Air For Free – Relient K Album Review

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Relient K is a band that means a lot to me. Growing up listening to Life FM, it was always a highlight when ‘Sadie Hawkins Dance’ came on in the car, and I would always yell “baby, do you like me sweater?” at the top of my lungs (much to the confusion of anybody else in the car).

My love for the band kicked into full gear when they headlined Parachute 2012. My friends and I sat at the top of the bleachers, wrapped up in blankets, singing along to the bands cover of ‘Africa’, ‘I must have done something right’, ‘Be my escape’ and of course, ‘Sadie Hawkins Dance’. The band finished their encore with the epic song ‘Deathbed’ which makes me tear up no matter how many times I listen to it. This song also solidified Matthew Thiessen as one of my all time favourite songwriters. Following this show I listened to all of the band’s back catalogue, excited for what truth they would be dropping next.

Collapsible Lung came and went and I enjoyed it, but the only real highlight for me was the title track. Fast-forward to the release of ‘Look On Up’ in February and suddenly I got very excited again.

Air For Free was released at the end of last week and I have had it on repeat, trying (and hopefully succeeding) to absorb every word. The album is an extension of the profundity of ‘Deathbed’, touching on the contradictions in life: growing up but not having it all together, love and heartbreak, home, faith, fun and chaos.

Highlight tracks for me include ‘Local Construction’ (Fix the car/fix the house/fix the flaws in myself/it’s never done), ‘Mrs Hippopotamuses” (which is the only thing that has ever made me want to visit Ohio), ‘Elephant Parade’ (which is a big band, fun, chaotic romp), ‘Mountaintop’ (a love song), ‘Empty House’ (a melancholic, piano and autotune-driven song) and ‘Air For Free’ (a song about faith in the midst of struggle).

Overall, the album is a fantastic one, with a balance of upbeat, pop, punk (throwback to their earlier music), ballad and alternative influences. Thought-provoking and nostalgic, Air For Free is definitely up there for me in the Relient K canon. Two thumbs up.


Eleanor is a full-time student and part-time ministry assistant at AYM (including the GC). She loves music and movies, pretends to love running and likes to think she can take decent photographs. She MCs and writes for the GC blog, and has been known to play a tune or two at our cafe events.

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