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Vice Verses

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Title: Vice Verses  
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Subject: Switchfoot, Timeline of alternative rock, Drew Shirley, Jerome Fontamillas, Mike Elizondo, List of post-grunge bands, List of number-one Billboard Christian Albums
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Vice Verses

Vice Verses
Released September 27, 2011 (2011-09-27)[1]
Recorded 2007–2011
Spot X Studio, San Diego, CA
Genre Alternative rock, post-grunge, hard rock
Length 52:30
Label lowercase people records/Atlantic
Producer Neal Avron
Mike Elizondo (exec.)
Switchfoot chronology

Eastern Hymns for Western Shores
Vice Verses
Vice Re-Verses
Singles from Vice Verses
  1. "Dark Horses"
    Released: July 20, 2011
  2. "Restless"
    Released: August 2011
  3. "Afterlife"
    Released: February 28, 2012[2]
  4. "The Original"
    Released: October 2012
  5. "Where I Belong"
    Released: December 31, 2012
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Christian Music Zine 4.5/5 stars[4]
Christianity Today 4/5 stars[5]
Jesus Freak Hideout 5/5 stars[6]
The Review Spider 5/5 stars[7]
Ultimate Guitar 7.5/10 stars[8]

Vice Verses is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock band Switchfoot. It was released on September 27, 2011. "Dark Horses" was the first single released from the album, with a July 20 radio date and August 2 digital release. Vice Verses debuted on the US Billboard 200 at No. 8.

The song "Afterlife" was nominated for the 2013 GMA Dove Award in the category Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year.[9]



The title track "Vice Verses" was first performed by Jon Foreman at an acoustic benefit show on April 12, 2009. Foreman iterated to the audience that the song was not slated for release on the upcoming Switchfoot record, Hello Hurricane, but would appear on the following record, saying "This isn't going to be on that record [Hello Hurricane], it's going to be on the next one... I think it's the title of the next one."[10] On April 23 2009, Switchfoot officially announced via Twitter that the album that would release following Hello Hurricane would be titled Vice Verses. This announcement came on the heels of a Twitter post in which the band said they had recorded four albums' worth of material during the Hurricane sessions and intended to release the records one by one.[11][12] This plan was short-lived, however, with Foreman later stating that the band had "already replaced a lot the songs on Vice Verses with new songs" and that Vice Verses was a departure from Hello Hurricane.

In October 2009, Foreman said that most of the songs were ready to go and "if the next record came out today, it would be called Vice Verses."[13] In December, bassist Tim Foreman was quoted saying that the album was close to done and that he thought it was going to be even better than Hello Hurricane.

However, nothing more was heard about the project until July of 2010, when Jon Foreman and guitarist Drew Shirley said the band was aiming to complete Vice Verses by the summer of 2011.[14] On several occasions during the summer, the band stated that they were pushing for Vice Verses to be a double album,[15][16] but they eventually decided to scale the project back down to a single disc collection.

During the Hello Hurricane tour, Switchfoot began debuting new songs that were candidates for inclusion on Vice Verses, for example in the summer 2010, the band played a song titled "Against the Voices", which Jon Foreman stated was "from the next record." On August 8, 2010, Switchfoot debuted a song titled "Dark Horses" at a show in Chicago. Foreman also played other new songs at his acoustic aftershows throughout the tour, including "Thrive" and "She Says (The Black Eyed Blues)". After the conclusion of the Hello Hurricane tour, the band members each took personal time off but very quickly resumed work on Vice Verses. On November 21, 2010, Shirley tweeted that the band were "tracking new songs in the studio tonight. You'll see..." while the next day, Foreman simply tweeted "making vice verses."


In January 2011, the band began the official recording for the project, announcing via email that they had enlisted Neal Avron and Mike Elizondo as producers for the album. Adam Hawkins, an engineer during the Hurricane sessions, was also brought in to work on Vice Verses. The decision to work with Avron was influenced by recommendations from other bands who have worked with him in the past. "Sean O'Donnell from Reeve Oliver, who's now in Yellowcard, [and] Jordan [Pundik] from New Found Glory [have talked up Avron]," explained Jon Foreman. "They're both just like, 'You gotta meet him, and you're going to work with him.' I'm really glad it worked out for both of our schedules to make a record together, it's been so much fun. I feel like everyone's pushed each other in a really good way."[17]

On January 31, 2011, the band tweeted that bassist Tim Foreman was laying down bass tracks on a song titled "Selling the News". In February, a tentative track listing was posted on the web.[18]

On April 6, 2011, the band tweeted that they were "going into the studio one last time to put the finishing touches" on Vice Verses, with final mixes to come later that week.[19] Final mixing was completed on April 13, with band photographer Andy Barron tweeting that he was "watching the band sit in a dark room in hollywood listening to #viceverses front to back."[20]

On April 9, 2011 Foreman debuted the Vice Verses song "Restless" during a live performance. During a two-week stint in Canada in May, the band began to debut more songs from the record. On May 18 at the London Convention Centre, the band debuted "Restless" live in its full-band arrangement. They played "The Original" for the first time in Kingston on the 20th, and a reworked version of "Dark Horses" on May 23 in Winnipeg, MB. Two more songs, "Afterlife" and "The War Inside" saw play during the tour as well. The band continued to preview their material throughout the summer months leading up to the album's release, offering fans a chance to hear the lead single, "Dark Horses" at their Bro-Am event,[21] and some other tracks during a tent event at the Alive Festival on July 1.[22]

The band premiered 11 of the 12 tracks on September 17, 2011 through ESPN Music commencing with the match between Oklahoma and Florida St.[23]

Musical and lyrical content

The thematic core of the feeling of the record rests in the idea of the polarity of life. This idea is rooted in the entire album, from the artwork to the lyrics, including the lyric "every blessing comes with a set of curses," found on the title track.

The band says that this record is different from their previous records in that it is driven more by the drums and bass, whereas their previous records were driven more by guitar. The music is rooted heavily in the rhythm section, consisting of Chad Butler's drum work and Tim Foreman's bass work.[17]

Unlike the Hello Hurricane sessions, in which the band tracked over 80 songs, the Vice Verses session saw the band taking on a more selective process. Instead of writing multiple songs and picking from amongst them the best for the album, they wrote just enough songs for one album and focused them so as to perfect each one.

Track listing

Album release
No. TitleWriter(s) Length
1. "Afterlife"  Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman 3:37
2. "The Original"  Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman 3:15
3. "The War Inside"  Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman 3:38
4. "Restless"  Jon Foreman 5:17
5. "Blinding Light"  Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman 4:16
6. "Selling the News"  Jon Foreman 3:34
7. "Thrive"  Jon Foreman 5:12
8. "Dark Horses"  Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman 3:59
9. "Souvenirs"  Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman 4:31
10. "Rise Above It"  Jon Foreman 3:33
11. "Vice Verses"  Jon Foreman 5:07
12. "Where I Belong"  Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman, Mike Elizondo 6:52

The deluxe edition of Vice Verses features the entire Hello Hurricane live.


Chart positions


External links

  • Switchfoot Vice Verses - Album tracks lyrics
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