Switchfoot – The Beautiful Letdown – Columbia

by | Sep 13, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Switchfoot – The Beautiful Letdown – Columbia 8-2876-76182-6  Multichannel SACD ***: 

Switchfoot is a 20-something alternative rock band that hails from San Diego, California.  The band members on this record are Jon Foreman (vocals/guitar), Tim Foreman (bass), Chad Butler (drums), and Jerome Fontamillas (guitar/keyboards).  Most of the songs are written by Jon and this is evidenced by the reliance of vocals to create the melody on many of the tunes.  As the record progresses, the tunes (starting with the second cut) get more interesting and varied by way of light electronic sounds, repeating hooks, and catchy pop sounds.  Track five is a prime example of this and track three offers a nice mix of acoustic guitar and electronic sounds.  “Gone” sounds very much like a 3rd Eye Blind tune mixed with a boy band singing.  Foreman is somewhat limited vocally and has a tendency to add a strange tonality to the words as he sings.  This limitation is most noticeable on track nine.  The last song on the disc incorporates many of the elements that make up a really solid song.  It starts softer and utilizes a pleasant blend of music and song that works extremely well.  If more of the material on this record were more introspective like this track I believe it would be a better record—not necessarily more popular, but better. 

The SACD utilizes the surround channels to enhance the experience.  Most of the material is kept up front, but almost every song has an instrument or sound circling or bouncing around the listener (with the exception of track four that just sounds like the engineer was having fun fading the sound from front to back—wrong!)  Unfortunately, sound quality wasn’t outstanding and had a tendency to show some brightness, some hardness, and some sibilance.  This record isn’t going to move any mountains, but it was a fun listen and that teenager of the house will surely latch onto a few of these tunes and listen to them over and over.  Songs included are:  Meant To Live; This Is Your Life; More Than Fine; Ammunition; Dare You To Move; Redemption; The Beautiful Letdown; Gone; On Fire; Adding To The Noise; Twenty-Four.

– Brian Bloom

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