Switchfoot
Oh! Gravity.


3.5
great

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
December 25th, 2006 | 55 replies | 13,807 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Switchfoot show they have immense potential with Oh! Gravity. The album finds the band experimenting with different styles and feels while still creating enough catchy singles to keep their fanbase entertained.

One band that I’ve always enjoyed in mainstream rock ever since their breathtakingly catchy single Meant to Live is Switchfoot. They themselves have never done anything too innovative, but they have a fantastic sound and great messages. Their style and beliefs are a break from the depressing, cliché relationship-based songs of today. But I'm not exactly sure why I decided to pick up Oh! Gravity. I liked their singles but I was never really compelled to buy an album. I hadn't even heard the lead single off of this. Remarkably, they took a step away from the commercial pressure of creating an album entirely of the sound people fell in love with a few years ago and created something special with Oh! Gravity.

No one would ever guess what a gem the album is from the title track lead single. Oh! Gravity. is a well constructed pop rock song that is short and sweet. The verse is great, especially in vocalist Jon Foreman’s tone and the simple backing instrumentation. The chorus then enters a typical chord progression and that’s pretty much the entire song. What makes the song so catchy are the little nuances thrown in, such as the dissonant piano that transitions from chorus to verse or the faintly heard keyboard melody in the chorus. Of course, Switchfoot also throws in the “la la la” section at the end of the song that never fails to infect the listener's mind.

After hearing Oh! Gravity., I expected to find an album of similar songs, but only a few that were well executed. American Dream solidified my beliefs with another poppier song, tagged with excellent rhyme schemes and an extremely catchy synth melody. But then Dirty Second Hands came on, and I was floored with what Switchfoot could actually produce. This song will never find its way onto the airwaves, but it still stands out as one of the best on the album. It starts as a bluesy song in 5/4 with a great acoustic guitar riff. The chord progression is darker than anything Switchfoot has ever created before, and it is made even creepier with the sampled hyperventilation and strange handclaps. The song rapidly changes character into a heavier distorted chorus with hard hitting accents. As it grows throughout, Switchfoot changes the riff to how it would naturally sound, in a 6/4 beat instead. The contrast and the overall growth is something brand new and very much appreciated from Switchfoot.

Still, for most fans, Switchfoot’s music isn’t the foremost quality that they like. Adults and children alike have fallen in love with Foreman’s Christian ideals and how his lyrics speak beyond his own life and to the world. While many of the Christian lyricisms disappear on this album, he still writes lyrics that apply to the world today and its condition. Faust, Midas, and Myself may be some of his greatest lyrical work yet, as he takes personal anecdotes and applies them to an uplifting and inspiring message. After describing a dream, he sings a chorus with a simple message: you only have one life on Earth. Make the best of it. Still, he creates a side message through the latter of the song, saying that money does not create happiness. He uses gold as a symbol for wealth, and finishes out the metaphor with “I wanted to wake up again without a touch of gold.” Musically, Faust, Midas, and Myself is just as stellar. It features a full string section that adds a great amount of grandness and substance to the song. Still, Switchfoot stays true to their typical rock style and the string section is only used for effect, not as a main melody creator.

This is by no means a perfect album, though. While Switchfoot does step out of their shell on some songs, there are others that are just boring pop rock songs. Amateur Lovers is the best example of this, with a simple chord progression and a boring lyrical concept. Foreman is obviously worse at writing about relationships as he turns out very vague lyrics. The song goes nowhere and there are no catchy hooks to save the song from its mediocre composition. Yesterdays finds Switchfoot trying a softer, more Coldplay styled sound. While it is serene and calm, it drags on for too long with no growth or dynamics. Once again, Foreman's relationship-based lyrics are nothing special. Let Your Love Be Strong is certainly the better quiet song, kept more concise and even calmer than Yesterdays. It is based around an acoustic guitar riff, although the rest of the band adds in quickly. It reaches a climax with beautiful string swells and a small wind section. Being the end of the album, it makes a tapered ending that works extremely well.

Oh! Gravity. Is certainly an evolution for Switchfoot. They step out into new territories with the complex Dirty Second Hands and the 5/8 groove of Circles. With the help of some extra instrumentation, the album has plenty of variety to make the 45 minute album an easy listen. Still, Switchfoot aren't going to disappear from the mainstream spotlight, as there are plenty of good radio-friendly songs, including Awakening and Burn Out Bright. This is what mainstream rock could and should be.

Recommended Tracks:
Dirty Second Hands
Awakening
Circles
Faust, Midas, and Myself
Let Your Love Be Strong



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
December 25th 2006



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

There's 35 minutes until Dec. 26 sue me.

Eliminator
December 25th 2006



2067 Comments


I'll see you in court, bucko.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
December 25th 2006



2667 Comments


Just pretend you're European - that's what their excuse usually is.
Good review, anyway.

Album sounds like it could have a couple good songs on it, but after that awful Bad Religion cover the frontman had in the news a week or so ago, I'm not inclined to watch that again or check this out anytime soon.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
December 25th 2006



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Switchfoot covering Bad Religion? Yeah, that would suck.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
December 26th 2006



2667 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/news.php?newsid=2122
Thar she blows.

The Jungler
December 26th 2006



4827 Comments


Good review, bad band.
I actually sort of did like Meant to Live, but everything else I've heard from them sucks, though your reccomendations make this sound a trifle better.

Oddsen
December 26th 2006



1127 Comments


Nice review.

I liked the single from this as well as some of their pass ones.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
December 26th 2006



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ugh lemonpartyThis Message Edited On 12.26.06

NOTINTHEFACE
December 26th 2006



1653 Comments


Wonderful review. I plan on picking this up, although I didn't jump for it at its release date (today). I've been listening to Switchfoot for years, and I still love them. Dirty Second Hands is indeed brilliant. Again, great review and I'm looking forward to hearing this.

wikuk
December 27th 2006



1110 Comments


Okay, you've convinded me. I'm checking this band. A'mazing review sir.

Abaddon2005
December 27th 2006



684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a solid record, a big step up from the last release.

BringHomeTheBacon
December 28th 2006



248 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I enjoyed Switchfoot's last two albums but this album is completely disappointing. A few solid tracks (Dirty Second Hands, Burn Out Bright) but way too much filler. Also, the lyrics are embarrassingly bad at times. Solid review though.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 28th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is probably their best album. Their first major one was pretty good, their last one sucked though. ONly albums I've bothered to check out by them.

Two-Headed Boy
December 28th 2006



4527 Comments


Not buying this.
And yeah, that Bad Religion cover was embarrassing.This Message Edited On 12.29.06

saonic
December 31st 2006



13 Comments


Its an ok album

Best track is Burn out Bright

MRjakeC
January 1st 2007



16 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah, uh, switchfoot is mediocre, i dont know why i bother listening to them when much better stuff is out there.

megadeth101
January 3rd 2007



865 Comments


I'm in love.Great review :thumb:

icaught fire444
January 7th 2007



622 Comments


I loved The Beautiful Letdown, but Oh Gravity (the song) is terrible.

Do all the songs sound like oh gravity on this cd?
and does it sound at all like the Beautiful Letdown?

cuz if not I'm definetly not intrested.This Message Edited On 01.07.07

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
January 7th 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I don't know much about the Beautiful Letdown, but there's a bunch of songs on here that are nothing like Oh! Gravity. the single.

megadeth101
January 7th 2007



865 Comments


I'm not as amazed as before.



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