Switchfoot: Kelly A. Swift/Retna

Oh! Gravity

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January 12, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

How’s this for a tongue twister: ”When success is equated with excess/The ambition for excess wrecks us.” Lines like that typify Switchfoot’s sixth album, in which the San Diego band sounds downright desperate to say something meaningful (sample song title: ”Faust, Midas, and Myself”). Ignore the lyrics, though, and Oh! Gravity is surprisingly fun: Switchfoot have vastly expanded their stylistic palette, moving from leaden post-grunge into Stones-like swing, jittery post-punk, and, with ”4:12,” a better R.E.M. song than R.E.M. have made in years. B-

Oh! Gravity

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Oh! Gravity

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