Release Date: June 22, 2004
Reviewed by Sonya Sutherland
Radiohead is unquestionably one of the greater bands to come out of the 90s. I’m not comparing Switchfoot to Radiohead’s sound necessarily but the concept. The reason why Radiohead is so great is because they experiment. Radiohead is like Tool, in that sense because their record makes an overall statement with unique individual songs that fit together to make a whole.
Switchfoot didn’t make the mistake of copying Radiohead’s sound; they got it right and used the concept. A little synth, some guitar, and the light delicate vocals of Jonathan Foreman provide a perfect base to build a great record on. This album is full of catchy light pop tunes comprised of creative song structure as well intelligent, poetic lyrics that cry back to the U2 days prior to Bono’s save the world crusade. Variety is the key to this records success. Meant to Live starts with an almost out of tune guitar hook that builds to a multi-layer melody. That’s the first sign that this record is worth the time of day – complexity. From here, an album can go in various directions. It might have only one good song and proceed to suck, or it could just repeat the same song in a different key with different lyrics for the duration of the cd. Then there is the rare concept of expansion. Switchfoot expands. I could go through all the songs pointing out the strengths but that would ruin the surprise.
Overall it’s a good feeling uplifting type record, but can you really expect anything less from these talented Christian rock brothers?