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Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 6.5
Production 9.25
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 85%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.44
Musicianship 8.29
Lyrics 7.77
Production 8.42
Creativity 7.96
Lasting Value 8.15
Reviewer Tilt 8.4
Average: 82%
Inside AP.net

Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago

Reviewed by: Tony Pascarella (02/28/07)
Relient K - Five Score and Seven Years Ago
Release Date: March 6, 2007
Record Label: Capitol Records

Relient K's history dates back to their 1998 demo, All Work and No Play, which resulted in their signing to Gotee Records. After three albums on Gotee, the band made a jump to the heavy-hitting Capitol Records to release Mmhmm in 2004. Now featuring two new members (guitarist Jon Schneck and bassist John Warne), the band seems ready to take on anything. After selling roughly 800,000 units of Mmhmm, Relient K returns to center stage with their dominant major-label follow-up titled Five Score and Seven Years Ago.

Relient K went with a different face behind the boards for this record, alternative rock mega-producer Howard Benson. As with most Benson-produced albums, Five Score and Seven Years Ago hits hard and fast in all the right places, with quality tone. "I Need You" is one of the speediest numbers we have heard from the band. Matt Thiessen delivers his message with impassioned urgency as Dave Douglas prominently backs him up. One noticeably different factor on this record is Douglas' contribution; drum parts are considerably fuller than on previous records, giving the band more of an "epic" musically.

As has always been the case, Five Score and Seven Years is saturated with syrupy choruses. Some of the lyrics are corny, but the Relient K trumps the cheese with heartfelt honesty. For example, on "Must Have Done Something Right," the album's lead single, Thiessen opens with "We should get jerseys 'cause we make a good team/but yours would look better than mine 'cause you're out of my league." Cheesimus maximus, but this is anthemic, good-natured pop music for the good-natured people of the world. "Faking My Own Suicide" comes off as serious thematically, but its tongue-in-cheek approach dances somewhere between humor and sadness; stylistically, it's reminiscent of some of the more methodical songs on Mmhmm.

Setting aside the amusing twelve seconds of "Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care," the next track is a stellar effort. "Bite My Tongue" is a single in the making, with enough musical manic-depression for an entire mental ward. It is catchy, instrumentally entertaining, and lyrically solid. The (pardon the wordplay) uplifting "Up and Up" deals with self-betterment before leading into the 11-minute marathon, "Deathbed." The piano-heavy track tells the chilling narrative of an elderly patient dying from lung cancer. There's no hidden track here, it happens to be an epic tale that tugs at your heartstrings like never before, replete with enough strings to fill an entire orchestra pit.

No one who has been anticipating this album will be disappointed. The change of producer has not dumbed down the music at all; this is the Relient K that you all know and love, just bigger and louder than ever before. It expands on the happier (yet musically grittier) side of Mmhmm without losing any of the band's trademark fun. Relient K have always been "that guy" who melts the girl's by saying all the romantic things she wants to hear, and they have comfortably settled into their success. Don't get your panties in a bunch over a score that might be "too low." Relient K consistently outdo themselves, and Five Score and Seven Years Ago sets the bar higher yet. I adore this album for what it is, and I think you will too. Break out a smile, hug your (cute next-door) neighbor, and feel good about life for the next 51 minutes.

Buy Relient K's Five Score and Seven Years Ago on iTunes

Track List01. Plead the Fifth
02. Come Right Out and Say It
03. I Need You
04. The Best Thing
05. Forgiven
06. Must Have Done Something Right
07. Give
08. Devastation and Reform
09. I'm Taking You With Me
10. Faking My Own Suicide
11. Crayons Can Melt On us For All I Care
12. Bite My Tongue
13. Up and Up
14. Deathbed
Listen to Relient KMyspace | AP.net Profile | Official Site
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 117
09:03 PM on 02/28/07
#2
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Good review, I would have bumped lyrics up to a 7.5 and creativity to an 8, but that's just me, I agree with the majority of the content in the review.
09:13 PM on 02/28/07
#3
TheHeretic
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Very solid and catchy album. Great effort.
09:14 PM on 02/28/07
#4
Say Hello 87
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haha, honestly...im not even a huge fan of relient k but since reading this ill buy this record and see them live, thanks much
09:19 PM on 02/28/07
#5
sweetfootaction
Cake-eater
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Excellent review! I haven't listened to this and I'm still waiting til tuesday to pick this up. I've waited this long, I think I can go a few more days.

Side note: In their live show I wish that they'd play a few more old songs like "Hello McFly" or "My Girlfriend". I know that they've said that they're not big on the old stuff anymore, but being a classic fan I appreciate all their stuff from the beginning.
09:26 PM on 02/28/07
#6
MGTrolling
BroeknDC
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Totally, I've been a fan of this band since 2000, when I saw them play the wee-stage at Sunshine Fest in Minnesota. I can appreciate why they try to stay away from real old stuff: it's good but I'd imagine most casual Relient K fans aren't familiar with their early Gotee albums. They exude so much passion and it's great that they've continued to strive for that in each release and see their improvement.
09:26 PM on 02/28/07
#7
C480RG
Jason Erow
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this is the first time since sadie hawkins dance that ive been really excited for this release. this album should do damn wonders for them.
09:27 PM on 02/28/07
#8
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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I saw em live at some Christian fest in like 2001 and they played all that goofy shit and even covered Backstreet Boys lolol
09:28 PM on 02/28/07
#9
jhennis
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haha, honestly...im not even a huge fan of relient k but since reading this ill buy this record and see them live, thanks much
why the hell would you go pick up an album because some kid in his parents basement said he liked it...download it, and then if you like it put it on your ipod.
09:31 PM on 02/28/07
MGTrolling
BroeknDC
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I hope you're kidding dude....
09:32 PM on 02/28/07
Roboman
Don't Mind If I Didn't
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why the hell would you go pick up an album because some kid in his parents basement said he liked it...download it, and then if you like it put it on your ipod.

Yeah, wooooonderful philosophy you have there, bro.
09:33 PM on 02/28/07
keeplioving
sell my old clothes
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why the hell would you go pick up an album because some kid in his parents basement said he liked it...download it, and then if you like it put it on your ipod.

what the hell is wrong with him supporting them? I've bought some albums based on reviews/suggestions from friends, and most of the time I'm not let down. if you're broke, then no, I wouldn't suggest it. but why not? just let him be.
09:41 PM on 02/28/07
sweetforever
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very well written review. very fun album
09:41 PM on 02/28/07
C480RG
Jason Erow
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why the hell would you go pick up an album because some kid in his parents basement said he liked it...download it, and then if you like it put it on your ipod.

your probably one of those people who complain when their favorite bands dont get put on a great tour too, arent you?
09:48 PM on 02/28/07
dakinemaui1983
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you gave relient k an 85 percent and The Higher like a 40... thats embarrassing.. check yourself
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