Beginning the second half of the Top 40 Albums Countdown we have number 20: Learning to Breathe by Switchfoot. My wife’s favorite Switchfoot album and unarguably the culmination of the “early” Switchfoot sound, Learning to Breathe is without a doubt one of the strongest Christian Alternative Rock albums. It is the second Switchfoot album we have seen on the countdown, and *gasp* we will see one more before we reach the end (It is probably not the one you think!)!
Learning to Breathe was the very first Switchfoot album I ever owned. I received it as a Christmas present when I was eleven years old as my Dad wanted to expand my Christian music horizons beyond Audio Adrenaline, The O. C. Supertones, and those two Newsboys songs. I am not sure it had the desired effect as I essentially listened to this album on loop until I got The Beautiful Letdown – the first CD I ever bought with my own money. Learning to Breathe is perfectly paced, incredibly singable, and just the right mixture of fun and fervent.
In a less personal review of the album, Learning to Breathe was really Switchfoot’s springboard into mainstream success. Interestingly, Learning to Breathe is one of only two Switchfoot albums to be nominated for a Grammy. It was also this album, along with the band’s exposure via the movie “A Walk to Remember,” that caught the attention of Columbia Records. The opening track to Learning to Breathe, “I Dare You to Move” was an especially strong selling point for the group. In fact, the band and the label loved the song “I Dare You to Move” so much, that it was not only included on The Beautiful Letdown, but it was also released as the second single (A good call considering it proved to be their biggest radio hit).
I am honestly at a lack for words to convey the significance this album has had on me for the past 13 years, so I will plunge right into the music.
Track 4. Love is the Movement
If you asked twelve year old me what his favorite song was, he would enthusiastically tell you this was his favorite song. Then he probably would have gotten his blimp-shaped mini boombox and played it for you.
Track 6. Innocence Again
Grace is high and low
Track 8. The Loser
If Learning to Breathe is the quintessential Switchfoot sounding album, then “The Loser” is at the absolute center of that unique Switchfoot sound. All prior Switchfoot music leads to “The Loser” and all subsequent Switchfoot music can be traced back to “The Loser.”
There you have it! The first album of the second half of the countdown! The other Switchfoot album already included on the countdown is their sophomore release New Way to be Human which you can find on the list below of all the previously written about albums!
25. Queen by Queen
I haven’t fallen too terribly behind! If I can post the number 19 album tomorrow, then I will be back on schedule! Be sure to tune back in tomorrow for another great album! Happy Friday everyone!