I’ve been waiting for Relient K to follow-up Forget And Not Slow Down. The maturity and craftsmanship on that record made me a fan of the band.
While it’s easy to say Relient K has come along way since Marilyn Mason ate their girlfriend, but Collapsible Lung is an entirely new chapter for Relient K. Matt Thiessen has stated that he wanted to make a purely pop record and that’s what Collapsible Lung is. To be honest, it’s probably not as big a shift in sound as many, myself included, will make of it.
The album’s opener, Don’t Blink, is an absolutely fantastic song. Super catchy and upbeat with a great hook. It’s an enjoyable song and I wish more tracks on the record were like it. Boomerang instantly shifts my perspective. I might be more inclined to like Boomerang if there were real drums on the track and not just programmed, computer drums. It’s not a terrible song but it feels different. Lost Boys feels like it could just as easily be a Katy Perry song. Take that as you will.
I Could Take You Home has a great 80’s vibe. Another one of my favorite’s on the record. Can’t Complain is a song I’ve heard on multiple occasions from the likes of Train and Francesca Battistelli. Upbeat, island type song. Gloria wants to be a punk song but Relent K won’t let it get there. Where the song should explode into pop punk goodness, it’s reined in and becomes this catchy pop rock song. It’s feels like the verse and chorus are disconnected. PTL (Part-Time Lover) is a weird song. I’d imagine hearing Carly Rae Jespen singing it. And lyrically… It would have some spiritual correlation or be a spiritual analogy, but it feels like a weird song for Relient K.
There are some things to like about Collapsible Lung. And the knowledge that the band has said their next record will be a rock record, maybe even a punk rock record, is something to look forward to. But after how great Forget And Not Slow Down was, Collapsible Lung feels like a letdown. It’s not what I was hoping for and I’d imagine a lot of Relient K fans will also be disappointed. I hope Relient K finds whatever they hope this record does for them. Because it leaves me feeling empty.