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Music Review: Relient K – Five Score Seven Years Ago

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Five Score And Seven Years Ago is Relient K’s fifth album in seven years. It is a fallow-up to their previous album Mmhmm. This album has been on The Billboard 200 at #6, and iTunes’ Top Albums chat at #3. This is their highest debut on both charts and sales to date. It's a wide array of music from vocals and instruments to an 11-minute track. They have also matured a little. This CD is not chucked full of their puns. Though, be guaranteed, Relient K has not lost their quirky sense of humor.

“Pleading The Fifth (A Cappella)” is an intriguing mix. No instruments just the lead singers vocals coming out with the kick drum and the snare drum, etc. This song has erratic lyrics about a conspiracy behind Lincoln’s assassination. This song is a tie in with the album title.

“Come Right Out And Say It” is about the time in a relationship that comes after spending a lot of time with each other. You come to that realize it will never work out, but since both have invested so much into the relationship, nobody wants to come right out and say it. Every one knows the feeling.

“I Need You” is a song about being lonely. It has a metaphor of a deserted island. "I feel like an empty cave or beach and I need something to fill the void,” Says lead singer Matt Thiessen. Dave Douglas, Relient K’s drummer, Josh Aeur, from PAX217, and Ned Brower, from Rooney, add their vocals, ranging from verses to the “who-o-o-a” backing vocals, to this song.

“The Best Thing” is a parody of Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day” song. It is about having a good relationship with your lover. It’s straight up positive, an “aw-shucks” song.

“Forgiven” is about someone blaming you for something that wasn’t accurate, and they weren’t so kind about telling you about it. But, you're going to forgive them and get on with life, and you hope they can do the same because the longer you sit and think about it the more torqued you become about it. So, if you just forgive you won’t have to go though all the heart-ache and gut wrenching pain every time you see that person.

The song says, “We’re all guilty of the same things,” what a true statement this is. When, they are yelling at you, all red-faced, and torqued about what you have done, you are just as mad at them for not getting the facts straight before coming to you about it.

“Must Have Done Something Right” is another straight up positive song. It's upbeat and happy, a fun little party song. Some of the lines are cheesy, but it is a cute little love song.

“Give Until There’s Nothing Left” is about trying to give more of yourself and being conscience of when you’re asking too much of other people.

“Devastation and Reform” is based upon Thiessen, lead singer for Relient K. The theory is that to make our lives more interesting, we sometimes create our own conflict. This song features a bullet mike, which makes their voices sound all mid-rangy and almost old radio like.

“I’m Taking You With Me” is about missing people while you're away but taking them with you in your heart and in your thoughts.

“Faking My Own Suicide” is based upon the movie Harold and Maude. Harold keeps staging his suicide in attempt to get his mom’s attention. Except this song is about getting a girl to give you the time of day. This is not an emo song, but a folky, bluegrass alt-country song.

“Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care” wasn’t really suppose to be on the record. It was a last second thing, a joke. Thiessen was recording “Deathbed” with Mark Townsend, Relient K’s producer. They were working on something on the computer and Thiessen ended up playing “Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care.” He then begged Mark to let him put the track on the record.

“Bite My Tongue” is about bitting your tongue. Most people say things before thinking about them. Most people never learn how to get to that point and jut say what they think. This song is trying to make you think a little more before you speak and bite your tongue. Hopefully that will make people not hate you as much.

“Up And Up” is a song that is better and more positive. Thiessen realized that he writes a lot of negative songs. So every record he tries to sit back and think – is he just writing songs that are going to make people feel better about themselves or is he writing songs for just himself? So, this one is trying to make you feel better about yourself.

“Deathbed” is a story about a man who is 74 and on his deathbed. He is looking back on his life. It has 115 tracks. John Foreman, from Switchfoot, sang one part for this song.

Five Score And Seven Years Ago gets a 4 out of 5 stars. I hope they continue to mature. Their group is like wine the more it ages the better it is. A special thanks to Relient K and everyone who puts their time into this record. It turned out great.

The band will preform on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on April 12th. For more information and tour dates, please visit: thier website and thier myspace profile page.

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About Cal Ell

  • Alan

    Hey… No offense, but it’s really hard to take you seriously when you don’t even spell check, you know? FYI, “To better my skills, and one day become a published author, and/or a reporter.” is not a sentence.