Most EP's are intended for the masses, while some are simply meant for the diehard fans. This past Christmas season, listeners were given a special treat from the fellas in Switchfoot, their very own Backstage EP. The idea: one microphone, acoustic sounds, and the guys you know and love. But a question wanes for the listener: is it worth picking up?
The album, which was recorded in Salt Lake City on October 16, 2012, opens with an old holiday rarity, "Evergreen." Honestly, this rendition is better than the 1998 original as it feels more raw and approachable. Switchfoot's music is never really unapproachable but this acoustic version gives the song a more transparent feel. Jon's raspy-yet-smooth vocals, complement the beautiful strums of the guitar and leave a positively haunting impression.
Following is a soft interpretation of "Afterlife." While the original track had a very aggressive approach, this version is more contemplative. If the lyrics didn't connect fully with listeners beforehand, they will now. In addition, the harmonies are so rich and delicate that they really make the song powerful.
Concluding the short EP is "Needle and Haystack," and it is truly the highlight of the project. The fellas' vocals are top notch and the plucking of the acoustic is so sweet. Look forward to the climax of vocals near the end; it finishes the EP perfectly.
To say the least, the very short EP is a masterful look into one of the top bands of our day. The only draw back is that it is incredibly short (clocking in at just under 13 and a half minutes). However, those three songs are done with complete excellence. So, is it worth it? Yes; for the die hard fan and the newcomer. Musically, it is raw top quality. Hopefully in the near future we'll see another backstage EP that shows us an even more intimate side to the guys from San Diego. Until then, enjoy listening to the stripped down renditions of these fine selections.- Review date: 1/31/13, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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