Sound — 10
This band has come a long way since they put out their self-titled debut CD. That CD wasn't bad, it just doesn't have the polish that the newer music has. "Five Score and Seven Years Ago" has the ovbious radio sheen of a major-label release produced by Howard Benson, which isn't surprising, because that's what this album is. The album is their most diverse to date, with the acapella opener "Plead The Fifth", the Norma Jean-esque intro to "I Need You", the back porch country-folk of "Faking My Own Suicide" and the sprawling, 11-minute epic closer "Deathbed". This album is good particularly for those who enjoy Weezer, Beach Boys, or All-American Rejects.
Lyrics — 10
Relient K have always written very witty, self-aware lyrics. For those who enjoy lyrics about mythical dragons and wizards, this isn't your album. The topics range from Jesus to women to friendship to being alone in the world. This seems to be the first album on which Matthew Theissen has exercised his vocabulary in a way that truly serves the song, too. He sings with a subdued passion that you don't typically encounter in today's nasally-fixated punk scene. The lyrics fit the music part by part and never disappoint.
Overall Impression — 10
Of their peers in the pop-punk and Christian scenes, Releint K compares quite favorably with bands like (+44), Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects, and with Christian artists such as Hawk Nelson, Stellar Kart and Switchfoot (whose singer, Jon Foreman, guests on "Five Score"'s closer, "Deathbed"). I find the most impressive songs are the songs where Relient K flexed their collective creative muscle and reached for something they hadn't tried before. Songs like "Deathbed", "Bite My Tongue", "Give", "Forgiven" and "Faking My Own Suicide" are the best ones, in my humble opinion. The only thing I hated was that it didn't have more songs! If it were stolen I would buy 2 more copies, so that if it were stolen again, I wouldn't have to go to the store a third time. This album kicks the average Good Charlotte/Simple Plan disc in the teeth! My favorite of 2007!