Oh! Gravity.

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This article is about the album. For the song, see Oh! Gravity. (song). For the tour, see Oh! Gravity. Tour.
Oh! Gravity.
Studio album by Switchfoot
Released December 26, 2006 (2006-12-26)
Recorded 2006
Big Fish Recordings, Encinitas, CA,
Signature Sound, San Diego, CA,
Starstruck Studio
Genre Alternative rock, post-grunge, hard rock, post-punk
Length 44:44
Label Columbia/Sony BMG
Producer Tim Palmer, Steve Lillywhite, John Fields, Switchfoot
Switchfoot chronology
Nothing Is Sound
(2005)
Oh! Gravity.
(2006)
The Best Yet
(2008)
Singles from Oh! Gravity.
  1. "Dirty Second Hands"
    Released: September 26, 2006[1]
  2. "Oh! Gravity."
    Released: October 21, 2006
  3. "Awakening"
    Released: March 26, 2007

Oh! Gravity. is the sixth album by the San Diego based alternative rock band Switchfoot. It was released on December 26, 2006.[2] Also, the last album to be released on a major record deal.

To give fans a preview of the new material, Switchfoot released the downloadable single "Dirty Second Hands" to major online music stores on September 26.[1][3] The album's first radio single, the title song "Oh! Gravity.", was released to radio on October 31,[4] and received moderate airplay on alternative stations across America.[5] In addition, the band provided free streaming audio of both the aforementioned tracks on their MySpace page.

The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 18, as the second-highest debut of the week, selling 63,000 copies in its first week. As of June 2010, the album had sold 262,000+ copies.[6]

Production[edit]

Background and recording[edit]

The concept of Oh! Gravity. originally began as a short EP recording. "We weren't trying to achieve anything; we just set out to make music for ourselves,"[7] lead vocalist and principal songwriter Jon Foreman said of the process. Switchfoot, who tour heavily throughout the year, took a break in spring of 2006 between legs of the Nothing Is Sound Tour to record five or six song ideas with producer John Fields.[8] During their time in the studio, the band found that they had more than enough time to record additional songs, and decided to put together a full-length LP, which they have called their most "sincere" effort yet.

Enlisting their A&R producer Steve Lillywhite, the band tracked the song "Awakening" and were enlivened by his fresh approach to recording. Lillywhite emphasized the "How does it make you feel?" approach to the process, "which felt great" according to Foreman.[8] "We spent far more time rehearsing and refining the song than we did actually recording it... Don't press record until you get things right."

The rest of the record was produced by Tim Palmer, who Foreman described as possessing the uncanny ability to get "everyone out of their skins, where you begin to forget that the mics are there."[8]

Music and lyrical themes[edit]

While the band's previous effort, 2005's Nothing Is Sound, was termed "darker," Oh! Gravity. represented a departure from that densely layered sound. It was an attempt to find the balance between "spit and polish" as Foreman said. "This one's got a lot more spit." As such, the album was lighter on the sonic layering, with less production elements than Nothing Is Sound or even The Beautiful Letdown, and carried a more pop direction, with new experimentation into areas the band had not previously explored, while also returning to their lo-fi indie roots. Topics explore living, time, coping with the death of a loved one, and, most dominantly, anti-materialism, particularly in the songs "American Dream" and "4:12," with the lyrics: "You begin to believe/that all we are is material/it's nonsensical."

Promotion and release[edit]

On June 2 Switchfoot e-mailed a newsletter containing a free download of an unreleased song, "Daylight to Break," along with a statement from Tim Foreman implying that the band wanted to have a new album out by the end of the year, as well as thanking their fans for helping keep the band together for ten years. The recording of this album was rather public,[9] as Switchfoot had set up a webcam in their recording studio, and also continued to keep fans updated via their podcasts. A contest was also conducted to give fans a chance to win an opportunity to be in the studio with the band to play cowbell on one of the tracks.[10]

In early August, Switchfoot announced, "the album is done." By late September, the band had released the song "Dirty Second Hands" as a downloadable single to further promote the album.[11] In early October, the band made the songs "Dirty Second Hands" and "Oh! Gravity" available for streaming on their MySpace page, the latter of which was serviced to Modern Rock radio as the lead single for the record. The entire album also "leaked" on MTV2.com in the week leading up to the album's official release.[12] In addition, the band launched the website OhGravity.com, which featured the title track and YouTube clips that highlighted "gravity at its best" - mainly people falling while skateboarding, surfing, and participating in other similar activities. The website is no longer up.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[13]
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars[14]
IGN (8.2/10)[15]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[16]
Paste 3.5/5 stars[17]
Christian Music Today 4.5/5 stars[18]
Cross Rhythms 10/10 stars[19]
Jesus Freak Hideout 3/5 stars[20]
Entertainment Weekly B−[21]

Awards and accolades[edit]

In 2008, the album was nominated for a Dove Award for Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year at the 39th GMA Dove Awards. The song "Awakening" was also nominated for Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year.[22]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Oh! Gravity."   Jon Foreman, Tim Foreman 2:30
2. "American Dream"   J. Foreman 3:09
3. "Dirty Second Hands"   J. Foreman, Todd Cooper 3:18
4. "Awakening"   J. Foreman 4:11
5. "Circles"   J. Foreman 4:06
6. "Amateur Lovers"   J. Foreman 4:36
7. "Faust, Midas, and Myself"   J. Foreman 3:51
8. "Head Over Heels (In This Life)"   J. Foreman 3:41
9. "Yesterdays"   J. Foreman, T. Foreman 4:04
10. "Burn Out Bright"   J. Foreman, T. Foreman 3:24
11. "4:12"   J. Foreman 4:12
12. "Let Your Love Be Strong"   J. Foreman 3:47

Bonus tracks[edit]

In addition to the Oh! EP. that was available with the pre-release orders of Oh! Gravity., many retail chains offered bonus downloads or bonus tracks as incentives to purchase the album from them.

