Expect the Predictable
Posted August 01, 2008
It took a week plus, one to, record Stellar Karts sophomore album (which is conveniently named We can’t Stand Sitting Down) and it was barely a year after their debut. But now Stellar Kart has taken their time to make an album that was of better quality. As a result of that more than a few songs were cut because of Stellar Karts knack for making a few tracks that are a wee to repetitive. What left is a ten track album called Expect the Impossible.
Frontman Adam Agee cut down the amount of punk in their latest to allow for a more ‘80s pop rock style to attract more fans while keeping their old fans as well. It sounds like Stellar Kart has been taking lessons from Hawk Nelson on a couple songs, most prominently on the first and last tracks. The first single, “Jesus loves you” sounds like a cheesy remake of their previous hit “me and Jesus” in an attempt to recreated the success. And while the song did make it into the top five songs it didn’t have the same musical spark or lasting effect that “me and Jesus” had. The album overall, with a few exceptions, struggles with keeping the tune smooth as former albums, the result from making the pop rock a main piece of their music as opposed to the punk. “Innocent” is a fun up beat pop rock beat but it doesn’t sound cutting edge.
Unfortunately most of the songs follow a similar pattern of music which allows a individual song to stand on its own but “sunshine” and “automatic” sound very similar and neither are very compelling. The single “shine like the stars” starts like softly as if preparing for an explosion (funny that “I give up” starts that same way) and it does into the hardest song, but still edgy, on the album, and really the only one that can be called rock. the intro to “eyes” in snappy, and it’s just a prelude to a catchy song that flows very nicely. While the final song “letters” might have been preformed y someone more professional at doing ballads, the song is nice and Stellar Kart showed a lot of passion on it.
The lyrics have never been a source or real complexity for Stellar Kart, as their basic messages more often than not are too cliché. And while Agee says the lyrics are still ‘simple’ and ‘direct’ they do seem to have a little more on their stuff than ‘life is good/ eternal life is better’. While “Innocent” brings up an interesting point (‘I know why the good old days are gone/Cause everyone just tolerates what's wrong’), “Jesus Loves you” isn’t nearly as weak or repetitive as the title suggests. One of the few songs in Christian music that considers prayer, “pray” encourages prayer, plus “i give up” is all about sacrifice for God. Stellar Kart may not be Relient K when it comes to witty writing but there are a few amusing lines like ‘I surrender/ I’m raising my white flag’ (“I give up”) and ‘sure as a Phoenix sun rise/ and the Yanks in the playoffs every year’ (“automatic). Not so many clichés this time around but still there are some weak points like “the right one” and “sunshine” (‘hey you are my sunshine/on a rainy day it will be okay’). “letters” is also a nice addition.
Agee wanted something for everyone including sounds from Linkin Park and Simple Plan. But that really didn’t bleed through as their quality wasn’t even close to them or their Christian peers like Hawk Nelson, Eleventyseven, or Everyday Sunday. After three albums Stellar Kart should be passed the stage that they have been in for a while now, and while the lyrics are more advanced the music and themes are a little subpar on Expect the Impossible.
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