Who Should Buy This: People who enjoy humor and uniqueness in their music, and people who don’t mind a little contemporary Christian thrown in with their whimsical indie/alternative rock.
Album: Air for Free
Artist: Relient K
Genre: alternative, christian, indie, rock
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 8/10
Sounds Like: Jack’s Mannequin, Switchfoot
Interesting Fact: I kept finding certain aspects of specific parts of this album strangely (and wonderfully) reminiscent of tøp (particularly Tyler’s awesomely bizarre sing/talking cadence). Right when I was having this thought for perhaps the third or fourth time, I took a gander at the album cover and started laughing hysterically. You guys: it’s basically Tyler Joseph watching the sunset with Ed Sheeran.
Best thing About this Album: Creativity was allowed to roam free on this album without the confines and restraints of expectations of what a song “should be”. That being said, this is not anarchy running amuck. It is still well-written with careful construction that takes into consideration the laws of mentality and emotion. The rules it ignores are merely societal.
One thing I wish was different: I’m kind of with society on track #10. Like, I can appreciate it’s quirkyness, but . . . um . . . I probably won’t be listening to that track a lot recreationally. I can definitely see the draw for people who have had sentimental life experiences that more closely align with the song. Nostalgia conveyed. I never spent my Springtimes frolicking in cotton fields, serenading a giant cat, and eating salad for funsies while falling in love. Sounds like quite the experience though! (Now I’m experiencing the strangest type of jealousy in existence. *concerned* Nah, I take it back. You know what? I’m good.) On an entirely different note: I’m also not a huge fan of “Prodigal”, but only because I feel like it would fit better with the flow of a different album.
Website: Relient K
Parental Guidance: While I wouldn’t really consider this album to be contemporary christian in its genre, it definitely has Christian themes (especially “God” and “Prodigal” obvs). As far as media consumption for children is concerned, I believe it a parent’s responsibility and right to be informed. I also think they have the right to some control over ideals exposed to their children (I believe in discussion, but many believe in censorship and that’s fine too) as they deem necessary for their individual children. Religious discussion in this album includes the lines: “Take this life you gave me” “I believe in God” “God, I don’t know” “Grace sets you free” “Nothing but the Son in your eyes” “They stuck me in hell and they gave me a cross and said, ‘Son, the church is all you’ve got now.'” “Sweet Jesus, I was coming to pray”
Favorites: Local Construction, Cat, Air for Free, and Mountaintop
This is a playlist of all of the songs from the album that will automatically play through the whole album. To skip to a particular song, click on the menu icon in the upper left-hand corner.
I’ll tell you right now: this album is weird and wonderful. If unique is not your thing, move along and enjoy your boring life. The rest of us are going to have some fun singing and dancing about crazy cats, Peter Pan, Mrs. Hippopotomus, an Elephant Parade (with your baritones on your hip-hip), dormant volcanoes waking up on New Year’s Day, and butter lettuce salad with all-natural ingredients except for cottage cheese. I should also mention that besides the whimsy and playfulness, the continuity and conceptuality of this album are off the chain. The music ranges from electronica references, to Beatles-esque, to classic 90’s alt rock. If you want to get a feel for the album before listening for yourself, here are some of my favorite lines from each track.
“If I’m out there acting the bum, I’ll become one.” – Bummin’
“Work on it. Work at it. Work, but it’s never done.” – Local Construction
“There’s nothing better than knowing where you come from.” – Mrs. Hippopotamuses’
“Who’s that crazy cat? I say! He looks a lot like me.” – Cat
“I’m too old to be growing up.” – Man
“If I sink to the darkest depths, will you be there for me?” – Air for Free
“I believe in love, and I believe in us. Oh, and I believe the sky was made for me to touch.” – God
“Don’t be scared if there’s a snare” – Elephant Parade
“Up on a mountaintop, down by the dark blue sea, I can’t say how much you mean to me.” – Mountaintop
“Sit back and watch the sunset work its magic in its own true light.” – Sleepin’
“Time to get myself back home.” – Empty House
“I picked a flower and I named her. She withered away.” – Flower
“Oh, I’m a marigold . . . and you picked me.” – Marigold
“I rarely feel alive unless I’m running for my life.” – Runnin’
“Wish it was simple, but it’s trouble to say because nobody believes that there’s a debt to be paid.” – Prodigal
“What if forever is better than never?” – Heartache
That’s it. If you loved these songs as much as me, please consider supporting Relient K by purchasing the album from their website or on your favorite digital music store (iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon, etc.)