In what is surely the least necessary greatest hits compilation since the clearly oxymoronic The Essential Stabbing Westward (the only thing that should contain is a blank CD-R), San Diego's Switchfoot have released The Best Yet, a staggering 18 (!) tracks of what is purportedly the band's “best.”
Dubious to be sure, especially since the band–who are essentially Christian rock and, in that tradition, sound perpetually about 10 years beyond the times–has really only had two songs that could legitimately be classified as hits: 2003's “Meant to Live” and 2004's “Dare You to Move.” That doesn't stop delusions of grandeur, of course–the accompanying press release talks of “their ascendance into the rock pantheon.” That's right, not “ascent,” “ascendance.” I didn't think it was a word either, turns out it is, they're just using it incorrectly.
The press release seems almost self-conscious about the album's
inherently ridiculous nature, opening with: “For all their
achievements, including a half-dozen acclaimed albums (with global
cumulative sales of more than 5 million) and more than twice that many
signature chart singles and album tracks–Switchfoot has yet to release
a 'greatest hits' anthology.” Alright, first I'm hardly one to complain
about overusing em dashes–I used three in the previous paragraph, shit,
I just used another one and here comes one more–that is totally an
unnecessary em dash. A comma would have been fine! And why is greatest
hits in single quotation marks? Or quotation marks at all? Global
cumulative sales? Signature chart singles? What does it all mean?
deluxe edition (of course there's a deluxe edition, duh!) even has a
bonus DVD, to add to the fun. It's got the videos of most of those
songs, as well as sure-to-be insightful commentaries from the band.
“Hey, this video really meant a lot to us. We had a lot of film
shooting it. The director really captured what this song is about.” I
want to be watch it right now!
It's all clearly a cash grab on
the part of Columbia, who parted ways with Switchfoot earlier this
year. And perhaps the funniest thing about the album comes from its Wikipedia entry, and this awesome line: “Columbia Records,
the band's former Major Record label, was the mastermind behind
releasing the record, with heavy input concerning the tracklist coming
directly from the band itself.” Mastermind! That's totally the right word for it.