Before the trio known as Switchfoot came around in 1997, if someone said the term "switchfoot," probably the only people who would know what they were talking about would be from the California surf scene. Now, some six years later, Switchfoot has broken onto the scene and is drawing attention like never before. Their first album is one that probably has a lot of mixed opinions about it. The songs aren't quite blended together to perfection and, while listening through the whole album one time, will likely leave you impressed, it probably will not leave you speechless. This is somewhat how I felt after listening to New Way to be Human, Switchfoot's sophomore release. But both of these CDs seem to mysteriously grow on you as you listen to them more. After five or six runs through this CD, I simply couldn't push myself to take it out of my stereo.
As far as the individual songs on the CD, the ones that stand out at first are "Bomb," their first hit single and wildly popular "Chem 6A," and "Underwater," which happen to be the first three songs on Legend. I quickly grew to love every song on the disc, however, and now that I've listened to it for so long, I can't believe I wasn't more impressed with my first listen. Switchfoot definitely stands out from other bands today, and it's possible I just wasn't expecting to hear what I did. But whatever the reason, this album will definitely grow on you if you aren't taken by it right away.
The other stand-out songs on the disc are "Concrete Girl," "Ode to Chin," which is by far Switchfoot's most aggressive track on this album, and "Life and Love and Why," now my favorite on the disc. It starts out calm, then throws you from pop to hard rock to alternative throughout the rest of the track, and it turns out surprisingly well. The lyrics flow with the song, and end on a hopeful note, which pleased me the most. Listen to this one a few times, and I think you will agree it is the standout track on the album.
Overall, this disc is excellent. After the first listen, the songs will constantly echo in your head which will only increase with each listen. Every song on the disc is exceptional, and I think with a slightly different order and some minor tweaking, this could have easily become my favorite disc of all time.
In any case, this is the best debut album I have had the privilege of listening to in a long time. Check it out if you don't own it already. And be sure to catch the photographed life story of Chin when you open up the lyric folder.
This is truly a work of art, and a definite highlight of CCM history.- Review date: 1/29/03, written by Spencer Priest
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