At this point, Relient K is what dc Talk was a few years ago. Not many in the Christian music industry can match their popularity and success. They make listening to Christian music "cool" to all your friends. Man, even your friends love them too. Yep, three years at a national level, and these guys have immortalized themselves in the Christian music industry.
As for me? I love them. It's incredible watching how huge these guys get. Not only that, but watching their music evolve and get better with each and every album - they are phenomenal. And Matt Thiessen's skills as a songwriter are topnotch and still improving. So I'm going to ride this train as long as it continues moving, and I hope it never reaches the station.
Everything Relient K has touched up to this point has been gold. Everything. No exceptions. And this year for Christmas, they offer us their next attempt at reaching perfection, this time in the form of a Christmas album entitled (hilariously enough) Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand. And not only that, but it comes with a free copy of my pick for album of the year, Two Lefts Don't Make a Right... But Three Do. (It's packaged with the fifth and final cover of the disc.)
But is it just a gimmick to capitalize on what is becoming one of the most successful acts in Christian music history? Who knows? But if you take this Christmas offering at face value, this is truly a work of art. Relient K has outdone themselves again. This just may be perfection.
The album includes seven wonderful renditions of Christmas classics including "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Deck the Halls," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Ah, but it wouldn't be Relient K without a little twist, would it? So, why not make the chorus of "Twelve Days of Christmas" go a little something like… Well, what's a partridge? And what's a pear tree? Well, I don't know. So, please don't ask me. But I can bet those are terrible gifts to get.
But Relient K shows that they can write a Christmas song or two, too. From a hitchhiking Santa Claus to a Christmas breakup and finally a celebration of Christ's birth, this album has it all covered. Two of the original songs were actually offerings on Happy Christmas 3 ("Santa Claus Is Thumbing to Town" and "I Hate Christmas Parties"). And one of those two is not even from Relient K, actually. "I Hate Christmas Parties" is from Matt Thiessen's side band, Matt Thiessen and the Earthquakes. It's a slow, depressing song about breaking up during the Christmas season. "Santa Claus Is Thumbing to Town" is a much more up beat song which includes the timeless lyrics…" Because Rudolf's puking boughs of holly, and ole St. Nick ain't all that jolly. And the sleigh's in the shop, because it's broken down. But Christmas won't stop, ‘Cause Santa Claus is thumbing to town." The other original is "I Celebrate the Day," a beautiful song marveling at the magnificence of Jesus Christ.
Relient K never ceases to amaze me. This is truly a masterpiece and should be enjoyed for many Christmases to come. Really, the only complaint I can possible fathom is that the CD clocks it at only a little less than 30 minutes. Pretty short, but the 27 minutes you do get are incredible. If you already have Two Lefts Don't Make a Right, But Three Do, pick this up and give the free copy of Two Lefts… to a friend for Christmas. Truly brilliant… is there anything Relient K can't do?- Review date: 11/12/03, written by Josh Taylor
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