Future of Forestry – Awakened to the Sound: In my voice you will know the sound of home.

2016_futureofforestry_awakenedtothesoundArtist: Future of Forestry
Album: Awakened to the Sound
Year: 2016
Grade: B

In Brief: It’s a stretch these days to call Future of Forestry a “rock” band. This album is much more like a film score. Exciting, climactic percussion sounds abound on a few tracks, bringing back fond memories of the Travel series, but as a whole this record is something else, weaving Eastern-styled strings, drums and vocals into a much more classical-oriented take on the Future of Forestry sound.

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Switchfoot – Where the Light Shines Through: Turn it up so I can feel it!

2016_Switchfoot_WheretheLightShinesThroughArtist: Switchfoot
Album: Where the Light Shines Through
Year: 2016
Grade: B+

In Brief: A strong comeback from Switchfoot after a trilogy of mediocre to mildly good albums. It doesn’t radically revamp their sound, but the new things that they do try here do a lot to revitalize it. It just feels like they tried a lot harder with this one, and that’s all I need from a band that could easily just keep repeating itself at this stage in its career.

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Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands: Darkness & Dawn – Life is not what I thought it was 24 hours ago.

2015_JonForeman_TheWonderlandsDarknessDawnArtist: Jon Foreman
Album: The Wonderlands: Darkness & Dawn
Year: 2015
Grade: B

In Brief: While Darkness seems to drift a bit from the structure and purpose of The WonderlandsDawn brings the project around to a comforting and satisfying conclusion.

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Jon Foreman – The Wonderlands: Sunlight & Shadows – The Shadow Proves the Sunshine

2015_JonForeman_The WonderlandsSunlightShadowsArtist: Jon Foreman
Album: The Wonderlands: Sunlight & Shadows
Year: 2015
Grade: B+

In Brief: The first 2 discs in this 4-disc collection showcase a variety of instrumentation and production styles that easily match the high bar set by Foreman’s seasonal EPs back in 2008. It might be a little mellow for Switchfoot fans, but it’s easily twice as deep as most of Switchfoot’s recent material.

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Nickel Creek live at the Wiltern Theater: Hallelujah, the 21st of May!

The last two times I saw Nickel Creek were at the exact same venue where I was fortunate enough to see them perform earlier this week, on the final evening of their reunion tour. I realized just as I was typing that sentence that I’m incredibly spoiled.

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Nickel Creek – A Dotted Line: It’s one of those endings where no one claps, ’cause they’re sure that there’s more.

2014_NickelCreek_ADottedLineArtist: Nickel Creek
Album: A Dotted Line
Year: 2014
Grade: B+

In Brief: Nickel Creek is back after a 7-year hiatus with a new album which covers a lot of ground in only 10 tracks, re-establishing them as an instrumental, vocal, and lyrical force to be reckoned with.

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Switchfoot – Fading West: Sorta like The Beautiful Letdown, except not Beautiful.

2014_Switchfoot_FadingWestArtist: Switchfoot
Album: Fading West
Year: 2014
Grade: C+

In Brief: Disappointingly predictable, for an album that’s supposed to be the soundtrack to its accompanying film and that evidently changed up Switchfoot’s usual recording process. They’re playing cultural catch-up here, and at times it’s enjoyable, but more often than not it’s generic, if not downright embarrassing.

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