Relient K
Collapsible Lung


3.0
good

Review

by TreblinkAlive USER (3 Reviews)
June 28th, 2013 | 82 replies


Release Date: 07/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Much like when a child unknowingly drops his first expletive, all we can do with this album is find amusement in it and ask that they not do it again.

When I first heard 2009’s Forget and not Slow Down I was living in Cebu, Philippines. My, at the time, long distance relationship with my high school sweetheart was looking more and more regrettable as time went on and I was becoming progressively more of an insufferable egoist. It is safe to say that Forget came at the ideal time. It was an album which completely revolved around the theme of dropping the ball catastrophically in a relationship and - more importantly - moving on even though you’re the offending party. I was surprised to find that, even though Forget and not Slow Down was an even further cry than Five Score and Seven Years Ago from the pop-punk sound they had refined to near perfection by their fourth full-length Mmhmm, longtime and new fans alike shared my sentiments. In 2009 Relient K graced listener’s ears with what many considered to be their most emotive, mature, and distinguished album, so hopes were high for the follow up. Nearly four years later, enter Collapsible Lung.

Relient K did us the favor of telling the listener exactly what they’re getting into with the upbeat and optimistic opening track “Don’t Blink.” This is not a rock album; this is not a punk album. Collapsible Lung is unwaveringly and unashamedly a pop album. Following “Don’t Blink,” is the fun and incredibly danceable “Boomerang.” “Well,” I imagine Matt Thiessen thinking proudly to himself “if this one doesn’t get mainstream radio play, time to consider a career change.” “Boomerang,” and the third track “Lost Boy” are obvious attempts at appealing to the radio crowd, but they do succeed in their intention of being slickly produced and catchy to the extent of placing themselves on an incessant loop in your head during menial everyday tasks. Unfortunately catchiness alone does not constitute musical excellence, especially alongside the rest of Relient K’s admirable discography.

The album gets more interesting with the synth-laden “If I Could Take You Home.” Thiessen, lyrically, continues not to say anything of substance, but musically there’s more here that’s deserving of your attention than with the past three tracks. It’s still very poppy, but it’s a more relaxed and atmospheric tune that makes for a unique listen. “Can’t Complain” returns the album to a mainstream radio feel, this time in something akin to the musical stylings of Jason Mraz. With the upbeat acoustic guitar carrying most of the song and Thiessen’s lighthearted vocals accentuating the attitude of his lyrics, “Can’t Complain” makes for an enjoyable listen, but nothing as memorable as, say, Mraz’s “I’m Yours.”

The album decides to take a turn for the strange when “Gloria” kicks in. None of the rest of the album, or any of Relient K’s albums for that matter, showed evidence of British influence (save their overt profession of love for Tears for Fears in “In Love With the 80s,”) but this song sounds like it could have come straight from the motherland, barring Matt Thiessen’s American accent. It’s a worthy enough track, but simply doesn’t fit in with the album at all. “PTL” follows up with lyrics about regretting an apparent stint of promiscuity and one night stands. “I never meant to be your Part Time Lover, then again I've never been a full time man,” Thiessen explains in what is, seemingly, the most personal and enjoyable track so far. A few seconds into “Disaster” one has to wonder how many times Thiessen listened to Dog Problems and Aim and Ignite before writing what could have been filler (but likeable filler, nonetheless) on either one.

The album closes with three of its strongest tracks. Specifically, the folk-infused, heartfelt, and heartache inducing "Sweeter" is the closest the album comes in ten tracks to being something more than lyrical cotton candy. This lyrical shift is continued and amplified in the closing title track. “Collapsible Lung” is simultaneously the most meaningful, uplifting, and musically enjoyable track on the album. Perhaps they should have saved it for a follow up release, because it’s possibly one of the best tracks the band has ever created.

No, my hopes for this album were not rewarded and my worries were not assuaged. Instead, with Collapsible Lung, Relient K gifts us with the aural equivalent of a bag of potato chips: addictive, tasty, and fitting only as a snack. You won’t find the depth or honesty of Forget nor the spiritual musings and unforgettable choruses of Mmhmm. Collapsible Lung will not meet you where you are emotionally and help you sift through the debris of life’s destructive mistakes; however this album may be the soundtrack to some of life’s more carefree and happy moments, and perhaps that’s all Relient K wanted.


user ratings (60)
Chart.
2.6
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
TreblinkAlive
June 28th 2013


41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Stream is here: http://www.pandora.com/station/play/1411412518987239135/1117794995935

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2013


50960 Comments


>Treb

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

demigod!
June 28th 2013


45267 Comments


lame band good review pos

Digging: Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

TreblinkAlive
June 28th 2013


41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha. With 61 reviews under your belt, that's pretty inarguable.

TreblinkAlive
June 28th 2013


41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, Demigod.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
June 28th 2013


20162 Comments


Band isn't lame at all but not sure how I feel about this album. Review was an entertaining read nice job

Digging: Johann Sebastian Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

henryChinaski
June 28th 2013


2848 Comments


I'm really disappointed by this. It is so boring compared to Forget And Not Slow Down.

Fieryfenderz
June 28th 2013


1484 Comments


Matt Thiessen needs to get depressed again. As terrible as that is to say, his best stuff has come when he's heartbroken.

silentstar
June 28th 2013


2283 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

excellent review. you basically summed up my thoughts and I'll assume many others.

still digging If I Could Take You Home. it's the odd one out but it works well enough

ABjordanMM
June 28th 2013


1453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I could take you home, sweeter, and the title track are all pretty solid.

cvlts
June 28th 2013


8986 Comments


great review for your 2nd. sucks to see this is a dud, FANSD was a great album

ABjordanMM
June 28th 2013


1453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

He says the next album they make with be "punk-rock". I guess he just wanted to make a pop album just cause.

TreblinkAlive
June 28th 2013


41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really appreciate the positive comments. ABjordan, I saw that on Wikipedia. Do you by any chance have a link to the actual interview?

TreblinkAlive
June 28th 2013


41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nevermind. My bad. Here it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gs-Y3JxF2O8

YoYoMancuso
June 28th 2013


11224 Comments


used to dig this band a little bit. review is great.

skoopy48
June 28th 2013


1596 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

That summary is perfect.

Digging: Horse Feathers - House With No Home

toxin.
June 28th 2013


12806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

we'll see how i feel about this, decent review

toxin.
June 28th 2013


12806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

can't complain really has a jason mraz feel, but i'm enjoying this so far. it's not forget and not slow down but there was no chance of that in the first place

Toondude10
June 28th 2013


4448 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Listening to it now, and boy have they changed over the years! I actually kinda like it.

Digging: Thrice - The Alchemy Index Vols. I & II

toxin.
June 28th 2013


12806 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yeah i'm feeling this will be a 3.5-4 for me, i'm supposed to review this anyways

also is this the best received post-2007 TBT review on sputnik



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