Review: Switchfoot - The Beautiful Letdown

Switchfoot is the best 'new' rock group in the United States. Yes, it's a bold statement to make, but it's true and someone should have the guts to say it. What makes them so great?... Their lyrics are meaningful, their sound is distinct, their appeal is massive, they're good to their fans and... they have that rockstar look. There's nothing more you could ask from a band.

Hands down, Switchfoot is the 'big new thing.' I recommend everyone going and buying The Beautiful Letdown, because it'll continue to be the album everyone's talking about... The funny thing is Switchfoot

is not a new band. In fact, The Beautiful Letdown is the fourth album they've made in the ten years they've been playing together... They're just finally getting the attention they deserve.

What's suprising about Switchfoot is they haven't followed the usual path of aspiring rock groups. Band members haven't tattoed every exposed piece of skin, they haven't pierced obscure body parts, they haven't dated Tara Reid or Drew Barrymore (in fact, 3 of the 4 band members are married) and they haven't sold their souls to 'The Matrix'. Instead, Switchfoot has focused on one thing... music. This decision has separated them from the others and catapulted them to great success.

Album Breakdown

This album is completely unique. The blend of Jon Foreman's (lead singer) voice with synthesized sound effects and intense guitar, drums, piano, violin, cello... make for many 'tasty bits', as Switchfoot calls them. It's refreshing to listen to an album that is both ear candy and inspirational.

'Meant to Live' is the song everyone knows. (If you don't know it, visit our links section and watch the video) This is the hit that made them famous. The track has hard hitting rifts, catchy chord combinations and lyrics that make you think. Many groups feel like sell outs when they put together a 'hit'... This is a hit song to be proud of. 'This is Your Life' is basically a question put to music. The song switches between Jon singing calmly in the verses to more intensely, with drums and hard bass, during the chorus.

The sound effects, provided by band member Jerome Fontamillas, add a distinction to each song. On 'More Than Fine', clapping sounds, bells and distorted talking are heard at strategic points. On 'Dare You to Move' a crisp metallic sound, typical of R&B songs, is added at the end of each chorus. Jon's voice is incredibly intense on this track, revealing a sense of desperation that is sure to evoke emotion when listening. The electric guitar is placed in perfect positions and adds a great deal of emotion to the track as well.

'On Fire' and 'Twenty-Four' are incredibly powerful songs. Their piercing lyrics and the emotion filled voice of Jon Foreman make listening to the tracks an unforgettable experience. Both songs touch on the struggle of life and the points of desperation we find ourselves in.