A sad soul is comforted by gazing at “Stars.” It’s one of several vaguely spiritual lyrics. Others include the lines “This fallen world … it doesn’t hold your soul” (“Daisy”), “I’m looking for a kingdom coming down” (“Happy Is a Yuppie Word”) and “I belong somewhere past the setting sun” (“Setting Sun”). The band opposes the pervasiveness of sex in society on “Easier Than Love.” The world is an empty, dark, cynical system, according to “Golden,” “We Are One Tonight” “Lonely Nation” and “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine” (which notes there must be a source of light to counter society’s darkness).
Sadly, Switchfoot never defines that light source, even though the guys’ Christian-music roots suggest that they know Who it is. Worse yet are songs mired in bitter hopelessness (“Politicians,” “Blues”). Some teens could read “The Fatal Wound” as a suicidal last hurrah intent on taking down rivals (“I am the bitter end/I’m gonna gun this down [some listeners will hear ‘town,’ not ‘down’] … Let’s go down together with the fatal wound”)—irresponsibly ambiguous in the post-Columbine era.
Intent on positioning themselves as a mainstream band, these five believers focus on worldly woes, sadness and exploitation, sometimes with an upbeat twist but never with an explanation of the hope that lies within them (1 Pet. 3:15). A missed opportunity.