Switchfoot has yet to cease amazing me. With their debut album, The Legend of Chin, the college-age trio from San Diego made quite an impression on the Christian pop/rock scene. However, my first few listens to that debut left me uninterested. It wasn't until I saw the fun and creative, yet simple, "Chem6A" video that I became hooked - soon to become a true Switchfoot enthusiast. So naturally March 23, 1999 became a key date as the fun continues. And Switchfoot does it again. New Way to Be Human is a more than worthy follow-up to their debut and, in fact, it may even be... dare I say... better?
I feel there's more unity in New Way... than in Legend.... The Legend of Chin seemed to hop around between schizophrenic rock ballads and punchy pop anthems. New Way to Be Human tends to take the listener through ten well-crafted songs, some fast and fun, some slow and contemplative. But a theme seems present on this album, unlike the previous. The title seems to ring throughout the album as topics are tackled such as emptiness without God, becoming a new person in Him, and evangelism.
The catchy pop/rock title track kicks off the disc- a good theme for Christian teens and youth. "Incomplete" follows, a song about someone who lives each day lonely and searching for something and is incomplete inside without Jesus. "Company Car" is a fun and bouncy tune in the same vein as "Chem6A" that is bound to be wedged quite firmly inside your head. Other highlights on the album include the slow, groove-driven ballad "Amy's Song" and "Sooner or Later," a song style reminiscent of "Life, Love, and Why" from their previous project.
New Way to Be Human is one of the best discs of the year so far, and I can't recommend checking it out quite enough.- Review date: 3/29/99, written by John DiBiase
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