Relient K's fifth CD is a diverse modern rock album that's so varied at times it sounds like a mix tape. "Take the Fifth" pulses with lush, Beach Boys-y harmonies, "Forgiven" is a piano-driven tune that sounds like early U2, and the dueling guitar feedback that opens "I Need You" displays deeper punk rock heaviosity. "Faking My Own Suicide"--a great tune powered by Death Cabby vocals, ironic yet playful lyrics, and a killer classic rock organ--seems destined for a movie soundtrack. The true standout is of course "Deathbed," an intense eleven minute ode to regret co-starring Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. Relient K have not only weathered lineup changes (the bassist and guitarist are new here) and mainstream success without "selling out" and foregoing their introspective messages of faith and hope. But they've made the best album in their career in the process. --Mike McGonigal
The album is a departure of sorts for the pop-punk band. For starters, there are some love songs - happy ones. "I always write about what I'm going through and I can't avoid the fact that I'm just really happy and there are some good things going on," says lead singer/guitarist/pianist Matt Thiessen. This happy state of mind lights up the exuberant first single 'Must Have Done Something Right'. "This song represents something that I've wanted to create for a long time," he explains. "It's not a political commentary or a tear jerking emotion-piece, it's just a feel good, fun song. Written at 3 a.m. with a smirk on my face, the song turned out to be something that you can tap your foot and smile to."