Album Review
Jon Foreman - Spring Album Cover

Jon Foreman - Spring

Reviewed by
Jon Foreman - Spring
Record Label: Lowercase People Records / Credential Recordings
Release Date: March 25, 2008
About four years ago I'm willing to bet no one expected something like this. When the alternative rock band Switchfoot, led by the earnest wailings of their frontman Jon Foreman, was churning out Top 40 hit after hit and selling a double-platinum record, it was probably easy for critics to write the the group off as just another pop radio rock band. But two full-band studio albums, drastic changes in their sound, and a major-label split later, the band and Foreman find themselves in quite different places in their careers: indie rock mainstays.

Foreman's solo works have provided stark examples of the musical growth he has experienced in the past few years. Spring, the third in a comprehensive four EP seasonal set, ushers in a lighter, more upward-looking mood - a departure from the depressing, dryer sounds of "Fall" and "Winter." Whereas the previous two releases featured songs leaning toward the darker side of humanity, where death, decay, and gravity hold prominence, Spring frankly leaps out at you with a happy-to-be-alive attitude.

The first song on this EP, "March (a prelude to spring)" is a trippy 1:23 piece that conveys a sense of blissful ignorance, despite the lyrical themes of loss: "la, la, la, la la, now my love is gone..." followed quickly by a declaration of hope: "la la la la la, time still marches on." Fellow San Diego-based singer/songwriter Molly Jenson's vocals accentuate Foreman's very well, providing a melodious, festival-ish mood for the listener.

Next comes "Love Isn't Made," easily the best song on the EP. Foreman's tired vocals further accent the message to be found in the lyrics: "So I arrive / At the conclusion / Love isn't made / Love doesn't sell or pay / But we buy and sell our love away." How quickly, especially in this day and age, do we forget that love truly is something to cherish and not just a cold, hard commodity. Incidentally, the back-up vocals are sung by those close to Foreman: his wife Emily and her sister, another singer/songwriter, Sarah Masen.

"In My Arms" is a delicate, emotional love song written about finally being with a special someone after finding that place "where we shake the night nightmare free." Baptize My Mind" evokes a less-than-subtle reference to "Come On! Feel the Illinoise!" by Sufjan Stevens. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. Overall, it is a decent, upbeat tune, but hardly worth repeat-button status.

"Your Love is Strong" is unabashedly a worshipful song in which Foreman references "The Lord's Prayer," while truly sounding honest but not preachy. If there is anyone that can spin an openly religious song into a real tune that anyone can appreciate, it's Foreman. His brilliant interpretation of these ancient words into modern-day language is nothing short of extraordinary - a true gem. This is followed, however, by "Revenge," the final track on the record. Originally a Switchfoot b-side for the album Oh! Gravity, this remake drags on for far too long and unfortunately ends the EP on a downer note. To hear the true brilliance of the song, I recommend you look up the Switchfoot version.

Spring is highly recommended and is a proper embodiment of the season after which it was named, as told by one of the best lyricists in music today.

Recommended if You LikeBob Dylan, Landon Pigg, Jack Johnson, Bright Eyes, Sufjan Stevens or any other artist with acoustic influences

This review is a user submitted review from joberooni. You can see all of joberooni's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 5 of 5
12:17 PM on 04/28/08
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theyellowdart's Avatar
excellent review. So far, this is my favorite of the set far, i love it. Spring then Fall then Winter for me.
It's weird because i don't like switchfoot whatsoever and really enjoy these eps.
05:57 PM on 04/28/08
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thepianominstre's Avatar
Thanks for reviewing this. Loving his solo stuff but never got around to submitting a review for this one. Definitely looking forward to the final Summer EP as well as what new independent Switchfoot will sound like later this year.
10:27 PM on 04/29/08
i'm not there and you're not here.
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loj's Avatar
Thanks for reviewing this. Loving his solo stuff but never got around to submitting a review for this one. Definitely looking forward to the final Summer EP as well as what new independent Switchfoot will sound like later this year.

ditto, ditto, and ditto.
11:44 AM on 05/02/08
Roll along you BG warriors
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im_wide_awake's Avatar
this is my favorite one of the three so far
and the new switchfoot, hopefully it will regress to learning to breathe or at least a step forward.
since their big breakthough, not much has been good.

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