STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 162108-24715 LABEL: Mono Vs Stereo 463377 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2016-11-17 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Paul S Ganney
Relient K are, of course, rock at the pop end of the spectrum - more Dandy Warhols than Slipknot - and after a lengthy sabbatical are now firing again on all cylinders. 'Air For Free' is chart-friendly, complete with Coldplay-esque piano trills. This is their 11th studio album so, as you might expect, Matt Thiessen and friends show plenty of studio craft with tight playing and spot-on production. "Happy and summery" would be a good way to describe their sound, reminding me a bit of Dodgy in their more optimistic phases, but definitely modern in the feel of 5 Seconds Of Summer. There's even a little latter-day Madness feel around too, no more so than on "Elephant Parade" and odd bits that reminded me of Abbey Road-era Beatles too. But enough of spot-the-influence. Lyrically Thiessen weaves his way between straightforward statements of faith ("I believe in God") more oblique and intriguing metaphors ("Mrs Hippopotamuses"). All in all, a skilled set of pop rock from the Ohio-based hitmakers.
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This will be the group's ninth studio album. The band has reached critical success with mainstream pop punk and alternative rock while incorporating piano and acoustic elements.
This CD is packaged in a cardboard case, not a plastic case.