The new Switchfoot album, Fading West, is the soundtrack to the movie they made about recording the soundtrack to the movie. It’s a little bit like a chicken and an egg scenario but the music they made ends up being a decidedly different album for the band. There are still plenty of the same Switchfoot songs that are catchy, introspective, and inspirational, but there’s also a lot more instrumental work from Switchfoot here than we’ve seen in the past.
This Switchfoot album isn’t just different because of the instrumental parts. It’s different because the band implements a lot of different types of songs on the album. The only song that screams to you to get off your butt and do something is “Let It Out.” That’s a Switchfoot song that exists on every album they’ve put out. There’s a lot of different types of music on this record. There’s everything from a band anthem (“Who We Are”) to a melodic beach track (“Slipping Away”.) All of this goes along with the terrific documentary.
After watching the documentary and listening through the album a couple of times, it’s remarkable how well everything fits together and how great of a 360 degree experience that Switchfoot made with Fading West. There have been bands that have tried this to smaller degrees and done an okay job, but nobody has done it to the extent that Switchfoot has and nobody has done as good of a job as they did. By itself, Fading West is a good album, when you toss in the documentary and consider that a part of the experience, Fading West ends up being an excellent and it rejuvenates a band that has always been driven in their own element.