I decided to do something out of my comfort zone. My youth students are all excited about the new Switchfoot album, "Nothing is Sound." So, I'm going to review the entire CD and talk with them each week about a particular song. I'm going to dissect each song Biblically, theologically, and culturally and then tell them what I think. I am going to post my thoughts here as I review each song. I welcome your thoughts.
I haven’t listened to Switchfoot much until recently but I have noticed something very common in their songs: pessimism. “Pessimism” is defined as “the belief that the evil in life outweighs the good” or “the tendency to always expect the worse.” I cannot say that Switchfoot believes that evil outweighs the good but they sure do focus on the bad much more than the good. Or, to say it another way, they ask a lot of good questions and do not give very many answers. This new album is called, “Nothing is Sound.” I agree with them if they qualify this statement by saying “Nothing IN THIS WORLD is Sound.”
The first song on the new album is called “Lonely Nation.” I think its main message is that stuff does not satisfy. It speaks of being slaves to what we want and being the target market for all the corporations that exist solely to make a buck. In a world full of ways to communicate (cell phones, e-mail, IM, etc.), it is tragic to be lonely. Honestly, I have no idea what the first verse means. The chorus and second verse are clear enough but thumbs down for the fogginess of verse 1.
Positives of Lonely Nation:
1. It is true: we are a lonely people
2. The best line of the song: “We are slaves of what we want.”
3. For people who think, it raises the question: “What really matters in life.”
Negatives of Lonely Nation:
1. No mention of the All-satisfying One in whose presence is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
2. The ambiguity of the first verse.
3. Just a preference: I don’t care for the screaming!
My final analysis of “Lonely Nation”: I don’t like it because it offers no hope to those who are tired of feeling lonely and desperate and hollow.