I have avoided writing a review for this. Not just because of laziness but because I know it would be a big undertaking to try and translate my feelings of one of, if not my favorite, record of all time.
Years before MMHMM released, I was already a fan on Relient K. Their corny debut and sophomore records were dear in my heart, but Two Lefts was really something special to me. Leading up to the release of MMHMM, the band released various tracks to the album on their website and Purevolume page (feeling old?). Each new track got me more and more excited, but listening to individual songs off this album will never have the same impact as listening to them as a unit.
After the release, I was graced with one of the most well put together pop punk albums ever. The lyrics were clever. The musical and lyrical tone was deeper than anything they had done before. To this day, I recognize it as a favorite.
MMHMM prominently features piano and folk instruments like mandolin and banjo. But this didn't make the 'punk' poppier. There are songs more aggressive than any they had written before. Fast, minor keys, screaming backup vocals and a true hardcore influence.
While the lyrics are laced with vibes of apathy and feeling down, there is always hope at the core. Throughout the record, several songs use a variation of the phrase "You take my heavy heart and make it light." Juxtaposing the difficulty of life with the hope that those burdens can be lifted.
I give MMHMM a listen at least every month. It always makes me feel things, desire to play more music or just sing along. Never again would Relient K make me feel the same way with an album. Luckily, they'll make more records that I enjoy, just in a different way.