"The Bird and The Bee Sides" includes 26 total tracks consisting of 13 brand new songs as well as 13 remixed and re-mastered B-Sides/demos that have never been released to retail. A must have for every Relient K fan!
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Where Do I Go From Here
The Scene And Herd
At Least We Made It This Far
The Last, The Lost, The Least
The Lining Is Silver
There Was No Thief
Curl Up And Die
You'll Always Be My Best Friend
There Was Another Time In My Life
I Just Want You To Know
Bee Your Man
Up And Up (Acoustic)
Wit's All Been Done Before
The Vinyl Countdown
For The Band
Nothing Without You
A Penny Loafer Saved Is A Penny Loafer Earned
Five Iron Frenzy Is Either Dead Or Dying
Five Iron Frenzy Is Either Dead Or Dying (Ska Version
Freedom, Justice, America and... Taco Bell| Posted July 03, 2008
Ever since I listened to "Mmhmm" back in 2004, my musical eyes have been opened to a whole new light, and things never were the same for me again. I sought out everything Relient K has done, and bought just about every album of theirs ever released. And what I couldn't buy, I borrowed and searched. Now, Relient K comes out with not only their most ambitious EP yet, but also their most ambitious project yet. Does it disappoint? Please, this is Relient K, they NEVER disappoint.
The Nashville Tennis EP:
"Where Do I Go From Here" starts the CD off with banjo's, before quickly shifting into punk blazing guitars. "The Scene and Heard" is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it seems like it was made for MySpace, which is not a good thing, but on the other hand, it really showcases Matty T's sharp lyrics that never slow or let up. In the end, the song thinks it's better than it really is, and ends up one of the overall weaker tracks on the CD. "At Least We Made It This Far" continues the much-appreciated of great segways in-between songs, which really makes the album flow together in a cohesive fashion. The song itself is amazingly written, and seems like a cover of a Bob Dylan song or something. The melody only helps the song.
Don't turn skip the next song, it IS Relient K, and it is not Ace Troubleshooter reborn, nope, welcome to a new experiment. Relient K so chock full of talent aside from Matt Thiessen, they're basically The Beatles, with Paul, Ringo and the rest waiting in the wings itching to show they're equally amazing. And guess what they are. John Warne does an amazing job here, and makes me actually want Ace Troubleshooter to come back from the musical grave.
"The Lining is Silver" is an unknowing plug to Rilo Kiley, and is classic Relient K. It's fun, catchy, rockin' and happy, and sure to please all fans. "There Was No Thief" is a regrouping of "The Thief" from "The Apathetic EP." The original was underwhelming, and the weakest track from that release. Here, it's redone, redesigned, rearranged just plain made better. It ends up as one of the stronger tracks of this release, and wins the award for most improved song of the year.
"No Reaction" is Ethan Luck's introduction to Relient K, which is a cornucopia of punk and ska, a tribute to his roots while looking forward to his future. Matthew Hoopes also gets in on the act, with his long-awaited solo singing debut in a song that he duets with Matt T. who the song must be about, since they've been with each other since the beginning. A great effort by Hoopes and hopefully we'll here a lot more from him in the future.
"There Was Another Time In My Life" is very unfortunately long-titled and repetitive, but great music saves it from a shallow fate. "Beaming" is a short tribute to the band's earlier pop culture reference days, and guess what, they're still as clever as ever, if not more so. "I Just Want You To Know" fits perfectly with the Spring/Summer sound of the album with its sunny melody, and cheerful lyrics.
Lastly on this portion, Jon Schneck (love that name :) brings "The Nashville Tennis EP" out with a stunning bang that is the most epic and jam-packed you can get in a minute and thirty seconds. It's a mix of country and bluegrass, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan, and that's not all folks. There's also a Tennessee-sized oblige packed with hilarity & laughter. It's great to see the guys haven't lost their humor after all these years... And then there's the Bees. There's buzzing, bee voices, and did I mention Bees? Sadly, Jerry Seinfeld is absent from this track. :(
The Bird and the Bee Sides:
A Relient K Fan's dream CD. All these rare songs you haven't been able to attain, listen to, or shell out the money for. In my quest for everything Relient K, I've heard most of these songs before. Except of course everything from The Vinyl Countdown, which nobody could have heard unless they had a vinyl player. The great thing about all these songs is that they're remastered, which almost makes them sound like they were recorded yesterday. And boy, you can tell the difference.
