The Beautiful Letdown is the album released by Switchfoot in early 2003 that launched the alternative rock band into the mainstream limelight. Three Top-40 singles were released from this disc: "Meant to Live" (top 20), "Dare You to Move" (top 20), and "This Is Your Life". After selling over 2.6 million copies, the album was certified double platinum by the RIAA and won for Album of the Year at the 2003 San Diego Music Awards. The album was re-released in 2004 with a slightly tweaked mix and new cover art as well.
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Switchfoot Isn't Wine| Posted September 04, 2007
When this album came out back in 2004, I thought is was the greatest thing ever. Now? Not so much, in fact, all the songs I thought were good, not so much. The songs I didn't like, I love.
But I do have to give credit to their guitar guy, some songs like "Meant To Live" would have been terrible without that opening solo. In fact, "This Is Your Life" isn't that great either. It might have good lyrics, but the musical quality is not so great. The opening part to that is just strange, future of music channeling is what I call it.
"More Than Fine," "Gone," "Adding To The Noise," are a bunch of great little ditties, and really should make up more of Switchfoot playlist, instead of the harder stuff. Lyrically and musically "Gone" is a real winner, however, it should also have been the last song about materialism. I mean really, can the guy write about anything else? That's one of the reasons their last two albums haven't been good, it's all about materialism. They should have just stopped here.
"24," and "On Fire" are great ballads, and amazingly the band excels here, making these the highlights of the album, especially "24." Why can't the band make more of songs like these? These songs are gems, and shunned gems at that.
The rest of the album isn't that great, filler material, including the title track. Overall, I like about half the album. The rest is throwaway. Sorry, Switchfoot, you could have done better. What's sad is this is their best album. Having said that, the album does have it's high moments, and depending on what you think of them, I would definitely recommend it.
The Beautiful Letdown| Posted July 29, 2008
Ugh, I did it again. When will it end? When will I stop underrating bands or making assumptions based on a couple songs? Up until a couple weeks ago I thought I didn't like Switchfoot. I thought they made mediocre music that was very formulaic. Why? I don't know. I loved the first single off this album, 'Meant to Live' well before I became a Christian. I had heard 'Dare You To Move' back then but I'm guessing that because I didn't understand the lyrics it didn't really catch. Upon borrowing this CD (and then buying it a week later), not only do I love that song, since it means something, but I love the whole album.
Mediocre music? I didn't hear any. Formulaic? Pfft, what was I thinking? Every track has it's own sound, pace, and vibe to it that keeps you wondering what the next song will sound like. About the only similarity to the songs is they are all strongly produced, hook-laden pop/rock tracks that have powerful lyrics. The vocal hooks are different in every song and the chorus's truly shine in a very sing-a-long kinda way. Many people have probably caught me singing along like a fool in my car since I can't resist.
'Gone' is a great punkish rock anthem that changes the pace about 3 times in the song and has memorable lyrics singing about how material things will be gone eventually. The slower ballads like 'Dare You To Move' and 'On Fire' are just powerful songs that tug at the heart and do a great job of changing the tempo. I get chills down my back everytime I hear 'On Fire'.
I honestly can't think of anything wrong with the album either. There's no filler, no weak tracks, and the tracklist overall seems perfect. This album may move into the elite category as a classic album in time. I've only had it for a couple weeks now though and need to see if it stands the test of time. It needs to be said that this is an album that will likely grow on you. If you didn't give it enough time when you first got it in 2003 or whenever then you may want to go back and give The Beautiful Letdown it's due.
Gems of this album are: 'Meant To Live', 'Dare You To Move', 'Gone', 'This Is Your Life'
A letdown| Posted August 24, 2007
The much anticipated (at the time) The Beautiful Letdown from Switchfoot is a rock CD, with a lot of disappointing songs.
Switchfoot's songs on The Beautiful Letdown are very raw from start to finish. The tunes don't flow well, and Jon Forman's vocal does not help things either. The "new" sound of the music becomes more disjointed than original and fun. The two songs that has an okay beat are "ammunition" and "adding to the noise". However even the hits "dare you to move", "this is your life", and the singles "gone", "more than fine", and "meant to live" and not very impressive musically, except for the opening of "meant to live". The title track is worse.
The lyrics definitely have a mainstream flavor to the album as there are only vague references to God. But there are positive messages here, about not wasting time (gone), living for something more than we are (meant to live) among others. However the focus is not on God.
