Is It The Best Yet, or The Biggest Yet? | Posted November 17, 2008
Switchfoot is certainly a driving force within the realm of Christian Rock, and after six albums, they've certainly cemented their place. So in-between their current crossroads, they want to make sure you know they're still around, so they've put out a best-of album. And of course, as is the case with all best-ofs, they open a can of worms to wiggle about.
But the usual pitfall is avoided here, by coming out with a strong set of songs that represent the vastness of Switchfoot. A strong set of 18 tracks anchor the release, almost maxing out the allowed time for a CD, but they add nothing you've never heard before. Of course there's a bias towards "The Beautiful Letdown," with it making up a third of the album. And also not surprisingly, the album has mostly songs from their last three releases. The range is a very good overview of the band, from the classic "Learning to Breathe," the haunting "Only Hope," to the amazing "Twenty-Four." You'll also get their Chronicles of Narnia track, "This Is Home."
And while it's still a pretty good overview, and better than what most bands do, they still left out songs like "Chem 6a," "New Way To Be Human," "You Already Take Me There," and "Paparazzi." Trivial sure, and fan-favorites all the way, they still did a good job regardless. But then there's the classic best-of question of, "Who's this for, exactly?" The answer is of course limited to the new fans, and the hardcore fans. Of course, if you get the special edition with the DVD, it just becomes that more appetizing.
So overall, for a best-of release, it gets a lot right. Good song selection from a great band. I'd rather the band released a b-side album like Relient K and Anberlin have done, or a professional live album, since they put on a great show. But for the audio portion, there just aren't many reasons to buy. Consider however if you get the edition with the DVD.