For Fans Of
It is a fan’s worst nightmare, one of their favourite bands releases an amazing album that receives no commercial acclaim prompting the group to follow up with music that swings towards mainstream expectations with great force.
This is unfortunately the case on Relient K’s new record ‘Collapsible Lung,’ maybe front man Matt Thiessen has been spending too much time making music with Owl City…
This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as the band have openly told fans to expect a pop record and they will likely follow up with a punk rock record, but when a band says "let us do pop and then we will give you punk," sirens should probably sound. The opening track ‘Don’t Blink’ attempts to ease the listener into the change by combining the Relient K "band sound," slightly rocky guitars and a driving beat, with the relaxed and melody heavy vocal lines that are built to be catchy.
By the time you reach ‘Can’t Complain’ however, it is clear the additional song-writers the band hired to help create this record were pulled straight from the song-writing team behind The Voice or something. Are they bad pop songs? Not entirely, you’ve heard worse, but the issue is the group seem a little out of their element, using far too many cliché whoa-ohs to convince us they are pop stars.
The finest moments come at the end when the gimmick seems to wear off and the group recover some emotion akin to their last record ‘Forget And Not Slow Down.’ ‘Sweeter’, a ballad the group have been performing live, is the album stand-out and one for the old fans, followed by the record’s title track, which picks up the pace slightly while still maintaining an air of melancholy.
If you really want to feel ill, check out the bonus track, which features Thissen‘s buddy Owl City who has clearly recycled some off-cuts from his last writing session with Carly Rae Jepsen. Horrible.
‘Collapsible Lung’ really isn’t a worthy follow-up to ‘Forget And Not Slow Down,’ but then again Relient K aren’t trying to make it one. They warned us it would be a pop record so really once you press play it’s on you.
1. Don’t Blink
3. Lost Boy
4. If I Could Take You Home
5. Can’t Complain
9. When You Were My Baby
11. Collapsible Lung