When a band releases their debut album on a major record label, it's never easy to predict how well it may sell; bands with significant talent may go largely overlooked while those that seem to offer nothing groundbreaking may become instant fan favorites. Though there may have been better new artists in 2005 than Stellar Kart, the band's debut All Gas. No Brake. ended up as one of the top-selling debuts last year. Their catchy, youthful sound may not have explored new musical territory, but it impressed Ignite Your Faith (formerly Campus Life) readers enough to vote the band New Artist of the Year.
Now, after a successful first year including tours with Kutless, Falling Up, and Pillar, Stellar Kart returns with their second effort, We Can't Stand Sitting Down. Working this time around with producer Ian Eskelin, some of the band's sound from their debut has carried over, but they refuse to be stuck in a genre, demonstrating a good deal of maturity in many tracks. In spite of a few generic (but still fun) tracks like "Procrastinating" and "Always Waiting," Stellar Kart's songs, especially in the album's second half, are impressive.
With so many songs on We Can't Stand Sitting Down clocking in under three minutes, it really took a few listens for me to realize the quality of the album. It does sound disjointed at times, and some songs could have been further developed, but primarily, Stellar Kart meets and even exceeds expectations. It's hard not to sing along, tap your fingers, and bob your head on songs like "Activate" and "Finding Out." The band also slows things down well for others such as "Wishes and Dreams" and "Angels in Chorus," with heartfelt lyrics like: "Grace is contagious / when it gets out / tears fall as my voice changes / into a crowd / Angels in Chorus / join in my song / You are my Glorious / You are my God."
Fans of All Gas. No Brake. should be very pleased with Stellar Kart's sophomore release. Undoubtedly, this fun summer album will be a hit with teens, and just might attract the attention of older listeners as well. Certainly a few improvements can be made, but Stellar Kart sounds better than ever, and should only improve further with time.- Review date: 7/21/06, written by Spencer Priest
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