August 29, 2008 - Dave's Beat of the Week

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 11:16 AM

Jon Foreman's "Spring and Summer" combined EPs are my "Beat of the Week." Since summer is almost over, I thought I should get this in before it becomes irrelevant. Just kidding! You can listen to it all year round, although Jon also released "Fall and Winter" earlier to cover those seasons as well.

Some people thought that Jon's mood on "Fall and Winter" was a little too dark and gloomy (given the titles, what would you expect?)but, personally, I like the colors that he paints with on those releases. If you're looking for "Spring and Summer" to hit with you with a Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett kind of vibe, you're barking up the wrong tree. It's still Jon Foreman. Of Switchfoot. So expect to be challenged in a thoughtful, singer/songwriter kind of way.

I've never heard Jon be so open about his faith as he is on these EPs. Tracks such as "Your Love Is Strong," a creative rendering of the Lord's Prayer, and "Baptize My Mind" from "Spring" are an expression of God's unending faithfulness and a plea for grace, respectively. "Revenge" is an absolute stunner which comes from the perspective of the repentant thief on the cross beside Jesus. Check this out: "I watched heaven dying today and I'm gonna die here tonight. I'm a villain. I deserve to be dead. I've been hung up for wreckin' my life. Revenge. So I stopped for a moment to look at the sun dying today. That's when the irony hit me that this was revenge. Love had descended and stolen our pain away. We consumed heaven's son. I drew first blood but my hate was undone." Wow. That's all I can say.

The biggest highlight of "Summer" (and there are many) comes in the fourth track, "Instead of a Show" which is a challenge to serve God with our hearts instead of giving lip service. It makes me wonder if Jon wrote this for "Summer" because of all the "Christian" festivals going on during this season when I hear this verse: "Your eyes are closed when you're praying, you sing along with the band, you shine up your shoes for services, but there's blood on your hands." In stating this, Jon shares a sentiment with the late Keith Green who was known to make just this kind of statement when playing in front of the crowds at some of the earliest festivals.

This record has basically been the soundtrack of my summer. It's sure to keep on challenging me as the colder months come on.

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