Cadet's self-titled debut record hit shelves in 2001, showcasing their surfer pop/punk sound fronted by Ryan Smith's youthful vocals. They also contributed to BEC's Any Given Day worship series with Earth To Heaven, recording an entire album of worship songs. So by the time they release their sophomore record in late Summer 2002, Cadet has already had two projects under their belt.
In the past year, Cadet claims their musical interests have affected their new sound. "The album is definitely more rock than the last one was," says Smith in a recent band bio. "We've been listening to bands like Coldplay, Travis, U2, and a lot of Brit Rock which have all influenced our sound." It's evident from the opening track, "Nobody," that the band has grown in leaps and bounds. The driving guitar and edge of "Nobody" is a pleasure for the ears of a rock fan to behold. Smith stretches his vocal capacity and sings with more authority than before. "Blame" is more reminiscent of the band's earlier work featuring a catchy pop/rock chorus. "Change My Name" has a beautifully moody feel and a tasty guitar riff while the upbeat and honest "Call Me" has a Green Day presence. "Today" is a rock ballad that ponders that thought that, to God, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day, and that each day is so important.
"Stuck in a Song" has a Weezer vibe while "Come Alive" is a pretty, thoughtful ballad reminiscent of Eager with more excellence. "Wishing Well" slows things down even more, driven by a piano, before picking up a bit with a tinge of jazz to easily serve as an album highlight. Tucked away past the end of "Well," a techno/dance rendition of "High Tide" resides, a humorous way to close out a well-rounded recording.
Cadet has made impressive progress in the past year, with The Observatory marking a smart step in the right direction in the evolution of this young band.- Review date: 9/21/02, written by John DiBiase
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