Relient K [Forget And Not Slow Down]
Posted October 16, 2009
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Relient K’s new album Forget And Not Slow Down is their first project since taking helm of their newly revived record label, Mono Vs. Stereo. Since 2000 they’ve released five full-length albums (three are certified Gold), five EPs and a Christmas record. They have toured the globe, and racked up several hit singles, a Grammy nomination and two Dove Awards. Title track “Forget And Not Slow Down” is the best new Relient K song I’ve heard since “Be My Escape” from my previous favorite Relient K album, 2004’s MmHmm. I love the band Death Cab for Cutie and if you liked Plans by Death Cab for Cutie then you need to hear Forget And Not Slow Down.
To prep for Forget And Not Slow Down, Thiessen retreated to a remote house in Winchester, Tenn. in isolation for several months writing material for the new record. During his sojourn, Thiessen stayed in constant contact with Hoopes and the rest of the band – drummer Ethan Luck, bassist John Warne and guitarist Jon Schneck - sharing song ideas and mapping out a direction for the album. For Thiessen, the solitary creative process was a lot like prayer. “Songwriting and praying are kind of synonymous for me,” he says. “You’re using your heart, you’re using your brain, you’re collecting your thoughts, inner emotions, and putting them all together, and you’re saying, ‘Where does this all fit into my life?’”
The results of that songwriting effort are evident as I was hooked from the opening notes of "Forget And Not Slow Down" right to the end of “This Is The End” (If You Want It)”. The album is truly a musical and lyrical journey and as a fan of emotional style rock like Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional, this hook-filled album really works for me. In fact, Matt Thiessen’s vocals remind me of Ben Gibbard’s vocal style on this album. Some other stand-out songs for me are “I Don’t Need A Soul”, “Candlelight”, “Part Of It”, “Therapy”, “Savannah”, “If You Believe Me” and “This Is The End” (If You Want It)”.
This album is now my favorite overall album by Relient K and one of my top 10 overall albums of 2009. Every song is catchy and flavored with Relient K’s signature pop-punk sound, and for me Forget And Not Slow Down tops all of their previous albums and reflects the maturity and polish of a band that has found their niche and is Relient K's crowning achievement in my opinion.
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