Squawk Radio

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Liz Offers Music for the Spirit

It wasn’t until my third listening of Relient K’s “Mmhmm” that I realized when lead singer Matthew Thiessen sang, “Oh, God, oh, God, I needed you,” he wasn’t talking to his girlfriend--he was talking to, um, God. After that, I started listening more closely to the lyrics and realized, “Yep. I’m listenin’ to Christian rock.”

It was quite a revelation.

Not because I have anything against Christian rock, but I’m about as far removed from organized religion as a person can be. I am, in fact, a heathen. An infidel. To put it in high-falutin’ terms, I’m an Emersonian Transcendentalist. (Try explaining THAT to the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to the front door.)

No matter.

This music rocks, regardless of what your spiritual outlook happens to be. Not only that, it’s fun. And funny. And great for dancing. And driving. (It’s one of the CDs going into the car for my drive to Atlanta.) It’s not quite punk, or even alternative, but there’s some definite rough influence here. There’s also, though, a little pop. And extremely clever lyrics, which is something that always, not surprisingly, sucks me right in.

I bought “Mmhmm” after hearing and loving the song “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been,” but there are other songs on the album I’ve decided I like even more, especially “My Girl’s Ex-Boyfriend,” which talks about how grateful the singer is to this guy who dumped his girlfriend, otherwise, she never would have fallen in love with said singer. And “Be My Escape” and “I So Hate Consquences” and “This Week the Trend.” All are lively, danceable, fun rock tunes that just make you want to move. There are a couple of nice slow numbers, too, that showcase Thiessen's smooth, fluid voice nicely.

I think what I respond to most, though, is the message--which is universal and by no means relegated to one belief. And that is that even when we make mistakes, there are second chances to be had. That we can always find forgiveness, whether it comes from our god or our partner. That sometimes things don’t work the way we thought they would, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be happy. It’s just a nice, uplifting, fun album that reminds me that nobody’s perfect, and that that’s okay.

Be happy, everybody. :o)
Elizabeth Bevarly, 11:53 AM