Switchfoot has been a force in the Christian music industry ever since their debut The Legend of Chin in 1997. With many acts dumbing down different secular genres, they created their own with much success. Their originality paid off, with mainstream Columbia Records calling to co-release the band's fourth studio album along with longtime partner Sparrow Records. It could have been their four-song addition to the Mandy Moore film A Walk To Remember or it might be that they really are just that good. Now with The Beautiful Letdown, Switchfoot is on pace to break down a barrier that always seems to build back up while assembling a partition around themselves as the only artist to do whatever it is that they do so well.
Leading off are two songs where Switchfoot shows the progression they've been making in their musical craftiness. "Meant to Live" comes in as a radio rock powerhouse that should be played and overplayed like any good rock station does while "This Is Your Life" molds techno beats and rock greatness to create the greatest song of the album presenting what new addition Jerome Fontamillas (keys/ guitar), formerly of Mortal fame, has to offer.
Now comes the quirky Switchfoot we all know and love. "More Than Fine" and "Gone" bring happy go lucky hits that the Beach Boys wish they were making back then, where doo whopping wonderment ensues. "Ammunition" and "Adding to the Noise" add mid-tempo rockers with lyrics of true greatness and meaningful self exploration into the soul. "Redemption" takes a bit of both; rock journeyment and cheerful liveliness while "Dare You to Move" is a slight remake of a song on their junior release Learning to Breathe. "The Beautiful Letdown," "24," and "On Fire" slows things down beautifully only adding to the fact that lead singer Jon Foreman is the ballad prince of song.
Switchfoot has never really been anything but a mainstream caliber band, being one of Christian music's best kept secrets. But now, the gloves are off and like the proud parents we die hard fans are, it's time to let them go into the world. With The Beautiful Letdown, it's now time for Switchfoot to take over everyone's hearts, one soul at a time.- Review date: 2/17/03, written by Blake Garris
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