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New Way to Be Human

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Album Review

Introspective, probing lyrics define Switchfoot's sophomore effort, New Way to Be Human, which Charlie Peacock produced for his re: think label. In the 1990s, Peacock was best known for working with Christian rock and pop/rock artists — he co-wrote Amy Grant's "Every Heartbeat" and had produced Sarah Masen, Michelle Tumes, and other Christian singers. Switchfoot's lyrics also deal with spiritual concerns, but there's nothing preachy or exclusionary about this CD. Alternative pop/rock songs like "Incomplete," "Under the Floor" and "Let That Be Enough" (all of which were written or co-written by Switchfoot singer/guitarist Jonathan Foreman) deal with trying to find meaning and purpose in life — the lyrics really stem from Foreman's introspection and self-examination, not a desire to force any particular religion down the listener's throat. One of the best songs on the album is "Company Car," which questions materialism and is almost Hindu-ish in its outlook. Not perfect but intelligent and generally appealing, New Way to Be Human is an album that fans of 1990s' alternative rock can appreciate, whatever their religious views may be.


Formed: 1996 in San Diego, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After gaining a foothold in the contemporary Christian music scene, Switchfoot went mainstream with 2003's The Beautiful Letdown, a double-platinum album that straddled the line between sacred and secular rock music. Years before Switchfoot's commercial breakthrough, though, the group struggled to make a dent in the San Diego area, where singer/guitarist Jonathan Foreman, bassist Tim Foreman, and drummer Chad Butler began playing together in 1996. The lineup logged several shows under its original...
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New Way to Be Human, Switchfoot
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