Switchfoot, "Hello Hurricane"

83 Billboard Rating

After establishing a berth at mainstream radio with "Dare You to Move" (from its 2003 album, "The Beautiful Letdown"), earnest San Diego rock band Switchfoot hasn't quite managed to complete its crossover from the Christian-music scene that first embraced the group. The band's latest release, "Hello Hurricane," may (and should) change that: It's a sleekly presented modern-rock album with no shortage of bruising guitars or catchy choruses. Like much of U2's work, these songs wrap a faith-based message in a secular package. Switchfoot produced "Hello Hurricane" with Mike Elizondo, and the album's varied arrangements reflect his diverse résumé. On "Needle and Haystack Life," singer Jon Foreman works his breathy croon over surging pop-punk guitars; "This Is the Sound" has a brutish, heavy-metal vibe; "Enough" rides a percolating art-folk groove; and "Bullet Soul" could be something by Swedish garage rock band the Hives.-Mikael Wood

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