San Diego rockers Switchfoot have shown themselves to be some of the most talented and nicest guys in the industry for over a decade now. They are known for producing heart-beating anthems filled with a poignant message. There most recent single, “When We Come Alive,” fulfills this expectation implicitly, and as one of the strongest tracks from their album, Fading West, it seems to communicate the strength and vulnerability found in the band beautifully.
The introduction to “When We Come Alive,” is light and invigorating. The sounds of Jerome Fontamillas on keyboard enables you to envision the sun rise creeping up over the horizon, and as the song builds and vocals are introduced, you are quickly swept in to an ocean full of color and stories. The driving guitar and drums quickly establish this as a trademark Switchfoot tune, and as we enter the first verse we are welcomed with open arms into a musical expression of hope.
The music is stripped back to a solid melody line and guitar rift in the verses, and lead singer Jon Foreman uses his husky vocals to add a strength that is formative to the power of the lyrics. The extension as we enter the chorus then enables every aspect of this song to rise. Jon’s vocals soar, the guitar line becomes more evident, and there is a sense of unison between every element of the production. This in turn highlights the message of the song, and the lyrics, “We are fire, burning brightly you and I,” are delivered with an innate conviction, and you are left feeling strong, able and empowered.
“When We Come Alive,” isn’t complicated. It carries the simple message that each human being is valuable and has something beautiful to offer the world. The melody and the delicate interweaving of the elements of the band drive home the ability of the listener to achieve much, to live in happiness and to be deserving of such a life.
In every aspect of this single, there is a sense that the band is united and familiar with each other. Their effortless ability to play to each other’s strengths and create a sound that communicates such a strong, core message highlights their many years doing life and creating music with each other. While the lyrical, musical and vocal elements of “When We Come Alive,” are all brilliant, it is the band’s ability to embed their bond and message within the song that makes it so powerful.
In a world where it can be difficult to find positive music of a quality that resonates with a global audience, Switchfoot have nailed it. Their single “When We Come Alive,” is a taste of their journey, and it will both delight you and ignite a fire in your soul.