This Switchfoot CD could have been a mainstream album easily, as there were songs that were released on non-Christian stations. Over all though poor music, vocals, and lacking lyrics makes this album an unbeautiful letdown.
Definately Not a Letdown| Posted October 15, 2007
I own a lot of albums, but this is one of my favorite albums of all time. I love how they have fun songs like 'Gone' and 'More Than Fine' mixed in with nice, soft songs such as 'Dare You To Move' and 'This Is Your Life.' I see that the songs mostly have the same message, that we only have life and we should live it for God, which could become tiresome but I didn't see it that way, but maybe you will. So give it a listen, you won't waste your time, trust me.
'The Beautiful Letdown' Is Far From| Posted July 31, 2007
If the opening riff of 'Meant to Live' doesn't get your blood going, than you need a check up.
After much success in the Christian market, Switchfoot was recognized by Columbia Records as being a great band and so, hurriedly took them in, which broadened Switchfoot's scope to a secular audience...and gave them the tools they needed to craft their finest record yet.
As the hyper catchy chorus of 'Meant to Live' comes around, its clear that Switchfoot has turned a new page. No previous song from them has been as intense, as original, and as cool as this. And they're not done. 'This Is Your Life' with its heavy effects ladened guitar intro comes next, leading up to the anthem cry of the album: 'Don't waste this life; it was meant for more.' 'Dare You to Move' sounding much better this time around, echoes the sentiment.
The maturity Switchfoot has attained is miraculous. Their lyrics are impeccable, their music first rate, and their message as strong as ever. The acoustic '24' is Jon's cry to God about his depravity ('There's twenty four reasons/to admit that I'm wrong/with all my excuses/ still twenty-four strong'), but ascends into a joyous celebration where Jon assuredly and happily declares 'I am the second man now.' The song 'Redemption' drives home the same point.
Another amazing thing about this album is that every song is a keeper. From the catchy chorus of 'More than Fine', the aggressiveness of 'Ammunition', the fun-loving 'Gone' and 'Adding to the Noise' and the beautiful piano song 'On Fire', every song is just so powerful and varied. Ranging from distorted rock riffs, soft acoutics, rocky acoustics, pianos, 80's riffs, digital effects, sliding octaves...whatever floats your boat, you'll find floating here. The song 'The Beautiful Letdown' comes in quietly, but leaves you convicted to rethink your life, your priorities, and the Church - and it's simply a cool song.
There is no doubt Switchfoot deserves all the praise it has received for this album. Signifying Switchfoot's goal, sound, and message, 'The Beautiful Letdown' is anything but.
This is Music.| Posted July 05, 2007
I'd say it's Switchfoot's best album. Appealing to both the young and old, Switchfoot made a double platinum CD, and it's no surprise. Nothing Is Sound is a CD you can listen through (many times through) without skipping a track.
You may have seen or heard "Meant To Live," "This Is You Life," and "Dare You To Move" in videos. They have strong lyrics at nice tempos. "On Fire" has probably the most powerful lyrics on the disc and is another favorite for fans.
Beautiful? Yes. A letdown? No.| Posted December 14, 2011
This album is what really got me into Switchfoot. From the awesome guitar solo at the beginning of "Meant to Live" to the last notes of "24", I feel that this truly is the best that Switchfoot can offer and it is understandable that this album is one of their best-selling and really got them mainstream attention. To say which tracks are my all-time favorites would be hard as each track adds it's own special taste to the album. Although, thematically, I would have to say that "Gone" and "Adding to the Noise" are my favorites because they deal with materialism, a pressing issue in our modernist society. Anyway, this is not a album that one should shrug off. The contents of this album is well worth the price.
Switchfoot| Posted April 16, 2010
this album was really good...back in the days. i still like it and i think switchfoot should have stayed with this type of music. my favorite on the album is '24'. 'dare you to move' is still a classical switchfoot fave. if you are looking for a switchfoot album, i recommend this one.
A Beautiful Piece of Music| Posted August 18, 2009
How old is this album? Six years? Most CDs are lucky if they get remembered a year later, much less listened to. I was just listening to this album yesterday. The Beautiful Letdown made a permanent impression on the genre of rock. I'm sure that the last chords "twenty-four" will be ringing for years more.
This is where Switchfoot really stepped it up musically. Learning to Breathe is great, but this is a different kind of greatness. I can only imagine that the band was completely exhausted after TBL. Creating that much art all at once must hurt.
By far, Switchfoot's best release to date. Goes without saying, for me. It's also one of the best albums, ever. Ever. Really. I don't play.