Number 28 on my countdown of Top 40 albums is New Way To Be Human by Switchfoot! This is Switchfoot’s sophomore release, and, unfortunately, it often gets tossed under the label of the band’s “Early Years” (in other words, “Before They Were Good”). However I assure you that is far from the truth. Switchfoot’s relatively long tenure has had it’s peaks and valleys and fans have witnessed the band undergo a slow, natural, and successful evolution of sound. New Way To Be Human is the start of the climb up the proverbial musical mountain toward the band’s first peak.
In Switchfoot’s first release, The Legend of Chin, listeners were met with a refreshingly different, yet unpolished sound that was, at times, buried a bit too deep under the weight of 90s Alternative Rock influences. Even so, songs like “Chem 6A,” “Home,” and “Life and Love and Why” hinted that there was something special about these three Pacific surfers. That something special arrived much sooner than anticipated in New Way To Be Human. Switchfoot’s sound had matured seemingly overnight as the band not only managed to create an excellent ten song collection, but also gained their first commercial success in the song “Only Hope” which became a wildly popular crossover hit thanks to the voice of Mandy Moore and the movie “A Walk to Remember.”
New Way To Be Human, much more than The Legend of Chin, showed off the band’s unique ability to create a collection of songs that belong together in addition to honing a sound that has, thus far, been impossible to replicate successfully. This album is also quite a lyrical success as Jon Foreman shows off his trademark introspective and situation specific lyrical ideas that somehow seem to apply to all who listen. Case in point, this excerpt from the gorgeous song “Let That Be Enough.”
It’s my birthday tomorrow
No one here could know
I was born this Thursday
22 years ago
And I feel stuck
Watching history repeating
Yeah, who am I?
Just a kid who knows he’s needy
Let me know that You hear me
Let me know Your touch
Let me know that You love me
And let that be enough
Well, I think I’ve said enough words in support of this record. Let’s hear some music shall we? Here is a three song sequence straight from the record. Tracks 2, 3, and 4: “Incomplete,” “Sooner or Later,” and “Company Car.” A brief note before you listen – “Sooner or Later” is one of my wife’s favorite songs. It is a song that captures so well the beauty of faith and the complexity of being a Christian. Alright, now to the music!
There you have it! Number 28 on the Top 40 countdown! Here are links to numbers 29-40 in case you see one you are interested in!
Thanks for reading, and you can look for number 27 tomorrow! If you keep up with my blog and you are surprised by the rapid fire of posts this week, I fell a few weeks behind due to my impending graduation from college on Saturday and all the various tasks and responsibilities that come with such an event. However, the post tomorrow will put me back on track to finish the countdown in one year’s time! I hope you have been enjoying the music!