Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're Awakening and Land of Broken Hearts Collab: "Hello Hurricane" Review Part 3

Here is part 3 of the We're Awakening/LOBH tag-team "Hello Hurricane" review. For Part 1, go here and for Part 2, go here.


"Enough to Let Me Go" (4.5/5)

Before I go into an objective review, I do have to say that I developed quite an emotional attachment to this song. My friend Corey Vidal streamed it over AIM one time for me, and I thought it was a chill, relaxing pop song.

I didn't hear of it again until the previews emerged. After listening to the 30 second clip, I realized then that I was in love with the song –– a lot. Yeah… I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but hey. Whatever. :P

Now, to review the song. It's beautiful. It feels aching. It has resonance with me personally –– love is never easy. Sure, two people in love means they will probably do whatever it takes to spend time together… but many times, that love needs time to grow on its own. Jon and Tim touch on lyrical matter that is rarely ever covered in pop culture today, and I think it's timely and relevant.

"Do you love me enough to let me go? To let me follow through, let me fall for you my love. Do you love me enough to let me go?"

Perhaps love isn't about clinging to things. Perhaps truly loving someone is setting enough of yourself aside to let the other person go. Compelling.

Musically, the chiming guitar lick is as optimistic as it is mournful. It is an emotional paradox, and it is beautiful.

"Free" (5/5)

This is a song I wasn't sold on until I heard the bridge on the studio version. Sure, the vocal acrobatics of Jon Foreman during the verse is intense and spectacular, but hearing the song in full acoustic mode, I felt like the song left much to be desired. Perhaps it was the dropped D tuning and the subdued vocals, but it wasn't cutting it for me.

But, thanks to the incredible bridge of the studio version, I am convinced this is one of the strongest songs on the record. If you thought "Mess of Me"'s "aint no drug" bridge was intense, wait until you listen to the "broken, open!" part of "Free." It feels like you are being lifted by Jon's voice into the heavens. Unbelievably anthemic.

After all this, the song brings you back down to earth, as if to say that the heavens are waiting, but for now, we are still waiting to be set free.

"Free! Come set me free… down on my knees, I still believe you could save me from me!" Of all the rock songs on this album, I would have to say "Free" is the strongest, in comparison to "The Sound" and "Mess of Me." This needs to be a single somewhere.


Enough To Let Me Go - 5 out of 5

This song means a lot to me for a number of reasons and it's become one of my favorite tunes on Hello Hurricane. However, this song IS different. For those who have read the lyrics, but haven't heard any clips, this song might come as a bit of a surprise. "Enough" is a paradox. The lyrics are serious and a little bit dark, but the music is quirky, catchy and infectious. In theory, these two contrasting elements should not be able to work together without creating some form of chaos. But for whatever reason, that doesn't happen here. It's an oddity that actually works. New listeners might initially struggle with the dissimilarity, but if you give it time, this song will win you over. 

"Enough To Let Me Go" is also one of my favorites lyrically. The emotions that Jon expresses throughout this song are so incredibly real and heartfelt, the listener can't help but grab hold and take them personally. This subject matter is incredibly challenging, as the song asks the questions that most of us want to shy away from... "Do you love me enough to let me go?" That type of voluntary surrender is excruciating. "But every seed dies before it grows, do you love me enough to let me go? To let me follow through, to let me fall for you, my love."  I really want to quote the whole song here, because the lyrics are so impeccable I want them to do my talking (typing?) for me.  From verse to chorus to verse, the writing never falters.

Again, there is a current of hope that runs through the song. Perhaps it's the romantic side of my feminine psyche coming out, but I simply love the lines, "Back from the dead of winter, back from the dead and all our leaves are dry, you’re so beautiful, tonight."

Vocally, Jon's voice is alternatively strong, emotional and fragile... I love when he hits the high notes about 3/4 of the way through the song, crying, "Breathe it in, and let it go. Every breath you take is not yours to own, it's not yours to hold."


Free - 5 out of 5

Free is EPIC. 

The end.

I could end this review with that. I feel like this song is one of Switchfoot's finest works. The beat is incredible. The guitars crunch with a melodic dissonance that storms through your head like a battle cry. The passion in this song is virtually unmatchable. In searching for the perfect adjective to describe this song, I did a thesaurus search on "aggressive." I came across the word "combative" and I think that fits. The lyrics, the music, the timing... this song is eager to fight.

Judging by the emotions and complete fervor that Jon sings the words with, I feel like this song connects with him deeply. Every word is absolutely saturated in passion. In talking about the songs on this album Jon said, "If you don't believe it, with every ounce of you, then there's no point in singing it." I feel like that philosophy was strongly enacted here. Jon BELIEVES this song. And he makes you believe it too. 

I think this is most clearly demonstrated near the end of the song, where Jon begins to sing, his voice rising with each passing second, "I had a dream that my chains were broken, broken, broken open! FREE! Come set me free! Down on my knees, I still believe you could save me from me."

The plea is undeniable and this song is unshakeable. 

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