The Beautiful Letdown
Four albums into their recording career, Switchfoot put their toes deeper into the mainstream with 2003’s The Beautiful Letdown. The San Diego-based combo had blended a discernable (but not preachy) Christian viewpoint with a regular-guy modern rock sound on their earlier albums. With this release, they began to connect with an audience beyond their base of believers. On these tracks, singer/chief songwriter Jonathan Foreman tempers his spiritual concerns with wry humor and a genuine anger at the world’s vanities. “More Than Fine” and the title track express a yearning to transcend mortal failings, yet avoid obvious sermonizing. Switchfoot acquit themselves especially well on “Dare You To Move,” building from slurred and shambling verses into a big uplifting chorus. Throughout, the group mixes acoustic guitar textures with harder post-grunge tempos, with Foreman’s vocals suggesting a less jaded Rufus Wainwright at times. Rather than a departure, The Beautiful Letdown is a fulfillment of the genre-crossing potential this combo had shown from the start.