Switchfoot Vice Verses Album Review & Tim Foreman interview pt. 1 & 2

The new record Vice Verses is now officially out! I have been waiting on the release of this record, because I feel that this is some of the best work Switchfoot has done yet. I always felt that Hello Hurricane put Switchfoot back on the map and paved the way for the future of Switchfoot. I also think Vice Verses is a great follow up to the Hello Hurricane. If you have heard the new record or have read anything about it you know one thing that is pretty prevalent with Vice Verses is the sound of the record. This is one of the things that most people have talked about. Tim even mentions it in the interview. This record is more bass and drum driven. Some songs it might be hard to pick up, while others it is pretty obvious. The record still sounds like a Switchfoot record but there are distinct differences that make this record unique. The album deals with the polarity of life, the highs and lows, the beauty in the pain, and ultimately hope. What amazes me is that 15 years later as a band Switchfoot is still making music that is lyrically challenging and sonically amazing. Vice Verses is no exception and if this record is the new sound that Switchfoot is heading in, I think a lot of people will say how their music has stood the test of time.

Below are some of my thoughts about the songs off the new album Vice Verses, if you want to hear my interview with Tim Foreman feel free to click on his name to bring up the audio. In the interview Tim and I talked a lot about his parts on the new record, when they came up with the idea for Vice Verses and his thoughts on some of the songs.

The video is the second part of the interview to understand the full conversation listen to the 1st part and then watch the second.

Afterlife I really like how this song starts off the record. I think Afterlife is characteristic of Switchfoot’s style lyrically. The song talks about action and why wait to make change when you can do something about it now. Why wait for the “afterlife to come alive” when you can do come alive now? I love how this song encourages action.

The Original reminds me of a infectious 60′s funk song that tinkers on the verge of something Jimmy Hendrix would of wrote and smiled about. Lyrically it pushes and challenges people to step outside of their comfort zone to be free. On a side not I could easily see this song in a Gap Commercial, wait I bet this happens.

The War Inside has a play on words that Jon works so well into songs. For example the lyric “every fight comes from the fight within” leaves the person thinking about the context of that statement longer after the song is over. I feel like this is one of the stronger tracks off the album and definitely displays the new sound of Switchfoot. Not only does Jon wrestle with the idea of the war inside but also answers the question ultimately pointing the finger at himself saying “I am the war inside” suggesting that we need to hold ourselves more accountable for our actions.

Restless this is the first balled esq song off Vice Verses and lyrically Restless fits within the context of what Switchfoot is comfortable with. Questioning the unseen, while looking and searching for the answer. The easiest and most honest display of the theme Vice Verses in the record. The idea of longing for something you know your capable of, but yet something you haven’t fully grasped. The idea of hope but for there to be hope there has to be friction. That is restless.

Blinding Light I feel like this is another song that is geared more towards the homeless kids, and our a younger generation. Jon spends the majority of the song talking/singing towards a younger generation.

Selling The News I was really excited to hear this song and I think that it is one of if not my favorite off the cd. A spoken word song from Switchfoot? When I first heard about this I wasn’t sure it was going to work and then I heard it and it does. Selling The News is a song that is about what the title suggests. How the media interprets the facts and spins the story to create something that will sell, and then how we digest it as Truth. Love it.

Thrive is a song that I really identified with on the record, and I have a love hate relationship with it. I love it because the lyrics speak truth to me, which is hard to grasp. This is also a new indication of the sound. More bass driven and rhythm. I love the lyrics “A warm body doesn’t mean I’m alive” and “I want to Thrive not just simply survive.” I get chills listening to that and also get encouraged.

Dark Horses is the first radio single off the new record and is a song about the homeless kids that the Bro-Am helps through Stand Up For Kids. A really great song and Jon talks alot about it in depth in our previous interview we had.

Souvenirs is going to be a sleeper song for me. It doesn’t mean its bad because I like Souvenirs and I think it fits within the theme of Vice Verse ie polarity.

Rise Above It This is another song that relies heavily on the bass and drums and is pretty groovy. Lyrically, it speaks to overcoming adversity. Pretty infectious.

Vice Verses is the title track and the most obvious song dealing with the idea of polarity. This song is the backbone of the record. It was written very early on in the process and almost made Hello Hurricane but the band decided it needed to be on its own record. Thus Vice Verses was born and the theme of polarity and finding beauty in destruction was the central theme for the new record.

Where I Belong Tim Foreman talks alot about this song in our interview and while my perspective has changed on the song since hearing it, I have to agree the song has new meaning. I think I let Tim explain his thoughts on this.

So there we have it, my thoughts on the new Vice Verses record with some commentary from Tim. I already know this will be on my list of top albums for 2011. No questions. I have been lucky enough to chat with both Tim and Jon and can tell they are both genuine people. This is one reason why Switchfoot is different from so many other bands out there, and why they have put out their 8th album which is arguably their best work yet.

Tim Foreman interview