The day was December 15th, 2017. Switchfoot announced their first official hiatus in over 20 years of bandhood. Christian music fans (and many of us staff writers here at Jesusfreakhideout) held their breath as we awaited the band's potentially precarious future. It's fairly common for groups to claim hiatus only to never return again. The suspense wasn't held for very long, however, as the San Diegan rockers issued another statement last September: they would be back with new music shortly. This made the gap between Where The Light Shines Through and their newest release, Native Tongue, only about 2 and a half years - pretty standard fare for an album cycle. One might question the need for the initial announcement in the first place, but it certainly heightened the anticipation for their eleventh studio album. Would this feel like a comeback album, more of the same, or something entirely different? In some ways, Native Tongue is in between all of those labels, and it's that quality of inconsistency that serves as its greatest detriment and its greatest prospect.
Foreman and company might not be the most inventive or musically diverse group around, but their steady sonic evolution and solid songwriting over the past two decades are what have made them a mainstay...
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As hard to believe as it might be for a good many of the youngest members of the music-loving audience, there actually was a time, in the not-too-distant past, when bands and singers actually waited until they had written and recorded ten or more songs before tossing them together and releasing them to their fan base. These days, of course, such a notion comes off as positively old hat in light of the fact that the seeming majority of artists appear content to parse their tunes out a handful at a time via the now ubiquitous extended player (EP) format.
Nobody is more familiar with this new-found approach than the members of the Planetshakers who are releasing their ninth EP in just under three years. Objectively speaking, there is nothing at all wrong with doling out music in bite-sized chunks rather than full-up projects...
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Before I get started, please know I openly discuss and recap things from Unbreakable and Split here, spoiling some key elements. I also relate them to Glass, mentioning a couple potential mini-spoilers, but I try not to divulge too much.
In 2000, newly acclaimed director M. Night Shyamalan, who made a name for himself with 1999's sleeper hit, The Sixth Sense, released his next blockbuster, again starring Bruce Willis. Unbreakable centered around a man named David Dunn (played by Willis) who miraculously survived a train wreck, serving as the lone survivor, emerging without a scratch on him. Dunn is then sought out by a mysterious man named Elijah Price who calls himself Mr. Glass (played by Samuel L. Jackson) due to a unique disease he possesses that makes his bones extremely brittle. Price found solace from his condition at a young age in comic books (a gift from his mother), coming to believe that the extraordinary characters within their flashy pages are inspired by real life people. He then adopts the belief that, if he is as breakable as glass, there must be someone out there who is unbreakable. By the end of the film, Dunn has become a believer in his strength and the two walk away as some sort of hero and nemesis pair...
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