Album Review :
Fiction Family - Fiction Family

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Artist: Fiction Family
Album: Fiction Family
Label: ATO Records/ Credential Recordings
Release Date: January 20, 2009
Reviewer: Eric Pettersson

1. When She’s Near
2. Out of Order
3. Not Sure
4. Betrayal
5. Elements Combined
6. War in My Blood
7. Throw It Away
8. Closer than You Think
9. Please Don’t Call It Love
10. Mostly Prove Me Wrong
11. We Ride
12. Look for My Baby

Jon Foreman is a busy guy. His main band, Switchfoot, has been seeing significant mainstream rock success since they released “The Beautiful Letdown” in 2005. Then, over the past year, he released four solo EPs, with six songs for each season. Now he’s been collaborating with Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek to create a 12 song album for their new band, Fiction Family.

This record is more of an art project than it is another album to be put on the market. Everything sounds very organic, as each singer takes the lead for a number of songs and each offers something unique to the mix. Jon’s influence is more along the lines of his solo material, with tender vocals and diverse instrumentation over acoustic indie-folk-pop, while Sean brings the bluegrass/ roots rock feel, including some harmonica and the classic harmonized vocals. Now, I’ve never actually listened to Nickel Creek, but what I do know about each of these artists would lead me to believe that this album is something new for each of them, as they push themselves towards artistic growth and greater creativity, rather than a basic combination of what each of them already had. While my press copy of the album didn’t come with lyrics for me to fully examine, they seem like they’d also be a strong point to the album. One of the things I appreciate most about Fiction Family right now is that there are a lot of quality loves songs on here, which is something most new music I’ve acquired lately seems to be lacking.

While the duo may have been unexpected, this release is exactly what I expected after finding out the two were working together. Two great voices and two great songwriting styles come together for what will surely be enjoyed by a wide range of music fans. While you can typically tell which artist each song belongs to, it doesn’t sound like they just threw together a split EP or something. It definitely works well together to created a blended style and a consistent overall feel.

[Official Site] [MySpace] [ATO Records] [Credential Recordings]