STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12745-10385 LABEL: Fierce! RTD4565 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 3 RELEASE DATE: 2005-04-21
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Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Few people in CCM were quite expecting the sudden explosion of popularity that has seen Switchfoot's 'The Beautiful Letdown' sell a staggering three million copies. Now that that's happened, an enterprising record company has given us this great opportunity to ponder on Switchfoot's early years. The band's 'The Legend Of Chin' (1997), 'New Way To Be Human' (1999) and 'Learning To Breathe' (2000) are hereby offered in a value for money package. 'The Legend Of Chin' has one particular highlight in "Chem 6A" with some clever early lyric writing from Jon Foreman and though the production from Charlie Peacock has little of the layered textures of later work, this is still a fascinating snapshot of an embryonic band. By the time 'New Way To Be Human' emerged the group were into more of a power pop sound and were stretching out theologically with references to Augustine and Kierkegaard in the lucid lyric writing while 'Learning To Breathe' was their most inventive and creatively satisfying album so far. Some critics suggested it was a little too Radiohead to be entirely credible but on a song like "Love Is The Movement" with a full on gospel choir accompaniment and with images of frozen, statue-like people, no doubt inspired by CS Lewis' The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, the effect is stunning. If you haven't got these first three albums, this package is for you.
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