Reviewed by Jeremy Williams
This is Relient K's fifth album in seven years, hence the Abraham Lincoln-esque title. That's not the only reference to Lincoln either - first song "Pleading The Fifth" lays out an obscure conspiracy theory about Lincoln's assassination, sung in acapella Beach Boys style. Not your traditional opener, but typical of a band confident enough to try anything. After that it's back to the dynamic pop-punk we expect, although the band aren't resting on their laurels. There are the radio friendly hits in "Must Have Done Something Right", and power-pop love songs like "The Best Thing". But there's also the darker "Devastation And Reform" and the countrified "Faking My Own Suicide". And then there's the 11-minute closing epic "Deathbed". It starts as a piano ballad, a la Ben Folds, and then piles in strings, horns, bells, beats, guest vocals, and ends the album on an absolute show-stopper. But surely you know this already, because this is one of the albums of the year. This is the special edition, and what's special about it is the pretty packaging, and more importantly, the DVD. This features the band live at Capitol Studios, and it's well-shot, intersperses the songs with interview clips, and it's excellent. The band are on top form too, playing a note-perfect six song acoustic set. They throw in banjo, piano, xylophones, and after you see the five of them perform "Sloop John B" a la the Beach Boys, you really will believe that they can do whatever they set their minds to.
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