BEST FOURTH RELEASE 2005 Award Co-Winner!
Best Fourth Release ’05 was one of our toughest decisions, and in the end we had to make a tie, because both Switchfoot and Relient K deserved this Award.
With the release of Mmhmm, Relient K literally perfected their sound— in fact, it’s an amazing musical transformation. Yes, in many ways they’re still the Relient K of old; but in many ways they’re also new. There are still strong Pop/Punk/Rock influences on this album, but this time Relient K is simply Rocking more than ever. Talented musician and lead singer Matt Thiessen truly comes into his own on this album as well on the keyboards, piano, and guitar.
In addition, this entire CD feels very coherent; indeed, many of its songs actually flow into one another without a pause. And all of the tracks on this album just resonate musically, more than any of their previous work.
And, humorous track titles notwithstanding, lyrically they are even more mature than they were on previous records. (Of course, they still have cute songs like “My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend”— after all, it’s the cute songs that everyone fell in love with in the first place — but the majority of the tracks on Mmhmm are actually very honest and mature. Then again, they’ve always been able to mix both cuteness and maturity in their albums; it’s one of the reasons they’re unique.)
The bottom line is, if you were only going to get one Relient K album so far [through ’05], this would be it.
Mmhmm begins with “The One I’m Waiting For”. Its message is to relax and not worry so much about relationships; it’ll all work out how it should in the end, so “…live your life for those that you love.”
Follows is “Be My Escape”, with lyrics that focus on breaking complacency.
“High Of 75” is a cute song that insightfully quips, “…it’s funny how you find you enjoy your life when you’re happy to be alive.”
“I So Hate Consequences” (featuring Paul Bunton of and Kevin Kiehn of The Wedding) is musically a quite hard rocker, lyrically speaking of making (and wanting to get away from) mistakes.
“The Only Thing Worse Than Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One” (!) has the longest track name on the album… and the song itself is actually the shortest and fastest-paced.
“My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend” is a really great song that’s cute and funny, but sincere. In it Matt thanks his girl’s ex-boyfriend, because if it wasn’t for him breaking up with her, Matt wouldn’t now have her as his girlfriend.
“More Than Useless” encourages with the message that when you fail, and when you think that you’re not good enough (or even any good at all), there is still hope.
“Which To Bury, Us Or The Hatchet” (again featuring David Bunton of ) is next. Its strong message, intense vocals, and surprisingly layered music make it the best track on the album. And to top it off, there’s an amazing, seamless transition from it into the next song (“Let It All Out”).
And “Let It All Out” (featuring ) is a beautiful track that shows how good can come out of even painful situations.
“Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been” describes being sorry for the past, and being ready to move on and do what you need to do.
“Maintain Consciousness” is a rather humorous song about fighting laziness and “A.D.D.”-type mentalities. Musically, there is no pause between this track and the next.
“This Week The Trend” is about the struggle to get through life and mature at the same time.
“Life After Death And Taxes” (once more featuring David Bunton of ) is the second-best track on Mmhmm. It’s got an , hard-rocking sound (the heaviest of the album), intense vocals, and an excellent message.
And finally, “When I Go Down” (featuring ), another excellent and beautiful song, closes off the album in perfect style.
[: This album also contains a pregap hidden track, consisting of about 18 seconds of the background music and vocals from the end of the track “My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend”. ]
In all, Mmhmm is an excellent album, and definitely worthy of Co-Best Fourth Release.