Relient K has long been the court jester of Christian pop punk. When you see a song title like "The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One," your mind automatically shouts, "Matt Thiessen!" While this CD includes "Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care," Matthew has been busy writing love songs lately. Good ones, in fact. However, my favorite songs are when he digs inside and shares his struggles and prayers. We've seen it before with superb songs like "Getting Into You," "Be My Escape" and "I So Hate Consequences." Now we get the incredibly catchy, and insightful, "Forgiven:"
And you can't see past the blood on my hands / To see that you've been aptly damned / To fail and fail again / Cause we're all guilty of the same things / We think the thoughts whether or not we see them through / And I know that I have been forgiven / And I just hope you can forgive me too
"Devastation and Reform" burns its way into your brain musically as Thiessen laments,
I feel like I was born / To devastation and reform / Destroying everything I loved / And the worst part is / I pull my heart out, reconstruct / And in the end it's nothing but / The shell of what I had when I first started / Thank you God / For giving me the insight / So I might make / These wrongs right / If and when / There ever is a next time / Cuz failure is a blessing in disguise
And for those who think Relient K must be compromising their message because they're doing well in the mainstream market, take 11 minutes to listen to the epic "Deathbed," featuring guest Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) as the voice of Jesus at the end. Thiessen takes on the persona of an elderly cancer patient looking back at life, including the cry of his youth:
Jesus, please forgive me of my crimes / Sanctify this withered heart of mine / Stay with me until my life is through / And on that day please take me home with you
Relient K has created numerous memorable songs, and three consecutive gold records, but I don't think there's any doubt that Five Score and Seven Years Ago is their best overall CD ever. All thumbs up!
Visit Relient K.