Nothing Is Sound

Studio Album by released in 2005

Nothing Is Sound review

San Diego-based modern rock quintet Switchfoot, named after a surfing move, is the classic eight-year "overnight success" story. The band began in '95 as just Jon Foreman as lead singer and chief songwriter, his brother Tim and their friend Chad Butler, and released three solid records together. The Switchfoot musical format was a healthy blend of poetic songwriting, alternative rock, and just a dusting of subtle spirituality. Foreman's songwriting has always been sort of a social commentary or reflection on personal experiences. With a pocketful of radio hits, award nominations, and multi-platinum status, the band's The Beautiful Letdown in 2003 introduced Switchfoot to a whole new world. Now Switchfoot are back with their latest release Nothing is Sound. This album is everything one can come to expect from this band with a major label release. The production has been significantly upped, leaving each song more lush and full than any recording the band's done previously, without compromising the song's raw energy.

Nothing is Sound lives up to expectations with plenty of guitar-driven alternative rock bound to keep everyone happy. And that is the irony here as lead man Jon Foreman continues to sing about loneliness, alienation, and disenchantment in the land of plenty. Yet with every dark stroke, Foreman casts an eye toward a brighter tomorrow. The star of the album is the high-powered Lonely Nation, which opens the record and gets listeners thinking about commercialism and how we are constantly inundated by the need to buy. The track boasts a chorus that just refuses to get out of your head and would have probably made an even better first single than the tune that follows it, Stars. Another song that will leave an impression is The Shadow Proves The Sunshine, a song which was inspired by band’s recent trip to South Africa. The hauntingly beautiful ballad is simple but the pain in Foreman’s achingly genuine vocals is sure to bring a tear or two to those who wear their emotions on their sleeves. Foreman's ever-improving songwriting is enhanced by rich, lush production and a driving rhythm section of bassist Tim Foreman and drummer Chad Butler. Newer members Jerome Fontamillas (keys) and Andrew Shirley (guitars) fill out the empty spots well, giving Switchfoot a shimmering sonic glow on this superb release.

The disc is twelve tracks of non-stop action – almost every song is single-material, showing just how apt the Foreman brothers are at writing memorable tunes that fans can sing along to. But this album does much more than give you something to do when you’re stuck in traffic. Switchfoot has made themselves known as a rock band that isn’t afraid to tackle tough subjects, and they continue to do so on Nothing is Sound – a socially relevant record that’s a more mature follow-up to 2003’s The Beautiful Letdown. Nothing is Sound is a sonically rich album that fits nicely among the band's impressive discography, offering fans something new, but keeping it very much Switchfoot from start to finish. This is another leap forward for one of rock's most promising bands.