339. MMHMM – Relient K

MMHMM – Relient K (2004)

Relient K

MMHMM is like watching a band mature right before your…ears. Though the previous release (Two Left Don’t Make a Right…But Three Do) began a shift in the bands approach of being less consumed with pop culture references (ie Marilyn Manson) and a more diverse musical canvas, it was with MMHMM that band’s maturity came together in one perfectly played out album.

There is plenty of the pop punk and All-American Rejects type fun rock that permeates the project, but both musically and lyrically this release was leaps and bounds above their previous releases and, I believe, haven’t quite been matched since.

Mainstream radio also discovered the band with this release as it was first to receive dual distribution with Gotee in the Christian market and Capitol in the mainstream. Two singles hit the Top 100 and received enough attention to help the album go gold and heading toward platinum. Oddly, the song that might have been the biggest hit, High of 75, was only released to the CCM radio market and stayed at number one forever.

Along with the maturity in songwriting came a growth in the content of the project. “I Hate Consequences” deals with man’s desire to avoid the results of decisions and actions. “Which to Bury” is about struggling with forgiveness while “Let It Out” looks at the difficulty in honest discussions, transparency and forgiveness. “Who I Am” appeals to Paul’s thoughts on “not doing the things I want to do.”

These themes would expand and grow deeper on future projects, but here the band maintains the youthful exuberance in connection with these burgeoning new struggles. This portends to a great future as a band who has yet to reach a zenith and their best project may still be within them.

  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    October 28, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    It seems like MmmHmm was the album that Thiessen’s love for classic rock really started showing. Especially a fondness for Brian Wilson-style vocal arrangements.

  2. Greenchili
    March 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Ahhh Relient K my most recent guilty pleasure.. Love this album and the ones that followed it. I like the way Thiessen changes things up, the lyrics, and of course his vocal delivery style.

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