Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsFixme

POP MUSIC REVIEW

Angsty emo kids could use a dose of happy Switchfoot

September 29, 2003|Lina Lecaro | Special to The Times

"This is another song not written by Radiohead," Switchfoot singer Jon Foreman kidded a few times during the band's headlining show Friday night at the Avalon (formerly The Palace), referencing the competing concert taking place over the hill at the Hollywood Bowl.

He needn't have worried about it affecting attendance, however. The San Diego rockers may lack the recognition factor of the U.K. critical darlings -- or even their own hometown peers Blink 182 -- but to the mostly clean-cut adolescents who packed the house Friday, they were bona fide rock stars. The young fans sang along loudly and enthusiastically with Foreman as he belted out heartfelt melody after heartfelt melody, most of which first gained exposure on TV as background to the likes of "Dawson's Creek" and "Felicity." Switchfoot's music was also featured prominently in the Mandy Moore film "A Walk to Remember."

Although the quartet's soaring pop tunes have just the right balance of sentiment and simplicity for scoring teen dramas, the material, while passionately rendered, proved to be too blandly structured and repetitive to mesmerize anyone other than hard-core fans. An exception was the single "Meant to Live," a tune off the band's Columbia Records debut, "The Beautiful Letdown," that plumped up the set with glossy guitar parts and a catchy chorus. Too bad it was saved for the end of the show.

Switchfoot rose out of the Christian rock scene, but its positive messages are subtle enough to appeal to nonreligious music fans as well. In fact, angsty emo kids could use a dose of the band's feel-good attitude and thoughtful introspection. But until Switchfoot begins to delve as deep musically as it does lyrically, it's not too likely to find success out of the box.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|