Sound — 9
Relient K is not your traditional punk-pop band. They take their genre to new heights with this release. They take the power chord and not only beat the heck out of it, but they alter that pop punk sound into a pure rock, and sometimes almost jazzy feel. The overall sound on this album is beautiful. Wonderfully produced, and it still maintains a certain sloppy, raw edge to it. Not only are there influences from the punk pop scene, but there are also allusions to bands like Tears For Fears, and Jefferson Aeroplane, and other rock influences are evident as well. Overall, well mixed, and some pretty good guitar work.
Lyrics — 9
Matt T is a phenomenal songwriter. He takes topics we can all relate to and adds his own personal commentary on it. He's a master of putting a twist on a phrase. A true poet. The songs range from humorous, to painfully true, to life situations we've all at one point or another encountered. Not only does he discuss them, but though the music almost seems to find a solution. The band's sense of harmony and tone quality is evident though the whole album. Their vocals can range from soft and subtle, to flat out ear busting screaming. All in all, the vocals fit the music perfectly.
Overall Impression — 10
Relient K is not your run of the mill punk pop band. They are masters of their genre. They take what they do to new limits, and constantly push themselves. If I lost this album, I would go out that day and purchase a new one. This album was the soundtrack of my high school years, and brings back many wonderful memories. This is one of the top ten albums I would recommend to someone new to music. Highlights on the album include the opening track Chap Stick, Chap Lips, and things like Chemistry, I Am Understood, Jefferson Aeroplain, and just about every other track on the album really. The running themes and melodies on the album really put all the songs together. The only downers on the album are the obligatory filler track or two, but hey, they tried. Overall, Releint K did a phenomenal job on this record.