Switchfoot: A Popular Band with a Christian Message

Casual fans of the music of Switchfoot may not have realized that the group is a Christian rock band. Hits such as “Meant to Live” and “Dare You to Move” from the 2003 hit album, “The Beautiful Letdown,” have Christian undertones but don’t necessarily hit the listener over the head with religion.

Their pop sound and catchy lyrics may have suggested to some that they were the same as all of the other pop/rock bands, high on sound and vocal impact but lacking in substance. However Switchfoot has always been able to combine Christian rock values with mainstream sounds in the past, and their new album, “Nothing is Sound,” takes a stronger stance than ever on the side of social conservatism.

At the risk of alienating a mainstream media and popular culture that is too often skeptical of anything wholesome or Christian, Switchfoot has stayed true to their beliefs and are a refreshing band for those who love rock music but are often disgusted by the vulgar and misleading lyrics the genre so often entails.

Switchfoot isn’t concerned with being stigmatized by secularists; they take strong stances against promiscuous sex and the way in which our society markets sex in general. Take these lyrics from “Easier Than Love,”

Sex is industry,
The CEO of corporate policy
Skin-deep ministry,
Suburban youth, hail you’re so called liberty

Every advertising antic,
Our banner waves with a neon glow
War and love become pedantic,
We wage love with a mistletoe

For those who have been frustrated with the way in which society tends to glorify the immoral, Switchfoot’s “The Blues” does an excellent job at examining the disillusionment many of their listeners feel,

Are you discontented?
Have you been pushing hard?
Have you been throwing down, this broken house of cards?

It’ll be a day like this one,
When the world caves in,
When the world caves in,

Is there nothing left now?
Nothing left to sing?
Are there any left now, who haven’t kissed the enemy?

Is this the new year, or just another desperation?

Ah…

Does justice ever find you?
Do the wicked never lose?
Is there any other song, to sing beside these blues?

While the album delves into loneliness and the struggle to maintain a moral life while facing societal pressures, make no mistake about it, Switchfoot still has hope that the problems and desolation many of their fans face will eventually rectify themselves. Take the song, “We Are One Tonight,”

I don’t want to fight about it now
With the whole world upside-down
I don’t have a soul to trust in now
With the whole world upside-down

We are one tonight
And we’re singing it out!
We are one tonight!
And we’re dreaming out loud!

And the world is flawed
But these scars will heal

We are one, tonight!

I guess in the end it all comes down to the yearning for something more. Many of us feel emptiness, but how do we go about trying to fill that space? Switchfoot decries the sex driven efforts of corporate America and social promiscuity as a means to fulfillment, which is a striking departure from the standards of popular music today. They provide a voice for those who strive to feel complete while maintainting moral clarity. Perhaps Switchfoot sums up the desires of its audience best in “Lonely Nation,”

I want more than my desparation
I want more than my lonely nation

With their cross-promotional appeal and steadfast consistency to core Christian values, the future looks to be more than ‘sound’ for a band that continues to garner success.

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