Albums that attract dramatic critical attention tend to be those that set themselves apart from the music of the day. Listeners are often caught by a newcomer’s brilliant debut or seasoned artist’s bold departure of form. Love Letter for Fire – an indie-folk collection of duets by Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop – doesn’t fit any of these descriptions. But I don’t think these musicians were aiming for a shocker or chart topper. I say Fire is worth a listen – repeated listens, even – precisely because it has such classic warmth and familiar ease of style. Continue reading
Jon Foreman may be best known by most for his work as lead singer of Switchfoot, a band that has attained popularity in both Christian and mainstream music circles since the late 1990s. Fans who have followed him more closely, though, may also be aware of the four seasonally-themed solo EPs (extended play) of mostly acoustic songs he released in 2007-2008—to respectable critical acclaim.
Now Foreman has expanded his solo discography with The Wonderlands, another four-part series EPs centered on one theme. This time that theme is darkness and light. The Wonderlands series EPs are titled Sunlight, Shadows, Darkness, and Dawn. The thematic unity of the project—right down to the number of songs (24, one for each hour of the day)—is commendable.