Switchfoot I love Switchfoot. Ever since the opening chords of “Meant to Live” first touched my eardrums I have been a big fan of the Christian rock gods of San Diego who rule with a mighty fist of distortion.

They recently dropped Columbia, however, and decided to go the route of the “independent band.” After two somewhat mediocre albums, this could be a really good thing, right? Then I saw the video for their new song, “This is Home,” which will be featured on the upcoming Prince Caspian soundtrack. And I cried.

It’s not that it’s completely different from anything that they’ve ever done before or doesn’t sound anything like them. That’s the problem, rather. Both musically and lyrically, it is an easily forgettable re-hash of their worst songs. Hopefully, this is just a song that that they had no motivation to record because they were working on their actual album. Maybe? But with Jon Foreman heralding it as, “our first venture as an independent band,” I’m not going to hold my breath.

If this is home I want to run away.

 
About The Author

lmcnamara

0 Responses to Switchfoot: free to a good home

  1. Job says:

    Ok, first of all, they have never wanted to be called “Christian rock” because of the horrible stereotypes that come with it. They are Christians in a band, like Paramore, Lifehouse, or U2.

    Secondly, the only reason this song sounds super generic is because Disney chose this from four different song possibilities, for its “hit potential.” Don’t fault the band for this song. It was written for a DISNEY movie, so i guess a “generic” sound is to be expected.

    Have you listened to the “Oh! Gravity.” album btw? that sounds nothing like “generic”

  2. David says:

    We all know about Switchfoot’s dislike of “Christian rock.” But since they have continued to more or less associate themselves with it, it’s hardly an unfair term. But writing for a Disney film, rather than being Christians or independent, is probably what deserves the blame for this stupid song.

    While Nothing is Sound was generally a bore, Oh! Gravity was at least likeable. But it’s definitely time for something new, or Switchfoot will be another former favorite about which I am now entirely indifferent.

  3. Bart the Magnificent says:

    I would have to contend with that last point. “Oh! Gravity” lacks the catchiness of Switchfoot’s album “Beautiful Letdown” or the indie depth of Switchfoot’s earlier works. I say if “Gravity” isn’t generic, then it’s not very good. And yes, this new song is lame. I think God skins a bunny every time someone listens to corporate sponsored piece of nonsense.

  4. mynineteenthtry says:

    while i agree with david that this song being painfully (or wonderfully?) forgetful rests largely on its disney & obvious mass media catering, i’d say it is a poor choice to be heralded by jon foreman himself as: “our first venture as an independent band.”

    i mean, if you’re going independent, go independent. leaving columbia records for more freedom & then immediately “selling out” to disney & the christian mass media that is (for better or worse) driving the narnia franchise strikes me as a little comical.

    a band like switchfoot would hopefully have enough stability & critical acclaim at this point to stand on their own two feet & only write what they want. self-proclaiming themselves indie & then producing the above makes me shudder more than a little.

  5. Bart the Magnificent says:

    oh, my first post is directed toward Job, btw. David beat me to the draw it seems.

  6. Timothy Zila says:

    Yeah, it’s time for something new no doubt. Oh Gravity! isn’t innovative – it’s just a different coat of paint put on the same old songs.

    I mean, at this point, even something as simple as broadening the scope of a band’s like Switchfoot songs (say hello to love songs) would help – even if they sound exactly the same.

  7. Timothy Zila says:

    Yeah, it’s definitely time for something new. Oh Gravity! wasn’t really anything new as much as was the result of putting a new coat of paint over the same old song’s the bands been making for how many years now.

    And, also, what do you expect a band like Switchfoot to do about a track they wrote for a Disney movie – I mean, they’re not gonna say, ‘guys this is horrible go listen to it.’ The only other option than championing it would really be to say nothing.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Switchfoot isn’t selling out to Disney or the Christian Music Industry. This is just a one time deal only for the Narnia movie. It sounds like some of you guys are judging them when you don’t know the entire story behind them and their music. It’s not like they wrote this song just to become famous through Disney. Disney approached them to write a song and they agreed since Jon Foreman was inspired by CS Lewis growing up. I highly doubt their new album will sound like this, although, it’s not that bad of a song as you guys think it is.

    As for Nothing is Sound and Oh! Gravity being boring or mediocre or whatever, I highly disagree with that.

  9. mynineteenthtry says:

    [grin] i put “selling out” in quotes for a reason. i know that bands do these side songs all the time, maintaining their artistic integrity with varying degrees of success.

    i’m not throwing some hipster fit over this song (are hipsters even allowed to listen to switchfoot these days?) — rather just pointing out the unfortunate irony of declaring themselves independent while releasing their most corporate driven work tod date. if its just bad timing, then forgive me for smiling at the irony.

    timothy: personally, i just wish they’d said, “hey, we’re indie now. we’re excited about what this lets us do. in the meantime, check out this track we did for narnia.”

    at any rate, not trying to nitpick. when you’re in the spotlight, it seems you’re either getting by or screwing up.

  10. Jordan says:

    The song is sort of bland, but sort of simple and satisfying. Much more listenable than much of Oh Gravity. Also I thought Nothing Is Sound was far too ambiguous, but much more cohesive than almost anything else. Nobody is mentioning how (surprisingly) well they blend clips from the film with clips from the band. This is almost never this tastefully done.

  11. Job says:

    @ mynineteenthtry, it is called their first real venture as an indie band because it is. I mean, SWITCHFOOT are the ones in control of whether or not they write a song for Disney. Columbia doesn’t own the rights to the song anymore, they dont hold artistic control over the band anymore. It IS a bit of bad timing that Disney came calling before the band put out any new non-major label stuff, but what can you do?

