F ading West is Switchfoot's ninth studio album, but the Californian alt-rock band show no sign of losing steam.
Opening strongly is Love Alone is Worth the Fight, melodically the biggest reason to check out the album. The uplifting message - to seize the chances life throws at you - adds to the track's appeal.
The album heavily features choral work, characteristic of the band's gospel rock background, giving songs depth. The dynamic chorus of When We Come Alive bursts with voices singing in unison. Frontman Jon Foreman contrasts the chorus beautifully with a quietly sung bridge, before leaping back into the song.
Fading West does not lack social commentary. The World You Want begins with a recording of children from the band's visit to South Africa - then a gunshot-like drumbeat cuts off the children's chatter and kick-starts the song.
Switchfoot has been flirting with the mainstream scene for years. Fading West may not be their breakthrough moment, but it's another amazing listen.