Relient K: Air for Free

In the eleventh round of this band’s ongoing tug of war between “pop” and “punk,” and guitar pop wins out in a big way this time around, but so do listeners. Matthew Thiessen and company deliver a collection of relentlessly happy, infectiously hummable anthems, each with its own personality within the framework. Topics include the Cleveland Browns, a cat, and belief in God. The most striking track, “Runnin’,” lays out a story-song suite with strong 60’s/70’s pop elements. The only misstep, “Empty House,” sabotages its poignant lyric of estrangement with heavy autotune, as passé as it is obnoxious.

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