  • "American Dream (acoustic)" - 3:04 (available at iTunes, Rhapsody & all major retailers)
  • "Awakening (Rhapsody Original version)" - 4:09 (available on Rhapsody)
  • "Burn Out Bright (acoustic)" - 3:32 (available at Best Buy; it is track 13 on this limited edition version)
  • "C'mon C'mon (acoustic)" - 2:25 (available at Circuit City)
  • "C'mon C'mon (remix)" - 3:23 (available at Best Buy; it is track 14 on this limited edition version)
  • "Dirty Second Hands (Live Bootleg From Tulsa, OK)" - 4:50 (available on iTunes)
  • "Revenge" - 4:09 (available from EMI)
  • "The Shadow Proves The Sunshine (alternate version)" - 4:35 (available at Wal-Mart)

Personnel[edit]

Recorded at Big Fish Recordings, Encinitas, California. Additional recording at Signature Sound, San Diego, and Starstruck Studio.

Mixed at Paramount Recording, Hollywood, and South Beach Studios, Miami. Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York City.

Charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
Position
US Billboard 200[23] 18
US Christian Albums (Billboard)[24] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[25] 4

Release history[edit]

Region Date
United States December 26, 2006
United Kingdom January 1, 2007

"Oh! EP."[edit]

Oh! EP.
EP by Switchfoot
Released October 17, 2006 (2006-10-17)
Recorded 2006
Genre Alternative rock, hard rock, post-grunge
Length 9:28
Label Independent
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Jesus Freak Hideout 3.5/5 stars[26]

Pre-orders of "Oh! Gravity." from switchfoot.com came bundled with a three-song EP[27] that the band recorded in the same studio sessions as "Oh! Gravity." The EP was first made available on October 17, 2006 at Switchfoot's live shows but became available online as well. It later became available separately on the Switchfoot online store.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Sound in My Mouth"   J. Foreman 3:56
2. "C'mon C'mon"   J. Foreman 2:55
3. "Oh! Gravity." (Acoustic) J. Foreman, T. Foreman 2:37

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dirty Second Hands - Single by Switchfoot". iTunes. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "New Album Update" (Press release). Switchfoot. August 21, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-21. .
  3. ^ Harris, Chris (September 5, 2006). "Switchfoot Defy Gravity For Upcoming Tour". MTV. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Quick Hits: ... Switchfoot ...". fmqb.com. September 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-02. 
  5. ^ "Mediabase 24/7 - 7 The song appeared as the theme song for The Life of Ryan a reality show following skateboard prodigy Ryan Sheckler. 'Day Charts". Mediabase. October 12, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-12. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Rubin, Stephen (December 20, 2006). "Foreman brothers talk Switchfoot". North County Times. Retrieved December 27, 2006. 
  8. ^ a b c "Email Frame". December 2006. Retrieved April 15, 2009. 
  9. ^ Evans Price, Deborah (October 30, 2006). "Switchfoot seeks fans' help". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  10. ^ "Switchfoot Needs A Cowbell Player". top40-charts.com. July 13, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-17. 
  11. ^ Harris, Chris (August 5, 2006). "Switchfoot Slipping On Tour Boots Again As Gravity Approaches". VH1 (MTV News). Retrieved 2006-10-23. 
  12. ^ "Switchfoot Defies 'Gravity'". MTV2. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  13. ^ Allmusic review
  14. ^ Lux, Rachel (May 31, 2007). "Alternative Press review". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on January 31, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ Grischow, Chad (December 27, 2006). "Switchfoot - Oh! Gravity.". IGN. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  16. ^ Hoard, Christian (January 22, 2007). "Oh! Gravity. : Switchfoot : Review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ Maddux, Rachael (December 12, 2006). "Switchfoot - Oh! Gravity". Paste. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  18. ^ Banister, Christa (December 1, 2006). "Oh! Gravity - reviewed by Christa Banister". Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ Cummings, Tony. "Review: Oh! Gravity - Switchfoot". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  20. ^ DiBiase, John (December 12, 2006). "Switchfoot, "Oh! Gravity." Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  21. ^ Rosen, Jody (January 12, 2007). "Oh! Gravity Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  22. ^ Nominations Announced for 39th GMA Dove Awards on CBN.com (February 14, 2008)
  23. ^ "Switchfoot Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Switchfoot. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  24. ^ "Switchfoot Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Christian Albums for Switchfoot. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  25. ^ "Switchfoot Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Switchfoot. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  26. ^ DiBiase, John (December 30, 2006). "Switchfoot, "Oh! EP" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved August 6, 2013. 
  27. ^ "'Hands'-On Experience: New Switchfoot Song Now Online". cmspin.com. September 30, 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-28. 

External links[edit]