Category Archives: Album Reviews

Nothing is Sound by Switchfoot

The third and final Switchfoot album on this countdown of Top 40 albums is Nothing is Sound coming in at Number 15!  (I told you it wouldn’t be the one you thought!)  While this album doesn’t necessarily embody the Switchfoot idiom, it is an absolutely stellar collection of songs that I believe masterfully represents Switchfoot’s creative ability.

Most of us Switchfoot fans remember sliding The Beautiful Letdown into our CD players and being immediately blown away by the opening of “Meant to Live.”  I would submit (I admit it is probably not a terribly popular opinion) that sliding Nothing is Sound into your CD player and hearing the opening of “Lonely Nation” was even more captivating.  An intense rock song with a wildly catchy chorus that includes one of the most honest bridges in the Switchfoot catalog: “Don’t leave me hollow.  I’m tired of feeling low, of feeling hollow.”

“Stars,” the album’s second track, is the third most popular Switchfoot single and arguably the catchiest and most accessible Switchfoot song.

“Happy is a Yuppie Word” is one of my absolute favorite Switchfoot songs.  This is a song that defines the sound of Nothing is Sound very well (and it actually includes the lyric “Nothing is sound”).  This record presents a much more straightforward alternative sound-I suppose at the expense of some of their trademark diversity.  However, I believe this well-honed, and still quite un-replicated, sound is what makes this album so special.  In addition to each song being a great work of stand alone art, they complement each other as a collection and elevate Nothing is Sound as an exceptional album.

“The Shadow Proves the Sunshine,” “Easier than Love,” and “The Blues,” are all lyrically heartfelt (if a bit heavy handed) and portray the band’s wonderful marriage of catchy choruses and meaningful words.

“The Setting Sun” could be the best pop song Switchfoot has ever written, which begs the question, why wasn’t it a single?

“Politicians” is quite lyrically heavy handed, but it is also an excellent song to “crank up to 11” and provides the album with some signature Switchfoot bite.

“Golden” provides another especially catchy chorus along with some really subtle guitar layering that provides for an incredibly pleasant listening experience.

“The Fatal Wound” is possibly my favorite Switchoot song.  It paints such an interesting mental image both musically and lyrically.  I always feel ready to listen to this song.

“We Are One Tonight” is another excellent pop alternative song that was actually used a surprising amount in various media including the 2005 White Sox World Series run, the 2006 Winter Olympics, American Idol Season Five, the 2008 ONE Campaign, and the 2011 BCS National Championship Game.

Finally, “Daisy” is one of the most haunting and interesting portrayals the band has ever released.  A beautiful song with a powerful ending, “Daisy” provides an excellent bookend along with “Lonely Nation” for Nothing is Sound.

So, there you have it!  Number 15 on my countdown of Top 40 Albums is Switchfoot’s Nothing is Sound.  With this post, I am officially two blog posts behind.  I hope to post number 14 tomorrow and number 13 on Wednesday, then I will be caught up to finish the countdown before the new year!  If you are interested in the prior installments, please take a look at the list below!

16. Say No More by House of Heroes

17. Quadrophenia by The Who

18. Momentum by Neal Morse

19. If I Left the Zoo by Jars of Clay

20. Learning to Breathe by Switchfoot

21. Who We Are Instead by Jars of Clay

22. ‘Til We See the Shore by Seabird

23. Fight the Tide by Sanctus Real

24. Eye to the Telescope by KT Tunstall

25. Queen by Queen

26. Farewell Old Friends by Bleach

27. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum by Tally Hall

28. New Way To Be Human by Switchfoot

29. Sheer Heart Attack by Queen

30. Feats, Don’t Fail Me Now by Little Feat

31. Who Killed…… The Zutons? by The Zutons

32. The 2nd Law by Muse

33. Eat a Pickle by O’2L

34. Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles

35. Chase the Sun by The O.C. Supertones

36. Goldie’s Last Day by PFR

37. Hi-Fi Revival by The O.C. Supertones

38. Sound of Melodies by Leeland

39. Oh Tall Tree in the Ear by Roman Candle

40. Kaleidoscope Heart by Sara Bareilles

Thanks for reading, and check back (hopefully) tomorrow for number 14 in the countdown!