    Switchfoot owns the rights to the song and chose to do with it what they liked. Now, granted, the band can write radio rock hits in their sleep, but the other three songs they sent in to Disney were said to be “much better” than the one Disney ultimately chose (this one). They were less of “a hit”, but Disney chose “This Is Home”, so yeah…

  12. nathan says:

    This is the type of music that kills souls and small children. this is the reason that people don’t believe that music is anything more than a background feeling. Instead of contributing to the culture, Switchfoot is helping the degrading and destruction of what little sanity and artistic honesty that’s left.

    Sell out kids.
    but make sure to call yourselves “indie”
    because.
    by golly,
    we wants to be hip.

  13. Timothy Zila says:

    nathan: that’s gotta be one of the most pretensious things I’ve heard in the while. Is Switchfoot indie? No, not really. (Or, at this point, only technically) but this is killing souls and small children? Granted I hate pop music at the end of children’s fantasies and haven’t bothered to listen to the song yet.

  14. Job says:

    @nathan, How is this not artistically honest? just cuz it sounds great, it means its helping to “degrade and destroy” artististic honesty? That somehow doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me. If you think about it, they’re not “selling out” because this isn’t for their own album. Its for a frickin Narnia film. I know that thousands of other bands would love to have an opportunity to get their music out there, whether its in TV or film. Just cuz they wrote a song for film doesn’t mean they’re sell outs. That’s just crazy to think that way. and killing souls and small children? That’s insane…

    @Timothy: hey man, you should give this song a chance. It’s really decent… not one of their best, but pretty good. =)
    Also, Switchfoot is indie in the fact that they aren’t tied to what a label wants them to do. They make their own decisions. That’s true independence, not some hipster band that cant get signed because their music is crap.

  15. a.r.t. says:

    wow, i think a lot of you need to just calm down. this song is in no way an indication of their next album. it was written for a MAJOR MOTION PICTURE. you can’t write an envelope-pushing song that makes lots of people think “whoooaa hold on this is waaay different!” when writing for a major motion picture. first of all, it wouldn’t get picked for the movie, and second of all, it would totally distract from the movie and not serve its purpose.

    also, it’s not “selling out” to write a song for a movie. it’s an honor to be able to contribute your music to another art form without having your music be the center of attention for once.

    and nathan, they’re not just calling themselves indie to be hip or to try to describe their sound. they’re calling themselves indie because – shocker – they ARE independent from a major label. and if you think that “Switchfoot is helping the degrading and destruction of what little sanity and artistic honesty that’s left,” then you probably don’t listen to all the crap on the radio.

    judging from what i’ve heard the different band members say about this new album, it will be pretty different.

  16. luke says:

    I said I love Switchfoot. There was no “d” on the end of that. While I don’t think their last two albums were amazing, they had really good songs on them.

    art, i think your’re right in pointing out that Switchfoot is calling themselves an “independent band” and not and “indie” band. subtle, but important distinction there. I honestly hope this next album is great. and nathan you are a pretentious snob. 😉

  17. GigglesMcGee says:

    Luke,

    Wow. You obviously spent a lot of thought and time on this article. 181 words. Nice.

    [didn’t read the other comments so if I re-state another person’s opinion…so be it.]

    So, you’re saying that you hate their new “indie” CD because it sounds like their old stuff.

    “An easily forgettable rehash of their worst songs.”

    What were you expecting? Switchfoot has always been predictable, overrated, and unoriginal.

    What I don’t understand is why NOW you decide they suck? They dropped their previous label which technically makes them independent but doesn’t necessarily make them “indie genre.” Their songs sound like their old songs which all sounded like themselves anyways.

    They’re consistent. Why aren’t you?

    You say nothing substantial or worthwhile in your critique. Maybe before you venture into the world of writing you should at least set aside enough time to write more than 181 words of worthless commentary.

  18. Timothy says:

    @ Job

    The only reason I haven’t listened to the song because (gasp!) I have dial-up.

    I’ll hear it at the end of Narnia though.

    🙂

  19. Jordan says:

    Ha ha, is Giggles McGee really Luke McNamara? Cause that would be hilarious.

  20. nathan says:

    giggles is one of luke’s friends who’s giving him absolute crap for the previous times luke has mocked his writing.

    smallll world.

  21. nathan says:

    and for the record.
    i hold to everything i said.
    switchfoot is not making music that actually helps redeem the world or art in any meaningful way.

    they just float.

  22. Timothy says:

    let’s listen to Radiohead!

    (Two thumbs up!) 🙂

  23. Job says:

    @Luke, way to take this all in stride. I really think they’re new album will push boundaries.

    @Timothy, alright man. haha. Its a great song…

    @nathan, suck on a pacifier. haha. jkjk

  24. Timothy says:

    What do you guys think of the tour Switchfoot is doing with Third Day, Jars of Clay, and some almost certainly horrible band called the something something family band?

  25. Job says:

    @Timothy, actually, Robert Randolph was rated by Rolling Stone as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. and the Family band is actually a really sweet jam band… check em out. I’m definitely stoked about that.

    Third Day and Jars of Clay, not so much… I heard a preview of their opening kick-off show a few weeks back, and pretty much everyone in the crowd all thought Switchfoot should’ve been the final closing act, cuz they were the best of all of em. hahaaa. PWNED Third Day

  26. Timothy says:

    What if I said Jars of Clay was better than Switchfoot, which isn’t what I’m doing, but they’ve put out some great stuff.

    And yeah, I just heard that Robert Randolph was actually on Austin City Limits so I’m gonna have to check em out now.

  27. Job says:

    if you were to say that, I’d say you are gravely mistaken. Switchfoot’s live show kills Jars.

    Yeah. Robert Randolph is an awesome musician

Leave a Reply

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.