Fading West Switchfoot Atlantic ⋆⋆
The alternative rockers Switchfoot announced their latest album as being inspired by their surfing adventures. The result is that the ninth album by the San Diego group is their most chilled offering to date. While such a move is applaudable – the world does not need any more soggy grunge anthems – the five-piece neglected to take full opportunity to experiment. The reference point here is the safe synth-pop stylings Coldplay achieved with their latest album Mylo Xyloto. The only difference is that the songwriting is not dynamic enough. The chiming When We Come Alive is basically their take on the British group’s hit Heaven. The old Switchfoot would have torn through the opener Love Alone is Worth the Fight instead of releasing such a neutered version. Only a couple of adventurous moments are on display here. Ba55’s swagger is a welcome display of attitude and Say It Like You Mean It benefits from a dirty bass groove. It’s too bad; Fading West could have been great if the boys rode the wave instead of merely dipping their toes.