From "The Creepy EP," you have the amazing "Jefferson Airplane," which is different from the original in the fact that the chorus is distinctly changed. This version itself is completely amazing and certainly one of the best Relient K has ever done. However, if you want the rest of the amazing tracks from this EP, you'll still have to keep looking. But more on that later.
On the other hand from "Employee of the Month EP," you have all its songs. "Wit's All Been Done Before" benefits very well from the remastering, offering a great number with great lyrics and awesome punk/rock sound. "For The Band" is another fun number which showcases the earlier sound of the band, and somebody named Chris who has developed a severe disliking for everything related to Relient K. Haters... Gotta hate them. "A Penny Loafer..." is a light little ditty which makes no sense lyrically, but turns out to somehow be a tribute to the Beach Boys.
"The Vinyl Countdown" is probably the most exiting of this release, because it has never really been heard before. "The Vinyl Countdown," (the title track), is fun ode to the changing formats of music storage, with a special fondness for the vinyl disc. "Nothing Without You" is little bit more hardcore than an early fan would expect. It's a strange mix, but it somehow seems to work, although it is a little repetitive. "Five Iron Frenzy..." is a strange and short tribute to a band which disbanded a few years ago, which I've actually never heard. But I guess Relient K liked them, so that's good enough for me.
As for the other tracks, I got the acoustic version of "Up and Up" when I pre-ordered "Five Score..." from Wal-Mart. It's a great take on the song, and it adds a little bit more depth to an already amazing song. "Hope For Every Fallen Man," is an acoustic version of "Fallen Man" which was on "Must Have Done Something Right EP." The acoustic version was most commonly found on a pre-order of "Five Score..." from Best Buy. I personally think the acoustic version gets a lot closer to the heart of the song and its lyrics. And if you really look at the lyrics close enough, you'll find something really powerful in there.
Along with all those tracks, you get two unreleased tracks. "Here I Go" fits perfectly with Relient K's modern sound. "The Stenographer" is a musical hodgepodge, with pianos and electronic 80's vocals. It's pretty funky, and reminds me of something you might hear in Indie Music.
My most major complaint about this album is strangely the lack of songs. Sure, it has 26 songs, but they could have easily had 10 more! From the songs they left off from "The Creepy EP," including the moving rendition of "Softer To Me," their cover of "Sloop John B," the promised demo version of "Sadie Hawkins Dance," and their "live" version of "Breakdown." They could have easily done a double-disc album, but instead they put 26 songs on one disc. Not complaining, just saying.
Overall, Relient K, like Tiger Woods, is never satisfied with a good thing, and they strive to always improve. So far, and with this release, they never cease to amaze on the fact that they never stop getting better. And even though this CD does have its faults and cracks, they're not big enough to damage California, but they might break your mother's back. This release will be cornerstone for Relient K's future, and I can't wait to see what comes next for the band, because there's no telling just what they'll do.
By the way, my most prized possession in my Relient K collection is the vinyl release of "Mmhmm." Incredibly rare, and so incredibly awesome. And I have NRT to thank for it!!!
No New Reaction| Posted October 01, 2008
The uses for an EP are usually for promotional purposes only. For example, a band wants to release a new album soon it’s handy to give fans a dose of what is to come to build anticipation. Also EP’s have been used for getting older artists name back in the game. But leave it to one of the most unorthodox bands in Christian music to produce a completely untraditional EP which could easily pass for an album for almost any other band. Thus is the basis for Relient K’s 26 song Bird and Bee Sides EP.
