STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 43557-12744 LABEL: Word Curb 887296 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-04-30 RRP: £12.72
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
The success of the band's last album 'We Can't Stand Sitting Down' and the Dove Award winning song "Me And Jesus", penned by All Star United's Ian Eskelin, is all the more remarkable when you think that Eskelin was only drafted in as a last gasp producer of the project after the recording of the album stalled. This time around, Eskelin was onboard from the start and he's helped the band update their sound so that they are no longer stuck in the pop punk mode. Instead they have settled for a variety of pop rock sounds from the upbeat "Innocent" which kicks things off through to the poppier "Letters" which closes proceedings. The only problem is that at times the band do sound remarkably like All Star, with singer and main songwriter Adam Agee's voice at times eerily resembling Eskelin's! Thematically the band have attacked subjects that they feel are likely to be helpful to youth group kids asking questions in church so the crux of the album is very ministry focussed and this is to be applauded. The band even chose to consult with youth leaders to find out what kind of material would be useful. Highlights to these ears include the bouncy "The Right One" which is about getting over a relationship and seeking God's choice for a life partner. The big songs will be "Jesus Loves You" which is a ballad but is way too similar to the hit "Me & Jesus" and is obviously trying to repeat the success without doing anything new. Far more appealing is the brilliant "Shine Like The Stars" which broadens out the band's sound and includes more prominent use of keyboards on an anthemic gem. Stellar Kart are to be applauded for their ministry direction and for attempting to stretch out their sound. However, the weakness is that some of 'Expect The Impossible' sounds too much like songs I've heard before.
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Stellar Kart's third album sees them cement their position as one of the most significant current Christian bands in the USA. They’re back with a pop/rock tour de force (think modern pop/rock with an ‘80’s arena rock flair) that includes the band’s most mature lyrics yet. This new album is intentionally themed around topics most important to the turbulent lives of today’s teenagers, touching on subjects like friendship, loss, prayer and redemption.