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JFH Music Review

Switchfoot, Fading West EP

Fading West EP

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 4 tracks (CD): 17 minutes, 2 seconds / 3 tracks (Digital)
Street Date: September 17, 2013

Many artists desire to reach a point where their art is not only heard by many but also deeply appreciated; in the case of Grammy award winners Switchfoot, they are without a doubt heard and appreciated to the highest degree. Preparing for their ninth LP Fading West, they are giving listeners a sample of what's to come with the Fading West EP.

The EP opens with the rock anthem "Love Alone Is Worth the Fight." As a whole, it walks the line of "classic" and "fresh" sounding for Switchfoot. Lyrically, it is what many have come expect and appreciate about the San Diego quintet; the powerful declaration of love being the driving force behind who we are as humans. Musically, its stacked vocals and very creative use of synth and organic sounds make it sonically rich and very approachable.

This is followed by the rhythmic "Who We Are," featuring, as shown in the Fading West film, the voices of the band members' own children. If you're looking for an enjoyable track with a flair for pop, this track is perfect for you, especially as Foreman sings, "We know… Who we are (in the fever of our youth) who we are (We've got nothing left to lose) who we are (There's still time enough to choose) who we are!" The sound has a very summer-like feeling, so for those who may desire some warmth in the upcoming chill of winter, you will find solace within this song.

"BA55" is most definitely the most eclectic sound for the guys and is definitely a standout track. The grittiness of the bass and low-fi sound of Foreman's vocals give the song this dark and dirty sound to accompany Jon's lyrics of redemption, "I want a fire that can burn me clean… and let my soul fly." It might not be what listeners expected, but it will most likely be what keeps their attention.

Concluding the physical copies of this short release is the b-side title track, "Fading West." While by no means is it a horrible listen, it just doesn't match the direction of the other tracks so it is understandable as to why it will not be featured on the full-length release. Its sound is catchy, warm, and inviting; it also has the potential to become a fan favorite that only true 'friends of the foot' will understand.

As a whole, the EP is a great prelude of what's to come from Switchfoot. The only real letdowns are that it is so short and that these tracks (other than the title track) will be on the Fading West LP; thus the release will really only be 9 or so new songs. Regardless, if this is a taste of the future, it's going to be a sweet day on January 14th. Until then, this'll do Switchfoot. This'll do.

- Review date: 10/10/13, written by Ryan Barbee of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

For anyone who found Vice Verses to be some of the best songs Switchfoot has offered to date, the sound that's displayed on their latest effort, the Fading West EP, may come as quite a surprise. The iTunes release of the EP leads off with the first single, "Who We Are," which is pure, unadulterated pop that pushes the envelope of what listeners know Switchfoot to resemble. But with the songs on Fading West serving as the soundtrack to the band's new documentary film of the same name, they make the most sense set to the images seen in the movie. This is best exemplified by "Ba55," a new track that the band uses as the film's intro and again later on in another scene. It fits beautifully within the tone of the film, and separately has an infectious bass line and serves as one of the album's highlights. After seeing the movie, the four songs on the CD release all have taken on greater weight and make more sense for the band than listened to outside the context of the film. The title track, which is only available on the CD copy of the EP, sounds more like it was cut from the same cloth as the band's 2005 album Nothing Is Sound, but it's a nice addition here as a bonus. While the poppier packaging will likely turn off some of the band's pickier fans, as an accompaniment to the film, it gets the job done as being memorable and catchy. And if the rest of the music used in the film is any indication, Fading West--in its entirety--should be a rewarding listen. - John DiBiase, 10/10/13


. Record Label: Atlantic / Word
. Album length: 4 tracks (CD): 17 minutes, 2 seconds / 3 tracks (Digital)
. Street Date: September 17, 2013
. Buy It: iTunes

  1. Love Alone Is Worth the Fight (4:35)
  2. Who We Are (3:25)
  3. Ba55 (4:44)
  4. Fading West (B-Side) **Only on physical CD release






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