Switchfoot's tenth studio album, 2016's Where the Light Shines Through, is an exuberant, passion-filled effort that finds the band balancing the many various sounds they've investigated throughout their career. From their early punk-pop days, to the breakthrough anthemic sound of 2003's The Beautiful Letdown, to the '80s-influenced new wave and the electronica of their mid-2000s work, Switchfoot have always found new and divergent ways to translate their catchy, spiritually inspired pop/rock songs. Produced by John Fields (The Beautiful Letdown, Nothing Is Sound, Oh! Gravity.) Where the Light Shines Through is a warm, robust album. Lead singer Jon Foreman has proven himself an ambitious and stylistically far-reaching songwriter who keeps one ear firmly grounded in heartfelt rock balladry, and one ear lightly attuned to the current pop landscape. It's that balance that helps Where the Light Shines Through feel at once like a classic Switchfoot album and one not dissimilar to works by slightly younger acts like JR JR and Foster the People. Based on the funky lead single "Float," one might have expected an album of bass-heavy dance-rock, and there are certainly tracks like that here, including the driving, infectious "If the House Burns Down Tonight" and the punky, Adam Ant-sounding "Healer of Souls." The band also reveal a surprising hip-hop influence, as on the bluesy G. Love-esque "Bull in a China Shop," and the dramatic "Looking for America," featuring rapper Lecrae. Primarily, much of the album soars on Foreman's knack for mixing earnest lyricism and big, catchy choruses as he does on "Shake This Feeling," the buoyant, clubby anthem "When Was the Last Time," and the country-rock-tinged title track. As he sings on "Float," "Turn it up so I can feel it/Loud enough so I can get near it."
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar