Mono V Stereo Records
Release Date: February 17th 2017
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Candy Hearts
- Happy Valentimes
- BMI Valentine (Acoustic)
The guys from Canton, Ohio are back at it again. Lead singer Matt Thiessen and guitarist Matt Hoopes are the founding members of pop/rock duo Relient K, and on the heels of releasing probably their most musically and lyrically diverse album yet in Air For Free as well as a short but punchy and confronting EP The Creepier EP…er, Matt and Matt are proud to release a Valentine’s Day themed EP, titled Truly Madly Deeply. While these 3 short songs are along the lines of The Creepier EP…er in terms of the songs having nothing to do with Jesus at all, this rather timely release is still quite confronting, as both Matt’s subtly ask the question about why we celebrate the holiday. Long after the 7 minutes of the EP are over, there are still more issues to ponder over.
EP opener “Candy Hearts” is a rocker where Matt T on the surface sings about candy but on a deeper level unpacks a hypothetical relationship where a couple are happy in love, but tackle adversity and stumble. Subtly reassuring us all that any relationship is salvageable in that ‘…if I don’t know where to start, well I’m remembering candy hearts, as complicated as we are it’s not so hard…’; Relient K have created vintage pop/punk goodness here, even if the lyrics and meaning aren’t decipherable until a few listens later. With the remainder 2 pop/punk tracks being “Happy Valentimes” (where Matt happily recounts the good times with his special someone!) and “BMI Valentine” (where Matt adopts a persona who is lonely and has no one to share Valentine’s Day with!), one could say that the band are selling out in the fact that they no longer want to minister to Christians anymore. But what I would say to these doubters is that the guys are creating music for all people, and are ministering to a culture and a medium where ever listener isn’t necessarily a Christian.
So a release like this, as superficial as it may sound, could be and most likely is needed in this day and age. With many people feeling alone in this world like no one loves them, and others who may be feeling on top of the world because everyone ‘loves’ them, and yet others in a relationship may be in a rut, these 3 songs encompass all of those feelings and emotions. And for all of us single people (myself included) who may feel discouraged at first from this EP and the focused subject matter, know that God has prepared our future spouse for us long before we or they ever breathed our/their first breath. So while we may lament that ‘woe is me, I’m gonna be single forever!’, know that God’s timing is everything, and trust in His almighty plan.
While the band do not offer up any alternative as to how to stop the rut of being single, or how to patch up a broken relationship, what is left unsaid is probably best as it leaves the EP open to interpretation. Some may choose to stay single forever, and others may date excessively in their hope to find ‘the one’. And that’s ok. But let us stop for a second, and think about why we do what we do. When our motivations are right, then out of our actions, others around us, inclusive of our future spouses and our loved ones, can and will see Christ in us. If they see Jesus during a romantic holiday and a loving gesture, then so be it. It’s unconventional, but God works in anything He wants to. So should you listen to Relient K’s new offering or not? It’s up to you, whether you want to feel ‘happy and loved’ or lament that you’re alone at the moment!
3 songs to listen to: All of them (only if you guys want to!)
RIYL: House Of Heroes, Disciple, Needtobreathe, Skillet, Switchfoot