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NEW WAY TO BE HUMAN (1999)
New Way to be Human - Click to view! Switchfoot's sophomore album brings many new delights for the listener, and is more focused and stylized than their first album. These California surfers came up with a song which was undoubtedly the anthem of this past summer, "New Way to be Human", but also went much farther, creating a whole album about this topic. Their blend of alternative rock starts the song with this weird noise and three little bells, and develops into a chorus of crunchy guitars singing "there's a new way to be human", and finally climaxing in "You're a new way to be human ~ Where my humanity bends ~ To a new way to be human ~ Redemption begins." The disc focuses on the New Way to be Human throughout, further elaborating on the message of the title track. "Incomplete" tells of our need to rely on God to "let yourself be found!" The first ballad of the disc, "Sooner or Later", begins with the emptiness without Christ that one feels and climaxes to full-blast guitars singing, "I throw it all away ~ With everything to gain ~ And I'm taking the leap ~ With dreams of sinking." With a couple fun horns throughout the song, "Company Car" is a quirky song rejoicing in the "Company Car" that Jesus gives us. Jonathan Foreman's personal ballad, "Let that be Enough" is a highlight of the disc, very plain and simple, contemplating the mysterious ways God works, and how we don't know His secret plans. Starting with some quirky sounds from the far east, "Something More" tells of the story of Augustine realizing that "There's gotta be something more ~ Than what I'm living for ~ I'm crying out to you." It's my favorite song on the disc, with the loud guitars, simple lyrics, and silly noises at the start and end. In worship to God, "Only Hope" tells simply of surrendering our life to God. The next song is "Amy's Song", and Amy is "out to start a fire", to ignite people with the Holy Spirit. Loud, crunchy guitars again define "I Turn Everything Over", again talking of giving oneself up as a New Way to be Human. And finally "Under the Floor" quietly ends the album, emphasizing that God is everywhere. New Way to be Human is a fun album that emphasizes the joy, struggles, and explores life in Christ.
- Dan Ficker
June 1999
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