, allowing Hello Hurricane to bow on the band's own lowercase people records in partnership with Atlantic.
No matter what the circumstances behind the switch, Switchfoot comes out of the gate swinging on its first CD in three years, recalling the now-classic The Beautiful Letdown in everything from the anthems to the songwriting and even the artwork font. "Needle and Haystack Life" is destined to return the California natives to the top of the charts, coming across like U2 during its Unforgettable Fire days. "Mess of Me" marks a militant follow-up that's amongst the group's grittiest to date, thanks to Led Zeppelin-tipped riffs. "This Is the Sound" lends an experimental vibe with frontman Jon Foreman's growling vocals and the band's rumbling arrangements. And for every super-charged rocker, there's a tasteful power ballad to match, like the inspiring "Always Yours" and the stadium-filling "Sing It Out."
All the while, the group takes an increasingly hopeful lyrical approach, inspired by the guys' work with Habitat For Humanity and perhaps even their artistic liberation, which, after the mildly darker nature of Oh! Gravity, is a welcome return to form. Along the way, Switchfoot maintains its spiritual mindset, but never comes across as preachy in a secular environment, making Hello Hurricane the ultimate benchmark for any like-minded act, and amongst this band's very best.—Andy Argyrakis
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
I give this 4 thumbs up. Yeah, I'm an alien.| Posted June 29, 2012
Since I've heard this, I would be ok if I never heard anything again. My favorite songs on it are Hello Hurricane, Free, Your Love is a Song, and Mess of Me. Swicthfoot is so great, and so are all of their songs.
Masterful album| Posted January 03, 2011
Switchfoot is a staple of Christian music and there's a reason for that. They consistently put out quality albums and this is one of their best. The album flows very well, with some upbeat jams and beautiful ballads. They always manage to tweak their sound just enough to keep it interesting. Highlights include Mess of Me, Your Love is a Song, The Sound, Free.
Switchfoot At Their Best!| Posted May 14, 2010
In my humble opion this was the absolute best CD of 2009, and certainly of Switchfoot's best! It was such a surprise to come across songs with incredible depth and brilliant sound techniques. As usual, the trademark Switchfoot lyrics are intelligent and provoking, but this CD seemed a little more spiritually minded than some of their previous albums... very, very, very, well done. I can't wait for the 2010 release Vice Verses; considering how great the album was, the next will have to be breath-taking!
You can't silence my love..| Posted May 02, 2010
This album...this album...is the greatest album I have ever bought. When I purchased it a couple months ago, I was a very, very new Switchfoot fan. I had heard Mess of Me and The Sound off the album already and I liked them very much, those pretty much convinced me to buy the entire album.
Hello Hurricane is the best album I have ever heard. Seriously. It has SO much in it, it's...very hard to describe!
Mess of Me is my favorite, we all think "its very catchy and has a good sound, it rocks" I don't think many have actually listened to the depth of the lyrics and thought about the song and its meaning. =)
I am very very happy with Hello Hurricane, it's defintely one of those albums I listen to over and over, no skipping songs, and it always cheers me up. :) Good job, Switchfoot!
my first review :)| Posted January 12, 2010
I personally found Hello Hurricane to be an incredible album! It is not one of those albums where you love two songs, it is an album that makes you want to sing along with every song on it. This is the Sound is a great song to sing at the top of your lungs and Mess of Me is a great one to blare in your room. I love it!
Hello Switchfoot!| Posted January 04, 2010
Okay so this album has become one of my favorites. I enjoy this one even more than "The Beautiful Letdown" which I really love. Switchfoot made a wonderful arrangement of songs. "Your Love Is a song" is a really beautiful song. And I love how it goes from a slower, softer song into a hard, rock song. "The sound" and "Bullet Soul" are my favorite songs on this album. All the songs are great, the only song that I don't really care for is "Red Eyes". But other than that this is a great cd and I would recommend it to anyone.
Best Switchfoot Album!| Posted December 31, 2009
Absolutely amazing cd!!! It's been a little while since I've heard a Switchfoot album I totally loved, and this one I definitely LOVED! Pretty much the whole cd is great some highlights are "The Sound", "Mess of Me", "Needle and Haystack Life", and "Free"