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Let It Snow Baby...Let It Reindeer

Relient K

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Album Review

Relient K's holiday album is culled from two different sources; seven tracks are new recordings, while the album's bulk is taken from a previous release, 2003's Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hands. Accordingly, listeners are treated to two different sounds — the straight-ahead pop/punk of the band's early years, and the slick sounds of their post-Capitol debut. One can only assume that Let It Snow Baby...Let it Reindeer is geared toward existing fans only, many of whom already own 60-percent of this album. Still, it's still nice to hear the difference a few years can make, as Relient K has aged rather quickly (and rather well) since the group's previous Christmas offering. Occupying the spotlight is Matt Thiessen, who sings the pre-existing carols with the same snot-nosed bravado as countless other acts but tackles the newer cuts with an improved range and delivery. Having climbed into the upper echelon of punk bandleaders in recent years, Thiessen is now a responsible frontman, flipping into his falsetto during "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and helming a surprisingly catchy rendition of "Sleigh Ride." The latter song also features a slew of varied tempos and textures, two important stipulations for creating an engaging Christmas album. We've heard these songs before, often to an incalculable extent, so Relient K's unique renditions are as gratifying as they are slickly produced. Don't expect Let It Snow Baby to pack the same holiday punch as The Beach Boys' Christmas Album (although "Auld Lang Syne" does feature some spot-on a cappella), but rather enjoy the record for what it unabashedly is: a solid record for returning fans, and a harmlessly appealing listen for everyone else.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Canton, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Canton, Ohio's Relient K formed in 1998 and joined the parade of Christian punk-pop artists (MxPx, Ghoti Hook, Slick Shoes, etc.) with their self-titled 2000 debut, mixing catchy melodies and snotty attitude with spiritual concerns. The record was produced by dc Talk guitarist Mark Townsend, and the band was comprised of vocalist/guitarist/pianist Matt Thiessen, guitarist Matthew Hoopes, bassist Brian Pittman, and drummer Stephen Cushman. David Douglas joined up in place of Cushman by the year's...
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Let It Snow Baby...Let It Reindeer, Relient K
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