How else will you know if a pin is a success or crap?
I planned to write a comment on her blog, but as I wrote, it evolved so much that I felt my option was to either leave the world’s longest comment, or simply write my own post in response to hers. Though this doesn’t match the theme of most of my posts, I feel that my attitude of hey, “Why not give it a try?” carries over into my thoughts towards music. I love listening to new music and new albums, giving them a try to see if the music resonates with me.
So hey, here we go.
While I was at the gym yesterday I picked the playlist “100 most played songs” on my iPod. As I listened to these songs I was taken back to many phases in my life. Some of the songs reminded me of exact moments and places, while others simply reminded me of emotional phases and viewpoints I had. I was amazed at how many of these songs were off Relient K albums and I thought back to Cara’s post on Relient K and my desire to write a comment. As I listened I realized I could probably summarize my life in Relient K song titles and lyrics and the year they were released would actually match the year they reflect my life. It’s like Cara says, Relient K being from our generation has allowed our lives to align well with the lyrics of their albums.
In 2001 Anatomy of Tounge in Cheek was released reflecting my early high school life. It spoke of the obvious anxiety/excitement surrounding school dances like the “Sadie Hawkins Dance.” It also put words (and music) to my unsettledness in life and the need and desire to “Press On” – to “leave all my worries behind” and not to “go back to where I came.” (Hence a big move away to college that followed). Even more, it spoke to where I was with Christ. I had always been a believer, but it wasn’t until high school that I really learned how to develop and form a relationship with Him. I felt as if his glory was more than I could grasp and I knew I could “never underestimate my Jesus.” Yet, each time I spoke to him I felt that “Those Words Were Not Enough.”
As high school was fading and my sights began to focus on college, and I made a big move from Phoenix to Spokane, Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right and Mmhmm were released and carried me though that phase. Songs like “Chap Stick, Chapped Lips and Things Like Chemistry”, “Mood Rings”, “Gibberish” and “In Love with the 80’s” aligned with my social life. The fun times I had with friends, while still feeling a bit of turmoil trying to figure out with who I was and how I fit. Songs like “Overthinking” and “Understood” met me with the crazy confusion I faced while trying so hard to understand God’s will for my life and where to go to college. Then once I made it there, “College Kids” made so much sense and fit so perfectly. (And led to many dorm room early morning dance parties with my roommate Katie.)
As college continued and I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I went through my first heartbreaking breakup and still tried to grasp how Christ fit in all of this. Five Score and Seven Years Ago was released and the second track, “Come Right Out and Say It,” spoke to how I felt about life in general. I was seeking a deeper truth and understanding and felt like I just needed everyone, including God, to just be upfront with me so that I could figure things out. “Up and Up” helped me get “past the history of what’s gone wrong” and look forward to the future. It inspired to think of the idea of being “a better version of me for You.”
In 2008 I was thrown into the real world, I became a teacher. In 2009 I started a new relationship. Things were great. I had a career and a relationship. However, I quickly found that my career was far harder than I dreamed and the relationship came to an end after 7 months. Forget and Not Slow Down was released right around then and helped me to realize I didn’t want to “gather regret for the things I can’t change now.” “Over It” spoke to my confusion, starting perfectly with the lyrics that “I’ll admit to who I am the day I come to understand I haven’t got a clue, searching for a few years now…” The album helped me heal my soul as I moved past the breakup and also gave me confidence that I could resurrect the person I wanted to be and move on both personally and professionally.
Now, fast forward to this year and Collapsible Lung has been released. I haven’t hand a chance to fall in love with it yet like I did many of the other albums. However, I find that many of the lyrics are just as real and fitting as the lyrics of the previous albums. The first song, “Don’t Blink” echos so many conversations I’ve had lately about the desire we all have for love, yet the fear we all experience because we’ve had those relationships and kisses that turned out not to be love. “Can’t Complain” is one of those songs that just makes me happy. Seriously, listen to it. It hits the nail on the head with this phase of life I find myself in. It comes right out and says, “I know that life’s gonna suck some days” and acknowledges the fact that “I know some days are going to stumble.” Yet, with it’s cheerful music it reminds us that despite the fact “the cookies gonna crumble,” “every day is too short to let it go to waste” and “pleasures gotta come with pain” sometimes. As we become adults I believe this is one of life’s greatest lessons. We must cherish each day, accept shortcomings and disappointments, but be strong enough to move past them. We can’t shut down and freak out like we used to. Instead, we have to meet them like we already knew they were coming. We have to say, “Hey, I knew some days would suck, and today is one of those days, but I can deal with this.” To me, that’s what I hear in this album. A maturity and a realization of both the good and the bad in our world, but also a strength that comes from the Lord and from growing up a bit. For another viewpoint and a focus on a few other songs, please check out Cara’s review.