Relient K is in a constant state of metamorphosis. The band’s newest release
Forget and Not Slow Down is a drastic difference from their Blink 182-inspired full length release in 2000.
Matt Thiessen, the brains of the operation, tries on different musical styles like pairs of shoes. Part of me wishes he would just keep that old pair of black Converse from his punk days.
Experimental as ever, their songs have a little Jason Mraz, Ace Troubleshooter, jazz and Latin touches, or, with songs like “I Don’t Need a Soul” a full assault of Mae-influenced rhythms and patterns.
The song about getting over a relationship, “Over It,” gently showcases Luck’s prowess with smooth, relaxed fills.
Thiessen is still verbally exuberant in his lyrics, weaving ironic word pictures and metaphors. In“Part of It” he sings, “When a nightmare finally does unfold, perspective is a lovely hand to hold.” It’s a catchy, radio-destined
song with addictive vocals.
In the poignant song “Therapy,” about how God is the only one listening to him, since his girl isn’t taking his calls, he makes a distinction: “Loneliness and solitude are two things not to get confused, cause I spend my solitude with you.”
“Savannah” is the standout track of the album with Latin beats, strings and acoustic guitars. That song makes listeners want to dance.
Unlike the old K with guitar solo-driven songs like “Charles in Charge,” these new tunes are delay and snare roll driven.
Another highlight, “This is the End” begins with Thiessen’s classical piano
stylings, and his voice, with hardly any of the nasally punk bite from previous albums, sings, “I can’t keep a straight face and say this is not the end. Not if you want it. It’s upon us and I want to say it’s sinking in.” A punk metal beat kicks in and the song pushes quickly to the end, which doesn’t sound like an ending as it transitions seamlessly into the post-song “If you want It,” picking up where his piano solo leaves off.
The lyrics allude to both The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the tale of the Prodigal Son.
“Blisters on my feet I crawled back home. Frozen from the sleet burned sand
and stones, nourished back to life by life alone, with one shake of the mane regain the throne.”