Mmhmm

Studio Album by released in 2004
Mmhmm's tracklist:
The One I'm Waiting For
Be My Escape
High of 75
I So Hate Consequences
The Only Thing Worse Than Beating a Dead Horse Is Betting on One
My Girl's Ex-Boyfriend
More Than Useless
Which to Bury, Us or the Hatchet?
Let It All Out
Who I Am Hates Who I've Been
Maintain Consciousness
This Week the Trend
Life After Death and Taxes (Failure II)
When I Go Down

Mmhmm review

Punk rock has been around for four decades now, so it’s inevitable that every permutation has come to pass. But Christian Punk? You’d somehow think the style that defined self-loathing and anti-establishment poses would never be able to make the crossover. But don’t tell that to Relient K singer Matt Thiessen, who for his Canton, Ohio group’s fourth album penned 15 tracks that keep the spirit up, up, up. Following the lead of their secular counterparts like Blink 182 and Good Charlotte, Relient K changes tact for MMHMM. Cue pianos and strings and lyrics that largely leave behind adolescent concerns in search of greater meaning. But the heavy themes and dark clouds on the album cover don't spell the death of the band's goofy. The album offers a tantalizing mixture of modern pop/punk sounds and heavier vocals easily comparable to bands such as The Used and Something Corporate with Relient K's original sound.

The boys have really matured, and Matt Thiessen delivers another knockout performance in coming up with clever, inventive, and always funny lyrics. The album begins with the hard-hitting introductory tune of The One I'm Waiting For, a song about the uncontrollable and incomprehensible female mind, a subject that has become a staple in the band's music. We swiftly move to Be My Escape, which really showcases the variety that these guys can fit into a single song. High of '75 is a quaint little song about the weather influencing the emotions of one man. I So Hate Consequences is a brief foray into a bit harder scene than Thiessen and company usually venture into, and it greatly incorporates the background vocals of drummer Dave Douglas and a couple of guest performers. The ridiculously-long-titled The Only Thing Worse Than Beating a Dead Horse is Betting on One is a short and fun interlude to all this, and it's very fitting in the situation, bridging the gap from a hard song to a more pop My Girl's Ex-Boyfriend, another girl-centered song, only this time in a more positive light. The rest of the album flows beautifully; from the simple but profound More Than Useless to a wonderful duo of Which to Bury, Us or the Hatchet and Let it All Out, we begin to see the growing importance of piano-driven rock and mellow acoustics in the band's music.

Relient K just keep making their music, never shying away from expressing their beliefs. They also never pay much attention to the boundaries of their style, staying well within the framework of earlier pop punk creations. Musically, the group shows competence and creates enjoyable tunes. Although Relient K often switches tempos throughout a given song, the tracks end up with the same formulaic feel, due to formal consistencies. Lyrically, the band sounds smarter than most of their peers. While many of the tracks tackle the trouble and joys of young adulthood, others take subtle looks at issues of faith. Their lyrics are their strength; they've been able to bring out the seriousness of their concerns without losing the joy or goofiness. MMHMM is a huge dollop of meaningful fun. However, there is still untapped potential. Green Day showed that it was possible to transcend the pop-punk genre with its 2004 magnum opus American Idiot and Relient K prove that they have the goods to scale those heights.

(14.07.2005)
Rate review4.95
Total votes - 301


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