The first half of the EP is the Nashville Tennis EP which is a set of completely new songs, with one exception. The curtain opens with “Where Do I Go From Here”, a punk rock tune, with a banjo opening, that is very faced paced, such a song is reminiscent of a previous song “over thinking”, which was a good song that was only magnified by the acoustic version. The same is true with “Where Do I Go From Here”; with a acoustic version allows lead singer Matthew Thiessen voice to really shine. The Nashville Tennis EP doesn’t just sport Thiessen’s genius alone; it also features a song written by bassist John Warne, “the last, the lost, the least” a edgy rock songs that sounds similar to run kid runs’ style of music and vocals. The new drummer Ethan Luck got in on the fun with the brief rock track “no reaction”.
The haunting piano ballad previously on the Apathetic EP, “the thief” was given new life and new length as “there was no thief”; the song may have more music than its predecessor but its hard not to notice that the real emotion and appeal that was wrapped up into “the thief” may have been slightly lost during the transmission, turning a great song into a really good song. The upbeat “the lining is silver” is a terrific pop tune even though the tune is a tad rough in places but comparatively it’s a fantastic song. The one song that stands out for its gut retching guitar riffs cutting edge beat that has defined Relient K as quite capable rockers is “the scene and herd” from a crushing chorus to a brilliant soft yet complex ending. A song which may fly under the radar that is really a very potent track is “there was another time my life” which speaks a lot to the diversity of Relient K’s which really should not come as a chock to anyone.
Relient K has tried their hand at rap, rock; punk, pop; acoustic, worship; and now (which is the real core of the Nashville Tennis EP is built around a style that fans briefly heard on the song “faking my own suicide”) country. The music is basically pop with a country influence, as the twangy guitar riffs are almost too much for those who can’t stand the southern style. “At Least We Made It This Far” and “You'll Always Be My Best Friend” may be more annoying southern pop songs but they are still fun, and the single “I Just Want You To Know” is among the better songs. The corny “Beaming” makes a mockery of country music for 1:37 seconds as the curtain falls on the music of Nashville Tennis EP.
Relient K has been one of those few bands who have received mainstream success but have not scarified their spiritual side of their lyrics at any time, though they have never shied away from a few laughs. “The last, the Lost, the Least” reminds Christians of our duty to the unfortunate (‘His image shown/When we give our lives, our time, our own/To feed, to clothe/Those in His image we have left alone’), and “I just want you to know” brings to mind the thing we want everyone to know ‘There was a man who lived one day/With holes in his hands as some do say’. Although “the lining is silver” teaches to look for the good side of things it hints that goodness comes from inside us.
While talking about his beloved a really nice thing shows up on the girl/guy songs: commitment. In “at least we made it this far” it makes the statement that tough times will only strengthen the relationship, plus "You'll Always Be My Best Friend" and “curl up and die” share similar levels of commitment. Of course it would not be Relient K without their hilarious lines and corny songs like ‘And odds are that you probably/Magically got this song for free’ (which has a unfortunate ring of truth to it), and “no reaction”.
The other side of the 26 song EP is the self titled (?) Bird and Bee Sides EP, which includes a couple acoustic versions of past songs and tracks that only early devoted fans could capture. The “up and up” acoustic version is very smooth and doesn’t drag like some acoustic tracks can, and “who I am hates who’ve I’ve been” is equally amazing. Relient K pays their tribute to Five Iron Frenzy in “Five Iron Frenzy Is Either Dead Or Dying”, a 41 second fast paced rock song; the Ska Version of the song is a little more funky, but the bands enthusiastic heart still remains.
“The wit’s been done before” is classical Relient K rock with a punk influence that has been amazing from day one and amazingly the band picks it up even farther with the witty fast paced “the vinyl countdown”. The “Jefferson Airplane (Demo)” is creative but it lacks some of the charm as non-demo version, and the acoustic version of “hope for every fallen man” drag some and defiantly doesn’t line up with the original mix. “The Stenographer (Demo)” has a very sharp light sound which is simply brilliant. The background music is similar to what eleventy seven uses for their new martial on “For the band”, the entertaining different up-beat song that features a terrific bridge.
