Switchfoot
The Beautiful Letdown


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
September 19th, 2011 | 34 replies | 9,070 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: acting as an anchor, which might be the anti-thesis of most life-altering albums, but that's kind of the whole damn point.

Just like Jon Foreman pleads for you to realise on 'This Is Your Life', yesterday is a promise that you've broken; a lot has changed since I first began writing about music. In five years which included a stuttering university career and nine months scrambling through foreign nightlife, god died, my best shoes got scuffed, and the beauty I used to see in the simplest things retreated to increasingly complex strongholds. I'm pretty sure this sort of thing isn't unique, more an inevitable detail of seeing more things and thinking more thoughts as you grow older, but wires got crossed somewhere along the road and every now and then something drags me back. More often than not, that something is The Beautiful Letdown.

Because there's something about the way Foreman and his band Switchfoot present the things I've forgotten or stopped believing and make me realise the parts of those feelings that still hold true, even since the wires got crossed, and there's something about the music they set it to here more than anywhere else. Everyone's heard the ode-to-living 'Dare You To Move', but it's the overtly Christian cuts that scare me the most, because damn, am I an atheist. But on a song like 'Redemption', Foreman's vocals are filled with such conviction, I almost find myself wanting to be saved. 'Gone' asks if we know what life is outside of our convenient lexis cages, which is a sentiment I've been trying to get to the bottom of for years. And so on.

And that beauty in simplicity thing that I mentioned earlier, that's the reason The Beautiful Letdown is capable of becoming a staple in any pop-lover's music library. While Switchfoot aren't a cliché in any meaningful sense, you can definitely see why they might attract the label, since the piano in 'On Fire' is so downright gorgeous that it's bound to make certain people feel guilty, and since Switchfoot are so unequivocal and steadfast in their ideals and their idealism. But they're polite, too, which makes The Beautiful Letdown burn slow and inoffensive until you realise that it's uncrossed a few of the wires.

I mean, it's a temporary jolt, because few could go on believing everything Foreman asserts over these eleven soaring pop tracks, and everybody needs something more abrasive than The Beautiful Letdown's pristine guitars and obvious-as-hell lyrics in their lives, but equally, it helps sometimes to listen to a record which asks you to ponder no more (indeed, no less) than: 'This is your life; are you who you want to be?' If you're in the need of escaping to a world of innocent and arguably naive themes, it works absolutely perfectly. The Beautiful Letdown acts as an anchor, which might be the anti-thesis of most life-altering albums, but that's sort of the whole point.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
September 19th 2011



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

'cause i haven't written anything in a long time
'cause they have a bad new album out but this rules
'cause

Irving
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2011



7012 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The biographical nature of this review reminds me of Chan's rewrite of his Brand New review.

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Oceanus
September 19th 2011



877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not a bad review, strikey. This album is one that I always enjoyed but was never attached to.

heyadam
September 19th 2011



1695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love this album

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

heyadam
September 19th 2011



1695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and sorry for the double post, but I love the personal feel of this review.

BigHans
September 19th 2011



26455 Comments


I DARE YOU TO MOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

NOTINTHEFACE
September 19th 2011



1653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I rather like their first three albums but this is awful... good review though.

The Sludge
September 19th 2011



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good album, good review.

At the time when this came out, 'Meant To Live' was soo misleading for what the rest of the album sounded like, but it grows on you (minus a few stale songs).

Ire
September 19th 2011



41471 Comments


whoa ur alive

Knott-
Emeritus
September 19th 2011



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

genuinely amazed anyone even noticed i was gone

Eko
September 19th 2011



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

YES YES YES

Waior
September 19th 2011



11421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this might be my favourite thing youve written adam



AggravatedYeti
September 19th 2011



7684 Comments


< 3
nice to see you making an appearance.

I really do not like this record.

but Meant To Live is a badass tuneski.

klap
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2011



10014 Comments


WE LOST OURSELVES

Digging: Woods - With Light And With Love

SowingSeason
Emeritus
September 19th 2011



14513 Comments


really good record, been too long since i have listened though

Eko
September 19th 2011



2119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ily so much for this

JWT155
September 20th 2011



9184 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I still like this band.

Ignimbrite
September 20th 2011



5228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5


And that beauty in simplicity thing that I mentioned earlier, that's the reason The Beautiful Letdown is capable of becoming a staple in any pop-lover's music library, because while Switchfoot aren't a cliché in any meaningful sense, you can definitely see why they might attract the label, since the piano in 'On Fire' is so downright gorgeous that it's bound to make certain people feel guilty, and since Switchfoot are so unequivocal and steadfast in their ideals and their idealism, but polite, too, which makes The Beautiful Letdown burn slow and inoffensive until you realise that it's uncrossed a few of the wires.


Sweet Jesus, that's a run-on. Other than that, this review is prime. Love this album, love this band. Pos'd

Ignimbrite
September 20th 2011



5228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'Gone' asks if we know what life is outside of our convenient lexis cages


Also, I think that's "Lexus."

Knott-
Emeritus
September 20th 2011



10194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol that whole paragraph is one sentence. Fixing that.



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