; simply put, this group of rockers is already a music legend. No, they haven’t achieved the superstardom that once belonged to bands like The Beatles, but in the Christian world, fame really has no significance. The legend that this band has created is one that reflects the image of God through the lives they have saved through their lyrics and the missions work they do to further the Kingdom.
If you look back at the early days of Switchfoot and compare their music to what we hear from them now, quite a lot has changed. Everything, and I mean everything, from their lyrical content, musical style, album art, and even some of the band’s personal looks (have you seen Jon Foreman’s hair lately?) have evolved completely. That evolution has brought about good things. Looking back at the group’s first two records, to the average listener they seem almost amateurish, to be blunt. But even back then, before their mainstream breakout, people could see their talent and potential. Their big break was not far.
Fast forward a few years to 2003 and something just seemed to click between the band and the music industry when The Beautiful Letdown
, their most successful record to date, hit the shelves. And I have to admit that I credit Switchfoot for my interest and involvement in the Christian music industry. Yes, I’ve always been a Christian, but up until the point of The Beautiful Letdown
, nothing in the Christian industry really seemed to have the “it” factor. I don’t know, maybe I was just too young, but I clearly remember the day I heard “Meant to Live” for the first time on secular radio. I don’t know what surprised me more... the fact that the song was addictive or the fact that I had heard a Christian song on mainstream radio. After all, I didn’t know much about music back then. But little did I know that “Meant to Live” would turn into a megahit. The single reached #5 on the Modern US Rock charts and took off on Top 40 as well. The follow-up hit, “Dare You to Move,” arguably has become their most successful song to date and can be credited for pushing The Beautiful Letdown to be certified double platinum by the RIAA. The tune also served as a huge breakthrough for the acceptance of Christian music on mainstream airwaves, especially since it contains the key line “Salvation is here.”
When Nothing Is Sound
released in 2005, everyone knew who the San Diego rockers were, helping to debut the successful follow-up to The Beautiful Letdown
at number three on the Billboard 200. While most of the songs written on this record were aimed at the mainstream crowd, Switchfoot still stuck to their classic messages of faith. To me, artists like Switchfoot who target the secular audience but cleverly intertwine Christian messages into their lyrics really are the salt of the Earth that Christ wants us to be. The band manages at all times to instill their faith infused message into the minds of their audience without seeming too pushy or “preachy,” which ultimately is what people are looking for.
I think it’s safe to say that late 2006 dawned a new era for Switchfoot. The day after Christmas, the group released their most recent album Oh! Gravity
. It was something that Switchfoot fans had really never heard before. The tracks were raw and real, and the music was much edgier than previous records. While Oh! Gravity
may be the least appealing record to date for new listeners, it was definitely important for Switchfoot to show a more personal side to their music.
And here we are now, finally catching up to 2008. While fans eagerly anticipate a new album, hopefully releasing by Christmas (keep your fingers crossed), make sure to check out the new single they recorded specifically for the new Narnia movie, Prince Caspian
. The song, titled “This is Home,” is featured on the soundtrack and in the end credits of the movie. Debuted at the Dove Awards in April, the song has gained national attention once again, and it seems to me that Switchfoot’s return to the mainstream music industry is right around the corner.