Fantasy Records / Concord Music Group
Release Date: July 8th 2022
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Switchfoot– interrobang (Deluxe Edition) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- lost cause
- if i were you
- the bones of us
- i need you (to be wrong)
- the hard way
- backwards in time
- interrobang (b-side)
- youth of the young (b-side)
- the sound of holding breath (b-side)
- I need you (to be wrong) [lovelytheband remix]
- wolves (sir sly remix)
Switchfoot need no introduction. The San Diego rock quartet comprising of lead singer Jon Foreman, guitarist Tim Foreman, drummer Chad Butler and keyboardist Jerome Fontamillas (guitarist Drew Shirley left at the beginning of this year), have been making music since the 90’s- with the band being one of my favourites of all time, and one of the most influential of all time. Having one foot in the door of each the Christian and mainstream media with great skill and immense courage; these guys aren’t afraid to speak the truth, even when they’re the only ones speaking it. That’s certainly the case in their brand-new full-length album interrobang, which released in August 2021. We reviewed that album quite favourably (5/5), and you can read the review here; but now these guys are back less than a year later, with a deluxe edition of the 2021 project- this time with 5 extra tracks; unveiled in July of this year.
Releasing deluxe editions or special edition albums of highly rated and well-received albums… well, doing that right is a feat in and of itself. I’m of the firm belief that if you’re an artist, you either unveil a deluxe edition album the same day as the standard edition, with 3-4 new tracks; or if you release a deluxe edition 1-2 years later, then you have around 8-9 or 10 extra tracks tops. With Switchfoot and their deluxe edition, with 5 extra tracks (3 new songs and 2 remixes); they’ve landed somewhere in the middle. Listening to this project again, I’m once again transfixed and captivated by the 11 original tracks. Jon has reviewed the album and you can read his thoughts here (which are in fact my sentiments as well). The 3 extra original tracks only add to the brilliance and exceptional quality of interrobang, and though I could have done with more remix tracks (maybe demo versions or acoustic renditions), these two offerings are nothing short of remarkable as well. “interrobang”, the title track (which surprisingly wasn’t present on interrobang the standard edition), is quite truly the high point on the ‘new’ tracks, as lead singer Jon Foreman passionately and vibrantly relays his conflicted emotions and feelings about the world he lives in today. Though lyrically vague, Jon emotively and zealously nonetheless sings about the calamity and chaos in the world today- and then concluding that he finds comfort and solace in the midst of the confusion and turmoil; and this conclusion also subtly encourages us to trust in Jesus during the hard times. “Youth Of The Young”, a complex juxtaposition and a though-provoking rock song, vehemently and convincingly outlines how as people, we are an indecisive and at times unappreciative bunch, and sometimes we cannot handle the things we have been given by Jesus (the youth find it difficult to appreciate how young and free they are, the wealthy at times take their wealth and their material riches for granted, and the elderly sometimes downplay their age and their wisdom), with Jon outlining the fickle nature of various groups of people. And aside from the two remixes (which are exemplary and inspiring in every sense of the word!), the last ‘new’ track we are presented with is “The Sound Of Holding Breath”, where Jon cautiously implores us all to think for ourselves, to not trust what we see on the TV and the internet so much, and to only really believe in the sound of the breath in our lungs- because we can truly know when we are alive, and that is in essence the only tangible thing we can truly know and truly count on.
5 new songs within a year… is that really worth it for a deluxe album? On the surface, I’d say no. But… one listen through interrobang (Deluxe Edition) from these four friends from San Diego remind us all that these new songs are next to perfection. To provide us hope that this world isn’t as crazy and as chaotic as it’s being made out to be. To remind us all that Switchfoot can rock out and can create masterpieces at a moment’s notice with ease. And to provide to us comfort that we can have a little bit of normalcy during these still crazy times- we can rock out with Switchfoot in the security of our own homes as well as in concert. Interrobang (Deluxe Edition) is a brilliant album- from first note of “beloved” to last breath of “wolves (sir sly remix)”- Jon and his band of merry friends ought to be congratulated at how impressive these melodies actually are.
Switchfoot are musically one of today’s most inspiring and thought-provoking artists- and it is in these songs where we can truly believe that this band is something special. Watch out world- Switchfoot are here, and they’re not done yet! And as we revisit this gem of a project, and then mine for more gold throughout the rest of Switchfoot’s discography; let us sit back and allow God to minister to our lives! Well done guys for a compelling new project- I can’t wait to hear what’s in store for you all next!
5 songs to listen to: the bones of us, the hard way, electricity, beloved, interrobang
RIYL: for KING & COUNTRY, Coldplay, Colony House, John Mayer, Andrew Peterson, needtobreathe