Five Score And Seven Years Ago is the fifth full-length album by the Christian rock band Relient K. It was released on March 6, 2007, and is the first full-length album by the band to feature bassist John Warne and guitarist Jon Schneck. It is also the first Relient K album released without longtime bassist Brian Pittman. Pittman did leave the band before the release of the album Mmhmm, but recorded most of tracks with the band.
According to lead singer, Matt Thiessen, the album was created with a "Five" theme, as it is their fifth album, and for the first time Relient K has five members on an album. The "Seven Years Ago" links with the fact that their first album was created seven years prior to the release of this album, making for five albums in seven years. It also ties in with the famous line, "Four score and seven years ago", delivered by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln is addressed in the first track, "Plead The Fifth". A poster advertising a concert for the band around the album's release depicted a cartoon Abraham Lincoln on it as well.
The cover of the album depicts the five band members staring up in the sky from a sidewalk, and they are all wearing parkas. Jon Schneck stands behind Matt Thiessen, so there are four shadows crossing the shadow of the curb, creating five in tally marks. Capitol Records released a promotional image about a month before the album's release, and the band's manager announced that it was not the album cover. The official cover was confirmed on the Gotee Records website. The promo image showed five sticks made into tally marks, with seven leaves either on the sticks, or falling off of them. This image was on the back of the promo insert that advertised the new Relient K fan club that came with the CD.
A special edition of Five Score And Seven Years Ago was also released, including a bonus DVD with roughly thirty minutes of acoustic performances shot in the Capitol A Studios and including track-to-track interviews with the band. Also included is a making-of feature on the "Must Have Done Something Right" music video as well as the video itself, which was directed by Marc Webb (who produced videos for My Chemical Romance and The All-American Rejects). The album's cover also came with a special slip-cover that outlined the band members in orange drawings.
Five Score And Seven Years Ago debuted at number six on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling about 64,000 copies in its first week.
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TOP 10 ALBUM OF 2007| Posted November 19, 2007
I missed the Relient K boat early on and it seemed that no matter how many times it docked, I failed to hop on board. Maybe it was my inability to get past what I heard was an immature sound. It could have been their inability to write a song that didn't blur the lines between girlfriend and God. Most likely it had to do with my resistance to anything in the "punk" genre as nothing more than music typically enjoyed by 12 year old boys who were old enough to hate their parents, society and embraced "bucking the system." Whatever the case may be, I finally got on board with their fourth studio album, an incredible jump in my mind of an extremely talented band that finally embraced their full potential.
The album opens aggressively with "Come Right Out And Say It" and "I Need You" and flows into the more accessible "The Best Thing," "Forgiven" and their first single "Must Have Done Something Right." The band still sings about girlfriends of the now and then, but songs like "Give Until There's Nothing Left" and "Bite My Tongue" at least throw in a few morals for good measure. At the end of the day, "Five Score" is Relient K's most assessable album date, sure to please long time fans and capture everyone else who loves great music.
Relient K continues their quality with five score...| Posted June 13, 2008
Five Score and Seven Years ago: the name has few meanings. First it’s their fifth studio release, and it’s the first time they have used five members on an album. Secondly, seven years ago Relient K came out with their first self tiled album. The most important thing for the fans is it’s another Hit for the increasingly popular Pop/punk/ rock group.
It was evident from the first single “forgiven” that a new sound was going to be in use on this album, and it was a switch to a more punk sound to a more refined style. Five score and seven years ago, unlike other Reliet K CD’s, the CD does not have very many lights out songs, which may be because most of the songs are top notch. “Forgiven” is a spectacular sounding song, but it doesn’t sound like tradition Releint K, but “why don’t you come out and say it” and “bite my tongue” will remind fans who is singing.
The disc has two heavier songs, like other releases, which are “devastation and reform” and “I need you”, which are very good. The single “Give” is about the lightest song one the album, and the only one with a remotely worshipful tune on the album. While “faking my own suicide” has a clever sound but its gets old quickly, it’s similar with “I’m taking you with me” in that it falls of the album as weak. “The best thing” and the single “must have done something right” have a punk sound and are very fun and up-beat.
“Crayons can melt us for all I care” and “plead the fifth” is the joke of the CD, both of the songs does not break a minute thirty combined. So the band had their joke but when it came to the last song on the album this got mostly locked in. “Deathbed” is a superb sounding song, as they used a bunch off different types of music for the long song, even Jon Forman of Switchfoot came out to help. Deathbed is Releint K’s pinnacle song right now, both lyrically and musically.
With Relient K having hits on mainstream music, they certainly didn't compromise their standards with writing songs. Relient K set a personal record with four songs that are about girls, which is disappointing. However God shows up in the album more than once, and just good lyrics surround the CD. “I need you” and “Give” are firm songs, and so is “forgiven”. Mathew Thiessen does a good job as always of having smart lyrics to his songs, but on the redemption “Deathbed” he did his best.
