Music Review: Switchfoot “The Beautiful Letdown”
Red Int / Red Ink 2003, Sony 2004

Many different words have been used when describing Switchfoot’s break into the mainstream. While words like ‘sellout’ have been mentioned more than once in regards to the bands sudden move to a major label, the 11 songs on ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ confirm that the band has not yet lost its roots. Although the religious references in frontman Johnathan Foreman’s lyrics are indeed subtle, they are deffinately still there. Standout songs like the piano-based ballad ‘On Fire’ and closing track ‘Twenty-Four’ show evidence of the band’s christian values. The album starts off with the guitar-driven single ‘Meant To Live’, which is an obvious hit when compared to less memorable songs like ‘This Is Your Life’ and ‘More Than Fine’. The experience doesn’t get a whole lot better until about half-way through the album, where the smash hit single ‘Dare You To Move’ is nestled between two more forgettable songs. The beautifully toned acoustic guitars in ‘Dare You To Move’ serve as a perfect build up to the epic chorus. All in all, this is a pretty decent effort from Switchfoot. Like a well-written novel, ‘The Beautiful Letdown’ has an enthralling beginning, a heart-wrenching middle, and a settling end. It’s just the in-between sections that fall somewhat short.

– Professor Tree

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