Relient K are probably one of the few christian bands that can also be grouped under the (pop) punk genre. Apart from that, their older material was notable for featuring tongue-in-cheek lyrics, cultural references all over the place, and a lot of songs about how God influences their lives, or so they say. Now I don't like Christianity as a whole, nor do I approve of any religion, but guess what? I actually like this record. It's definitely decent, albeit being a little less easy-spirited, it's still quite a fun listen now and then.
This light-hearted attitude towards life makes the band what it is. When Matt Thiessen sings about how life is actually great, and jokingly refers to his girl's ex-boyfriend saying "Thanks for hooking me up" and remains down-to-earth, it's when this band is at its best. It just makes me want to dance and sing and gives me that happy vibe that everyone wants. High of 75 is a slightly too cheesy attempt to give God the credit for a nice life, although I wouldn't go as far as to say I love God for doing the same, but they make their point and that is, life isn't all that bad if we love each other. It's funny how you find you enjoy your life when you're happy to be alive, as Matt states.
When Relient K turns to God directly, however, they can get a little overly sappy. The pretty long track When I Go Down is exemplary of this. Sure, it's not a bad track, and sure, you have all the rights you wanna to believe in God, but being this vocal about it and saying I'm sorry to this ghost up in heaven... I don't know. I find that to be a little too ostentatious. Let it all Out is a downright lame piano ballad in the same vein, probably the worst song on here. It's just too much sap and too little humour.
The bad thing about this album though is that that "We love God" posterboy attitude is kinda written all over. Sure, I like the music and their sense of humour, but on Be My Escape, the single, despite being insanely catchy (I could sing it along everytime), the piano ending kills what otherwise is an excellent song. I know it's how these guys do their music, but it gets annoying when they kill another song with an ending, namely I So Hate Consequences. The first two and a half minutes are great, but the last minute and the piano ending are just a little too much, like you've been watching romantic comedies for too long.
The only song on which I can stand that attitude is probably also the best song on the album. More Than Useless is the name of the game, and it's probably the most faithful song I've ever heard. I don't know what makes this so different from the rest, maybe it's just me being fanboyish, but I seem to like that attitude of "we're here for a reason, this ain't all pointless, we're still good for something." I'd just like to believe it's true.
The rest of the songs is a little in the same vein as Be My Escape. Some are better, some are worse, but it's all reliant on the same formula. Hate it or love it, or like me, just don't care and listen to it when you feel like it. The only problem I have with this formula, is that I have to be in a good mood to listen to this. Relient K isn't something you can listen to non-stop, it'll just tire you after a while, the replay value is kind of mediocre. But despite the circumstantial nature of the album, it's still a refreshing listen from a band quite ahead of the pack in their genre. Where bands like Fall Out Boy and such tend to overindulge on the "I lost my gf boohoo" attitude, these guys show that you can also play pop punk in a rather upbeat and happy fashion. They're a totally different sound in a kind of saturated and overhyped genre. If you're into this, check this album out. You won't be disappointed.
Good review, although I disagree about the "lame piano ballad" part. Personally I love Let It All Out, it's very moving. It doesn't have to just be seen as a song about God; there's a strong vein of struggling to overcome (read: let out) the failures or shortcomings in your life.
And today I will trust you with confidence
Of a man who's never known defeat
But tomorrow, upon hearing what I did
I will stare at you in disbelief
Oh inconsistent me
Crying out for consistency
Take this part, for instance. Just imagine promising your parents you wouldn't do something, and then turning around and doing it. Tomorrow, when your parents have found out and confront you about it, you feel guilty and can't believe you went back on your word.
Anyway, I love that song, I can really relate to it.This Message Edited On 02.26.07
When every song is about God you know an album is gonna suck damn hard.
I guess you'd say something as ignorant as that if you listen to shitty Emo music b/c it's the complete opposite. Dumbass. Cheers.
Not only is his remark idiotic, but so is yours. Stop provoking people with inane comments like that. He may be wrong (and that's coming from an atheist, but it's also apparent he hasn't heard the album), but you're not exactly making a steady argument.
As far as this goes, it's great for what it is, but far from the best they can do. Their progression is much like Fall Out Boy. Pop punk -> Pop rock. Except.. Christian.. and always less punk..This Message Edited On 02.26.07
You're talkin' like I do this all the time. I know what you mean though. I've seen this band in concert with a cousin, still not the kind of band I'd listen too even if they weren't Christian-based. It had to be said though.
Not sure why the songs all end up singing about God in the end after making it sound like it's about a girl. Probably b/c there's some connection between the point of the song? I don't really know. W/e.This Message Edited On 02.26.07
i'm sorry but i love this cd. and i dont think any of you really get it. their are some songs blatantly about god and other's blatantly about a girl. their is no trickery. if you want trickery try Lifehouse. their videos always portray a girl when the lyrics read like it's about god (which they are quoted as saying most of their songs are about god).
the ballads are just beautiful and mature.
really the closest they get to referring to god in most of the ballads is "when you touched my heavy heart you made it light." that's not so bad eh?This Message Edited On 02.27.07
yeah i'm a little wrong on that but i see nothing wrong with expressing your belief in god in a song. you can't hate them for that alone. well i guess you could but whatever. it's not like he's drooling jesus' name or anything, just talks about god every once in a while.
I'm glad someone other than myself finally did a review for this, because it deserves alot more credit than it actually gets. While I disagree with the people who say that it's not about God or Christianity at all, I agree with the statement that there is no trickery. Be My Escape was about Salvation all along, not just at the end. When I Go Down is blatantly Christian, especially during the final section with the male choir.
I don't like Let It All Out either. It just seems out of place on an album full of energy. However, I find the piano sections in Be My Escape and I So Hate Consequences to be extremely eloquent and well-placed. Decent review. Although you spent way too much time complaining about its Christianity and not enough talking about the music, I thought.
I suppose it all depends on the mindset you have when you first start listening to the song. I, who knew they were a Christian band when I first started listening to them, anticipated it and thus I could assume where Matt was directing his lyrics. I can see how it could seem deceptive to someone hearing the song on the radio. But I do not believe taht deception was intentional; if RK didn't want people to know they were Christian the lyrics in the piano part of Be my Escape wouldn't be there and When I Go Down wouldn't have been included on the CD.
I got all of their albums at once, knowing they were a Christian band. But that doesn't change the fact that while some songs are blatantly about a girl, and some blatantly about God, the meanings sometimes get muddled and deceptive, like Who I Am Hates Who I've Been. There is no way one can be sure if it's about God or not, especially since it's following close behind Which To Bury, Us Or The Hatchet? A continuation of story or playing off that songs meaning could have been a clever device, but it's ultimately about God.
I can sort of see your point but the only song where I'm still not absolutely sure about the subject matter would be "Getting Into You" Like you said, Who I am.. is ultimately about God which is made more apparent the more you listen to it and pay attention to the lyrics. And like I said before, I don't think this was intentional at all, like Lifehouse sometimes is. (thx to foreverendeared for pointing that out earlier)
Wow I had no idea I had rated this a 4.5 earlier. Which is strange since in my review I only gave it a 4.