Album Review – Chroma (Cartel)

I’m trying to release as much content before I leave (on the tenth) for Vancouver. Here’s a nice little review of Cartel’s album Chroma.

Oh and by the way, the Billboard has been updated.

At first listen, Cartel’s first full album is quite exciting: it’s got a refreshingly upbeat sound and tempo. It’s a wonderful album to listen to or to have as background music in a film. Its powerful punk anthems are, for the most part, quite pleasant.

However, the more I listen, the more comparissons I can make between this band and others. You could compare them to The Starting Line, Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, even The Academy Is…. This is where I start breaking away from this album. I can certainly appreciate their impressive list of influences, but there is nothing truly unique that sets them apart from the aforementioned bands.

If you really like those bands, like me, it may not bother you as much. However, I tend to give preference to a band that does something unique rather than something repeated, even if it is well done, as is the case with Cartel. The drums and powerchords are driving, the overall tone of the songs alternating between quiet and methodical and loud and angry.

The lyrics aren’t anything to sing about (pun definately intended), and the singer’s voice seems stereotpyical, especially to those not in love with the scene and the punk genre. The album art is also particularly plain, and in my copy I found a weird grainy substance on the booklet. Quite weird.

While the band doesn’t do anything too new, they do what they do quite well, which saves them from a bad score. However, I can’t give them anything above average, so I’m forced to assign a three out of five.

Cartel’s first full-length album Chroma was released 2005 on Sony/Militia Group

Track Listing:

  1. Say Anything (Else)
  2. Honestly
  3. Runaway
  4. Matter Of Time
  5. Burn This City
  6. Save Us
  7. Luckie St.
  8. Settle Down
  9. If I Fail
  10. The Minstrel’s Prayer
  11. Q
  12. A

Notable Tracks: Say Anything (Else), Runaway, Save Us,

Buy this album (physical media) from Best Buy ($13)

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