Five Score and Seven Years Ago
First Appeared in The Music Box, May 2007, Volume 14, #5
Written by Michael Cooney
Thu May 17, 2007, 06:00 AM CDT
There always has been something unashamedly different and inherently enjoyable about the music of Relient K. Emerging amidst the punk-pop trend of the late í90s, these five charming boys from Canton, Ohio managed to distinguish themselves from similar-sounding bands of the time, such as Blink-182 and Sum 41. Although Relient Kís base of fans was never quite as large as that of their contemporaries, the groupís consistently catchy hooks combined with its sincerely sweet vulnerability still managed to inspire a certain amount of devotion. With melodic hit singles like Be My Escape and Who I Am Hates Who Iíve Been, Relient K had carved out its own uniquely honest corner of the pop universe, and in the process it also had succeeded in finding a place in the hearts of 14-year-old girls around the world.
Given its achievements as well as what appeared to be its commitment to sculpting a distinctive identity, Relient Kís latest release Five Score and Seven Years Ago can only be viewed as one thing: a colossal disappointment. Under the heavy-handed influence of producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, The All-American Rejects), the band apparently has elected to abandon both its previous lyrical charm and its musical sensitivity in favor of constructing an album that sadly sounds just like everything else on the radio.
Five Score and Seven Years Ago has been hyped by Relient Kís record label as marking a more mature direction for the band. Unfortunately, whether it is due to the groupís sorely obvious efforts to create music that would appeal to a truly mass audience or simply because the album is its fifth studio effort in seven years ó hence its title ó the result is a collection of purely uninteresting, homogenized dribble. In fact, there practically isnít one attractive tune in the bunch, and several of the worn out hooks are nearly identical to those used years earlier by the likes of Blink-182 and Sum 41. Despite the bland staleness of Five Score and Seven Years Ago, however, it is precisely this quality of unimaginative regurgitation that may make it the most commercially viable work of the outfitís career. In short, Relient K can do much better, and here is some advice for anyone who already may have purchased Five Score and Seven Years Ago: Donít despair. The CD makes a nice coaster. Ĺ
Of Further Interest...
Five Score and Seven Years Ago is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box