With their fifth studio release, its unsure weather or not Releint K will keep with this sound or go back to the 80’s style of music. Five score and seven years is good Relient K album, but not the best.
There is a debate among fans about re-releases. On the one hand, you get goodies like acoustic versions, new songs, and a DVD disc with music videos, etc. But, is it really worth buying the CD again if you already have it, or paying ten extra bucks compared to the normal edition, if considering the purchase? After all, you can live without it, right?
The preferred method for introducing new material is the Relient K method - by releasing an EP after the main event comes out. Another way is to release the special edition simultaneously with the album, so buyers can choose. But too often you have to buy the CD all over again; and once you've done that, it's tough to trust them with the next CD (I'm still holding out on buying the latest Hawk Nelson, for fear of a future "Special Edition" release).
This time around, Relient K goes with the simultaneous release. But, differing from other special editions, they choose to add no songs to the audio portion of the album, but instead opt just to add a DVD to the mix, which contains the making of the music video "Must Have Done Something Right," as well as the video itself. It also features commentary and exclusive acoustic performances.
It starts off with six acoustic performances in the legendary Capitol Record Studios in Hollywood California, which clocks in at almost exactly 30 minutes. This portion reminds me of Jeremy Camp's "live" acoustic album in late 2005, with the whole coffee house vibe to it. This really is the highlight of the special edition, because you get to see the raw talent of the band, from all the member's vocal talents, to their amazing instrumental versatility. It starts out with a couple performances from mmhmm, including "I So Hate Consequences," which also fuses a little of "Life after Death and Taxes" with it, and a performance of "Who I Am Hates Who I've Been," whose acoustic performance was left off Apathetic EP. After a little banjo pickin' on "Faking My Own Suicide," we move on to one of Matt Thiessen's big inspirations 'The Beach Boys,' and a cover of their classic "Sloop John B," which is fun and finely played. Next are two tracks from the actual Five Score and Seven Years Ago album, including one of my personal favorite Relient K songs, "Give," which is played very well, but not to the emotion it was on the album. However, this rendition still shines here. The last performance is "Devastation and Reform," which is a fine addition, but one of their singles like "Forgiven" or "Must Have Done Something Right" would have been a better choice instead. Taking a rock song like this down to an acoustic form is risky; it ends up just uneven, and comes out with mixed results.
In between the acoustic performances are brief commentaries on making the album, the 'Beach Boys' as inspirations, the versatility of the band, and a commentary on "Devastation and Reform." At the end of the performance, Thiessen comes out and tells everyone watching 'thank you,' and hopefully they'll do more stuff like it in the future. I personally think it would be great to even release a full album or DVD of nothing but acoustic performances, and maybe some more bonus features.
Up next is a making-of feature on the "Must Have Done Something Right" music video, which runs almost 8 minutes long, and fuses the making of the video, commentary on the video, and commentary on the song itself. The commentary is fun, and unlike a movie commentary you might find on a DVD, the band actually talks about every scene in the video in-depth while on the set, explaining every move of the video. This can get repetitive at times, but the humor of the band keeps you interested. However, the continuous loop, and the mixture of other songs from the album as the background music is also repetitive and gets annoying after awhile, and could have done better by using more than just snippets of the songs. Right after the making-of is the actual video, which follows Matt's quest to impress his girl by trying to retrieve a soccer ball which is being kicked all around Los Angeles. It's fun and maybe one of the most creative the band has made so far.
Overall, I wouldn't recommend anybody buying it unless they were a Relient K fan. There just isn't enough for the casual listener here. Out of the four music videos they've made so far, only one is included. And as with most re-releases, more could have been added, such as a "meet the band" featurette, special tracks added to the actual album, or the making of a song from Matt Thiessen's head to your ears. Wishful thinking, or can more really be done? After all, every re-release could have done more, and to my knowledge, none have been perfect. That said, it's aimed toward fans, and to fans I highly recommend. Relient K has built an outstanding album here, and this is the icing on the cake.
The Best Relient K Yet?| Posted July 11, 2007
It's been three years, and an appearance on Jay Leno later, and Relient K is back, and changing the formula of the album yet again. The result is a blend of the best styles the band has to offer.
The vocals and music are as superb as ever; the music entertains, and the album pleases mainstream and Christian audiences, as the band once again mentions God.
Their fun side also returns, but with a more mature wit as "Crayons Can Melt on Us for All I Care" declares, "I just wasted ten seconds of your life."
The most impressive feature is that the album has three highlights.
- "Must Have Done Something Right" is a downright positive song that's very contagious with its use of wordplay, and will possess you to sing the lyrics long after the song ends.
- "Give" is a song that is somber but sweet, and while not the typical Relient K fare, the song works exceptionally with a great melody.
- Finally, the ten minute epic "Deathbed," a tale of a dying cancer patient reminiscing on his life, and finding peace with his past when he dies and goes to heaven. The great thing about the song is that it tells a story. The song also draws you into the emotion, so at the end you really get a sense of this guy's life and his pain. This is Relient K's "Hey Jude," an emotional epic that's a surprising crowd pleaser.
