The day was December 15th, 2017. Switchfoot announced their first official hiatus in over 20 years of bandhood. Christian music fans (and many of us staff writers here at Jesusfreakhideout) held their breath as we awaited the band's potentially precarious future. It's fairly common for groups to claim hiatus only to never return again. The suspense wasn't held for very long, however, as the San Diegan rockers issued another statement last September: they would be back with new music shortly. This made the gap between Where The Light Shines Through and their newest release, Native Tongue, only about 2 and a half years - pretty standard fare for an album cycle. One might question the need for the initial announcement in the first place, but it certainly heightened the anticipation for their eleventh studio album. Would this feel like a comeback album, more of the same, or something entirely different? In some ways, Native Tongue is in between all of those labels, and it's that quality of inconsistency that serves as its greatest detriment and its greatest prospect.
Foreman and company might not be the most inventive or musically diverse group around, but their steady sonic evolution and solid songwriting over the past two decades are what have made them a mainstay...
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Last year, esteemed singer/songwriter Chris Rice made waves when he subtly hinted that new music would soon be coming for the first time in over a decade. Later in the year, he announced that it would be in the form of a split album with Andrew Ripp, thus Ripp + Rice was born. In what can only be described as a quaint project, the duo comes forth bringing a post-Christmas gift dubbed Songs We Wrote on Tuesdays.
While the 13-track album features some crossover when it comes to background vocals, there are essentially seven and six alternating tracks by Rice and Ripp, respectively. Both artists shine individually, but the lack of any duets is a little disappointing. Most of the songs are shorter in nature, delivering a rather easy listen for an album with this many tracks. While both artists regularly enjoy toying within...
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