Switchfoot – The Beautiful Letdown (Our Version)

lowercase people records

Release Date: May 5th 2023

Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre

SwitchfootThe Beautiful Letdown (Our Version) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Meant to Live (Our Version)
  2. This is Our Life (Our Version)
  3. More Than Fine (Our Version)
  4. Ammunition (Our Version)
  5. Dare You To Move (Our Version)
  6. Redemption (Our Version)
  7. The Beautiful Letdown (Our Version)
  8. Gone (Our Version)
  9. On Fire (Our Version)
  10. Adding to the Noise (Our Version)
  11. Twenty-Four (Our Version)

People are re-recording nowadays. Most notable is Taylor Swift, who is re-recording her whole music catalogue pre-Lover, in an attempt to ‘reclaim’ her songs that were unfortunately lost to her label in terms of rights. She’s re-recorded Fearless and RED, and the Speak Now re-recording is releasing this upcoming July 2023. Then there’s Bryan Adams, who released two EPs in 2022, titled Classic and Classic Vol. II, each consisting of 7-8 songs from his music catalogue, redone and re-recorded, similar reasoning as to why Taylor Swift is undertaking her new musical journey. Nevertheless, to see a band like Switchfoot re-record their career-defining album The Beatufiul Letdown was an initial shock. Because as far as I know, Switchfoot still ‘own’ these songs that were made famous 20 years ago. There’s isn’t a ‘Taylor Swift situation’ going on with Switchfoot, or so I think. I may be wrong, but as far as I know, Switchfoot are still the rightful owners of their tunes from yesteryear…so why the full album re-recording?

According to the band themselves on JesusFreakHideout.com in a recent press release, ‘…this album has meant the world to us for 20 years. As our way of honoring the journey we’ve been on together, we’ve re-recorded the album in its entirety. It’s our way of saying ‘thanks’ — thanks for singing these songs with us for 20 years!…’ Jon and the team have created just an equally powerful masterpiece 20 years later, as a way of saying ‘thanks’ to their fans, and this reason alone shouldn’t be lost on us fans of the band, or even lost on us lovers of music, period. Sure, for the casual listener, this ‘version’ of the album shouldn’t seem like a departure from their original recording of the 11 tracks 20 years ago (in fact, for me at least, there are subtle differences between this 2023 version compared to the 2003 original- more distinct and clear instrumentation and a much more refined, enthusiastic and hopeful sound in general), but in all honesty and sincerety, it’s only the ‘diehard fans’ (of which I am becoming, but I’m not there yet) that will recognise every difference between The Beautiful Letdown (Our Version) and The Beautiful Letdown. And maybe that’s ok. If you want to read all about the differences between this album and their 20-year original, then check out the review of this album on JesusFreakHideout.com. But what I will say is this before I ‘sign off’ and finish this ‘review’. Switchfoot are at a stage in their music career where they can re-record their music, and it’ll be just as powerful, heartfelt and compelling now, compared to when and whence they released it. Maybe even more so. Maybe that’s the power of timeless songs and timeless albums. And The Beautiful Letdown is timeless in every way.

Which album, the ‘our version’ version, or the original, will stand the test of time in the next 10+ years? I dunno. Maybe people would prefer the 2003 album, or maybe others, like me, will tend to gravitate to this newly fresh and reinvigorating album. Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure. Switchfoot’s songs from 20 years ago still ring true today, maybe even more so. The lyrics to ‘Gone’ that form to ‘outro’ to the track, still ring true today. It’s a reminder for us to embrace intentionality, purposefulness, compelling conversations, and compassion in this life, instead of the comfortability we all seem to settle for. Well done Switchfoot for still telling and reminding us that we all ought to be ‘more than fine’, hopefully compelling us all these years later to be reminded that we were ‘meant to live’ far beyond the here and now, that ‘twenty-four’ hours in a day isn’t enough time (or it could be just enough) to make a difference, whichever way we look at it and if we’re serious about answering the call to ‘dare you to move’ more seriously than we are right now. Well done Switchfoot for this masterpiece. It’ll be on repeat for years to come.

Nothing lasts in this life, gone, my high school dreams are gone
My childhood sweets are gone, life is a day that doesn’t last for long
Life is more than money, time was never money, time was never cash,
Life is still more than girls, Life is more than girls
Life is more than hundred dollar bills and roto-tom fills,
Life is more than fame and rock and roll and thrills
All the riches of the kings end up in wills
We’ve got information in the information age,
But do we know what life is outside of our convenient Lexus cages?
She said, He said live like no tomorrow,
Every moment that we borrow brings us closer
To the God who’s never been short of cash

Lyrics to ‘Gone’ from The Beautiful Letdown (Our Version)

3 songs to listen to: Dare You To Move, Meant to Live, Twenty-Four

Score: 5/5

RIYL: needtobreathe, Jon Foreman, Jars of Clay, Lifehouse, Anberlin, Kutless

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