Overall, an acclaim worthy album that offers familiarity, as well as some very pleasant surprises. This could be Relient K's best album and for my money, it is.
Relient K Has Done Something Right| Posted August 24, 2007
Relient K's latest album 'Five Score and Seven Years Ago' is easily Relient K's best. Relient K has become a complete band; no longer are they confined to silly songs like 'Hoopes I Did It Again', 'Mood Rings', or 'Sadie Hawkins Dance.' Now, they can play those songs, but also get in some serious ones, with the same passion as they have for the sillier songs. Of course, they had some serious songs before, namely 'Getting Into You', but since it was caught between so much frantic and crazy punk, they were almost afterthoughts.
What's most startling is the lack of well, punk, on this album. Only two songs qualify for complete punk, those being 'Come Right Out and Say It' and 'I'm Taking You With Me,' possibly the two weakest songs on the record; which does not really mean they're that bad. The other songs are pop done to the absolute best, such as 'Must Have Done Something Right,' 'The Best Thing,' and the expansive, even somewhat epic 'Up and Up.' Relient K also shows it more aggressive side with the intense rocker 'I Need You' (arguably Relient K's hardest song) and the infectious 'Devastation and Reform.'
Relient K also has more middle ground songs for the Christian radio like the excellent 'Forgiven' and the beautiful 'Give Until There's Nothing Left.' Relient K shows they have balance, skill, and great talent. No longer is the thinking, touching songs afterthoughts, they are everywhere, mixed in with the fun, the hard, and the silly.
Speaking of silly, don't worry, Relient K hasn't completely grown up (thankfully). The opening song, 'Plead the Fifth' is as unique as it is laughably cool. And the song 'Crayons Can Melt On Us For All We Care' is only a little more silly then its random song title (but far, far, shorter).
But this brings us to the last song; the pinnacle in my opinion. Its' almost as if Relient K takes all that they've done and brought into one, perfect, masterpiece of a song. The eleven minute 'Deathbed' is unbelievable. Its epic, its hilarious, its tear jerking, its descriptive, its catchy, and most of all, powerful. The song, chronicling an old man's life, from birth to death, is Relient K's finest. The conclusion, which includes Jon Foreman (from a little band called 'Switchfoot') as the voice of Jesus just leaves you still and quiet. You're blown away. Relient K didn't take the easy route of making a 'mom song' and just making it all sentimental, or making it foolishly cool. They just make it perfect. Just perfect. Relient K is proving they are masterful artists...and they just keep giving, giving, giving...and if this album is any indication, it seems they have a lot of left to give.
jkk| Posted November 21, 2015
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Five Score and Seven Years Ago| Posted April 05, 2011
Well I listened to this album once again today and realized, THIS is my favorite Relient K album! :)
I love it, and freakin love acapella! Their first song is an acapella, so of coarse I'ma like it. Then I had also listened to thier songs randomly, and I noticed that most of the songs I liked are in this album. I like "I Need You", "Fakin My Own Suicide", "I'm Takin You With Me", "Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care" "Give Until There's Nothing Left" and my favorite Relient K song of all time is "The Best Thing"! the way the piano sounds in that song is the reason why I'm learning it today, I absolutely adore it and everything about it, seriously it's just so cute! :D
Haha, I love "Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care", awesomest short song I've ever heard, even if he did just waste ten seconds of my life. lol.
Anyways, awesome song lyrics, awesome album. I recommend this one the most! Love it. :)
Relient K is the bomb.| Posted March 31, 2011
I just bought this album a day or two ago, and I already love it. I've only listened to a few tracks, but they're all awesome. Relient K is have been one of my fave's for a while, and this album is totally Relient K. Totally awesome! Love the song "Must have done something right". Can't wait to hear more from them. Highly recommended album!
Relient K 5 score 7 years ago| Posted December 23, 2010
Relient K's new album "5 score seven years ago"s
awaited release left fans satisfied..
Along with their other album "MMHMM" that came out in 2004, '5 score 7 years ago' has catchy songs and Matt Thiessen and the gang bring something new to the table. More of a "country" sound? Deathbed at first was my least favorite song. Now it is my favorite. Up and Up, Bite My Tongue are among my other faves. Just a great all around album!
Great except| Posted January 27, 2010
....I'm not sure what the point was of "faking my own suicide". "Deathbed" is long and is a testimony given by a dying man of his sinful life, waiting for Jesus to take him home now that he's given his life over to him. "Crayons" is silly, and "Pleading The Fifth" is strange. My favorite songs are "Must've Done Something Right" "The Best Thing" and "Forgiven"
I LOVE EM!| Posted January 27, 2010
I love this album. THe only song I don't really care for is Deathbed- I find it obnoxious and tired. It just drags on. Some of the best songs in my opinion on this album are Up and Up; Give; Bite My Tongue.