It’s fascinating watching Relient K’s wit change over the years; it seems that now more silly songs are set apart because of their short lengths but four years ago entire sons were devoted to silliness like “the vinyl count down” (‘In the present day in which we live /It's all the same with all the kids /No one knows what vinyl is /Cause they just burn the MP3s (Whoa-o) /Onto their stacks of blank CDs’). Throw in the “Five Iron Frenzy” tracks, “The Stenographer (Demo)”, and the hilarious “A Penny Loafer Saved Is A Penny Loafer Earned” and you have a fair share of laughs. But Relient K stills stays true to offering meat among the jokes like “Hope For Every Fallen Man” which offers insight on redemption and a great look at human nature (‘Because the judge of you is someone I could never be,/Is why you should thank the Lord that it is Him, and it's not me.’).
Everyone’s familiar with the great message of “Who I Am Hates Who I've Been” and probably the slightly less known hopeful “up and up” (‘For you never cease to supply/Me with with what I need for a good life/So when I'm down I'll hold my head up high’). “Nothing without you” eloquently describes our dependence on God (‘We're nothing without You /(When me and You subtract the latter /Equals nothing really matters)’). Practical messages show up one “for the band” which seems to indicate ones obsession on something could lead to straining relationships and Relient K offers an abundance of insights in "Wit's All Been Done Before" (‘But to innovate, is a mistake,/Cause there's nothing new under the sun… Cause we're all getting tired of the media,/Cause it tries too hard to make you like something,’).
PERFECT BLEND OF ORIGINALS AND RARITIES| Posted September 29, 2008
Hard to believe it’s been a decade. And I certainly never figured they’d last this long. The maturation of Relient K from its childish, gimmicky (yet completely valid) tongue-in-cheek delivery toward intelligent modern rock territory has caused most original critics to place foot-in-mouth, myself included. The band’s discography has charted such impressive growth that Five Score’s Top 6 Billboard debut wasn’t that surprising.
So to celebrate the last 10 years, Gotee is releasing The Bird and the Bee Sides—a 26-track mega-release of new material and rarities featuring both the laugh- and thought-provoking. Did you expect anything different? Each member takes turns with the songwriting and vocals on the disc’s first half, which is where 13 all-new originals are found.
Vocalist Matt Thiessen’s “At Least We Made It This Far” stands as the clear highlight and seems to serve as foreshadowing (hopefully) for a future side project. Bassist John Warne’s “The Last, The Lost, The Least” is a solid fist-raising anthem a la Sherwood, and “No Reaction” goes lo-fi, ska-influenced punk. “Curl Up And Die” features a perfect string arrangement to appropriately back the acoustic tune, while “There Was Another Time In My Life” continues the serious side on a beautiful piano number.
But Relient K certainly knows how to lighten the mood, and those tracks are plentiful here. “Bee Your Man” is predictably silly, maybe too silly with Taco Bell references included. The same can largely be said of “A Penny Loafer Saved Is A Penny Loafer Earned.” With all involved, it’s an overwhelming project, but one deserving of your dollars. These are more than just throwaway tunes; instead, the album is a fan’s dream before the next Relient K studio project releases. –Matt Conner
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
This Review Is Almost As Long As The Album Itself, But Not As Good| Posted July 04, 2008
To me, Relient K can do no wrong. When I walked into Wal-Mart and found the CD, I didn’t think at all that it was going to be a waste of money. I even paid for it myself (something I wasn’t going to do). But the shocker was that I was able to do something I'm not able to do with most albums I buy, something I wasn't even able to do with the last album I bought, Superchick's "Rock What You Got," which is half the running time of this album.
I listened to the whole thing without skipping or going back. That was a shocker.
The album kicks off with "Where Do I Go From Here," which sounds like a cheesy bluegrass song at first, but becomes a fast paced rock song. My only problem with it was the length, which I suppose can be justified by the fact that this is an "EP."
