Relient Who?

It’s not that I don’t like Relient K. It’s just that, until now, I really didn’t care much about them one way or another.
I used to own one of those Relient K cars. Ever since the driver’s side door fell off in a WalMart parking lot one sub-zero December
evening, forcing me to drive 8 miles home with the seat belt looped thru the inside handle, window rolled down while I held the door
in place, avoiding all left hand turns, the mere mention of the car’s name makes me shiver.
My only experience with Relient K (the band) was a show last summer at a huge music festival. The sound was horrible, and the
band talked more than they played – although they did throw a couple of clever witticisms over the heads of the largely oblivious
audience, which was mildly entertaining. Still, I left wondering what all the fuss is about.
Don’t get me wrong. Fans tried to get me to fall in love with Relient K. They played videos and mp3 songs for me on my computer.
They directed me to the website, where the band posted their musings from the road and extolled the virtues of ripping stuffed
animals to shreds on stage. Friends even invited me to see another show, but I declined. Nothing personal. Relient K just wasn’t my thing.
To be honest, lead singer Matt Thiessen unnerves me just a little, those sad puppy eyes staring out from the CD covers and press pics. He reminds me of that guy back in high school, who at first glance makes you wonder how he passed remedial spelling, but who is actually acing AP Physics without doing any homework. You know the kind: the brilliantly creative loner who zings you with
an insult carefully wrapped up like a compliment, and fixes a stare on you as if pleading, “Won’t you please be my friend?” How can you say no?
That’s partly why when the press kit came for the new Relient K CD, Two Lefts Don’t Make A Right…But Three Do (Gotee
Records), I planned to just toss it into the pile to be reviewed after the latest Bibleman video. All I hear lately is “Relient K this” and “Relient K that”, and how they’re the next big thing to hit Christian music since King David’s psalms; I figured that there were plenty of other music writers falling over themselves to review them.
So I can’t explain what made me pop the CD into the stereo. Maybe it was those puppy eyes on the CD cover begging me for just
one chance. But by the middle of the second song, I have to admit that I was hooked. And by the end of the CD, I’m ashamed to say
it, but… I was in love.
Never mind the fact that instead of entire songs on the preview CD, there were only one minute clips artfully mixed to give you a
taste of the music and leave you wanting more. Yeah, I felt a little cheated, but I was willing to forgive them…just this once. I even
wanted to hear more about those kinds of girls who are so emotional that they blow up (“Mood Rings”). I think I might be one of
them, and I’m glad they brought it to my attention.
“Two Lefts” is filled with smartly-crafted songs about everything from pink tuxes (“In Love with the 80’s”) to the inconsistencies
of the female mind, from setting priorities (“Getting Into You”) to college (“College Kids”), from teenage drama (“Hoopes I Did
It Again”) to spiritual turning away and crawling back (“Trademark). It’s funny, yet poignant, silly and yet painfully heartfelt. It’s
about love, longing, and relationships, and every song on the album is good. I don’t say that very often.
It’s obvious that these guys are intelligent and talented, even if their sense of humor sometimes leaves you wondering if they’re laughing with you or at you…or if it really even matters. “Two Lefts” is great music, great lyrics, and great fun.
Related Storis & Links
Gotee and the Creepy EP!
Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek
The Christian Activities Relient K Forum is at: Relient K Forum


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