Studio Album by released in 2007
Cartel's tracklist:
The Best
Lose It
No Subject (Come With Me)
This Is Who We Are
I Will Hide Myself Away
The Fortunate
If You Do, If You Don't
Lonely One
If I Were to Write the Song...
Wasted (remix) (feat. Wyclef Jean)

Cartel review

Tastes differ

It is really hard to call American band Cartel original. Pop-punk-emo music is not that thing that can amaze public nowadays. Such bands are countless enough and another one will hardly save the day. But let's cast away these skeptical thoughts and try to judge the situation objectively. Who said that this is bad? No matter how many similar bands a certain genre can spawn the thing that is really important is that this genre has its admirers who need it, who love it and for whom it really means something. Cartel play their songs for just these very people. It is quite possible that Cartel guys take some interest in the tendencies of music world but only in theory, they love what they do and feel quite happy about it. Their debut album Chroma released in 2005 didn't stay unnoticed for very long. Cartel's first single Honestly raised the band from obscurity right up to the near league of pop-punk establishment pretty fast. In terms of pop-punk Cartel sound was pretty solid and professional. Nice vocals, catchy guitar hooks and progressions, radio friendly tunes and cheerful drumbeat – everything one needs on a good sunny day. Now it is right time for them to release their new attempt and make another successful career step.

Band in a bubble

Cartel started making up their new album on May 2007 and finished it in mere 20 days. The conditions of record sessions were pretty unusual. The band participated in the American version of Band In A Bubble live show, during which they've been writing and recording songs inside a so-called "bubble". "The bubble" is a building consisting mostly of widows so any interested fan could stop by and watch the band. "The bubble" was also filled with web cameras, which broadcasted all the events via Internet. This project was supported by MTV and received wide public attention. Of course, such things can be hardly called helpful for creative process but on the other hand Cartel couldn't dream of a better promotion. The more so because the album turned out to be a good one indeed. First of all, the band displayed their increased musicianship – the record sounds a little bit more confident and the songs more serious. Secondly, Cartel decided to change their sound a little. The album remains in the same borders of emo-pop but it features some slights undertones of indie and in fact it is softer than their debut record.

Cartel is the album for those who love pop-punk

It seems like relations with such huge mainstream machine as MTV didn't pass for nothing. The band started laying more emphasis on a good melody and structure. Unlike their previous album, which was simply overloaded with vocal parties, Cartel tries to observe a competent balance of literally every little thing. Speed and heavy guitars stepped backward. Acoustic and half acoustic parts are scattered here and there all across the album. Thus, for instance, they've chosen a gentle rock ballad The Best to be the record's intro and a song called Lose is mostly based on slightly overloaded and acoustic guitars. In fact, Cartel's guitar sound isn't similar to classic pop punk distortion. It stands much closer to the standards of old school rock with its tube amplifiers and things alike. However, it doesn't prevent Cartel from playing generic punk riffs, which actually creates pretty interesting effect. One of the most unusual songs of the album is Wasted as it offers very original combination of punk and indie rock. But despite all innovations the basic mass of the album is nothing but pop-punk and Cartel feel themselves at home with such moments. I Will Hide Myself Away or The Fortunate are really great songs and have all typical traits of this genre. Cartel is the album for those who love pop-punk, the record is literally soaked with its energy. It was intended for a wide audience but only real fans of the genre will be able to appreciate Cartel by its merits.

Rate review3.66
Total votes - 3

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