This leads into the first song from the album to be released on the band's Myspace, The Scene and Herd. It's a good song, but since I'd already worn it out on the Internet, it didn't seem as good when I listened to it on the album. But it is awesome.
At Least We Made It This Far is currently the most popular song from the album on iTunes, and I can't entirely see why, since it was not released as a single or anything. This is the first country-sounding song (especially when Matt Thiessen croons, "I'm so tired of the road, baby")and it was an aquired taste for me, but I learned to appreciate even this.
The songs don't get much better than the John Warne-penned and sang The Last, The Lost, The Least. Through the great vocals and the awesome drumming (Ethan Luck's really good), the song delivers a message about taking care of the less fortunate than us, since we are all created in the image of God.
The Lining is Silver is the other song available on Myspace, and for good reason. Even though the lyrics are basically "Don't Worry, Be Happy" with a lot more punch, it still comes out as a great rock song that makes you want to pump your fists in the air, especially during the chorus, and not a cheesy pop song, like, say, I don't know, Up and Up. (The original, not the one on this album.)
The next song is a reboot of "The Thief" from the Apathetic EP. I was curious to hear this new version after the original blew me away. And after listening to it, I concluded that it didn't really live up to the original, though it had a lyrics upgrade that made the message shine through better, and the significantly more Relient K-ish chorus (the original was actually by The Earthquakes, Matt T.'s other band).
No Reaction has been stuck in my head for four days now, and I can't stop putting it on repeat. Ethan Luck proves he's both a great drummer (how about drummist?) and songwriter with his song that, to me, basically says that he's in the band to spice things up. That theory becomes credible when he throws some reggae into the mix.
With Curl Up and Die, Relient K has perfected the genre of Christian Emo music. It is an acoustic-leaning track with - is that violins I hear? - in the song that has Matt Thiessen proclaiming "I'll curl up with you, my baby and my darling, until I die with you."
You'll Always Be My Best Friend is Matt Hoopes's creation, a short, upbeat song that professes Matt's friendship with... Matt, since the two are the only two people remaining from the early days.
There Was Another Time In My Life is a artsy song in which Matt T. muses about his life before he knew God.
Beaming is another upbeat, one minute long ditty about Star Trek and coffee. Turns out Relient K is returning to its roots of pop-culture references with this song. The impossible, yet best-case scenario is that it would be featured on the new ST movie's soundtrack, but that's obviously not gonna happen. Just wait for 2009, and then we'll see.
The album starts winding down with I Just Want You To Know, another obviously Christian song, with such lyrics as "There was a man who lived one day with holes in his hands, as some do say". Its message hearkens back to that of "From End To End" of Two Lefts. Only this one is a lot more happy than that song, and doesn't rock as hard musically.
Bee Your man is a purely country song written by Jon Shneck, and it's one of the funniest songs Relient K has ever produced, with it's claim that the five great things about America (count em, five) are "Freedom, Justice, America, and Taco Bell." After that, there's bee sounds, someone gets stung, and some bees (presumably the band on helium - a lot of helium) announce the end of The Nashville Tennis EP and the beginning of the Bird and the Bee Sides.
Up and Up kicks this half off with an acoustic version that is perfect for the middle of an album, and is a good way to start off the goldmine of old songs. By the way, this is the second youngest rarity on the album.
Old song time.
I've only heard bits and pieces of most of these songs, and otherwise it would have spoiled listening to this album. It starts with a cut from the "Employee of the Month EP", Wit's All Been Done Before, which proclaims that "We're all getting tired of the media, 'cause creating something new is just recycling." Apparently they didn't take that into account when writing something like "Must Have Done Something Right," though theit is a great song.
Then the extremely hard to find "The Vinyl Countdown" kicks the second half of the album into gear, with its clever lyrics about how technology has brought about the death of vinyl records. This is even more true today then it was back then. This song (and vinyl record with the same title) isn't too old, since it was released before MMHMM and after Two Lefts.
For The Band is another Employee EP track, that really serves as a great comparison between Matt Thiessen's current songwriting ability and the old days. The song is still good, but the writing is really different.
Then the hardest-rocking song on all 26 tracks, "(We're) Nothing Without You," blares its way into the album, with its gritty vocals (Which To Bury-esque, especially during the pre-chorus) and openly Christian lyrics (just look at the title). I have this song on repeat all the time on my iPod. In fact, just 2 days ago, I was barely able to keep from air-guitaring in Home Depot listening to it.
The smile-inducing "A Penny Loafer Saved, A Penny Loafer Earned" is a pretty random track, but has a poppy, head-bobbing beat as Matt Thiessen rips on the concept of penny loafers and pays tribute to his number one inspiration, the Beach Boys, with mentions of "good, good, good, vibrations".
The FIF twins, as I like to call them, are both really, REALLY short songs that bid adieu (I probably spelled that wrong) to Five Iron Frenzy. One of them encourages whoever sees them to "thank them for being so cool and so awesome... look at their teeth and then tell them to floss them", while the Wannabe Ska version encourages them to "taunt them until they get angry and bite you, and go get yourself a tetnus shot." Both are very fun to listen to.
The acoustic version of Who I Am Hates Who I've been is unique and great, in my opinion. It gave me newfound respect for the original, since I had tired of it from listening to it so much.
The first demo is an unreleased rock song called "Here I Go". It sounds like it would have cozily fit into the last few tracks of Five Score.
The second unreleased one is a "Thief"-esque song called "The Stenographer", whose opening notes sound a lot like "Plead the Fifth". As the title suggests, it's about court. It also has one of the best puns on the album, "Smith N. Wesson Jr. was the son of a gun," followed by two more. Look it up if you don't get it.
The Creepy EP demo was an early version of "Jefferson Aeroplane" from Two Lefts, and this old version is great, even if the sound quality is a bit compromised.
The youngest song on this side of the album is a "B-side of a b-side" (of sorts), since this is an acoustic version of a Five Score B-side that deserved to be on the album greatly. I personally prefer the original "Hope For Every Fallen Man," but this one is almost as good.
This album was one of the best Relient K projects ever (Two Lefts and MMHMM are still fighting for my favorite). Go and buy this album right now. You won't be disappointed.
Better than most albums| Posted July 21, 2013
This album was just a bunch of songs relient k had made in the past of songs that didn't make the album, and maybe a couple of new tracks. Although some of the tracks didn't make previous albums, i like them a lot. There are a lot of songs, and not really a bad one.
The standout tracks to me are "The scene and Herd", "The Lining is Silver", and "Nothing Without You". These are all vintage Relient K. Theres no doubt about that. There are also funny moments like the two "Five Iron Frenzy is Either Dead or Dying" tracks, which it wouldn't be relient K without that.
Overall, i loved it. There wasn't one track that i didn't like. This is why they are still one of my favorite bands, and a lot of christian music fan's favorite bands.
The Bird and the Bee Sides| Posted July 02, 2009
I'm not sure this is an official album, or if it's just an EP- but it's good no matter how you look at it. This album explores new areas of their talent. Other people in the band are singing, the sound turns a little country at times, and it's really just a great album.
this is really long| Posted May 26, 2009
This is the longest cd in terms of tracks I have ever gotten. It is fun to see relient k try something a little different. I was initially scared when the first sound I hear was a banjo but it works and proves again how creative these guys are.
AWESOME!| Posted December 19, 2008
I recently got this album and I'm loving it! awesome songs! I love The Scene and Heard, and the aoustic version of Who I Am Hates Who I've Been. I reccomend you go buy it!
awesome ~| Posted November 06, 2008
this is a cd with all of the best! I love each song on here. they are all unique and good. i can't wait for their next cd. keep up the good work! your fans are proud of you ! God bless!!!! <><
Special K| Posted August 16, 2008
The boys are back! With 26 songs it is impossible to not find 5 to absolutely love. Relient K adds more of there fun and somewhat goofy songs of Two Lefts Don't Make a Right as well as the serious impact of Five Score and Seven Years Ago. It is worth buying at the price that you can find it.