Cartel is a different kind of Pop-punk band. Often described as being weird and senseless the band sings some joyful songs with some occasional piano strings. When everyone else is doing the same thing in the world of mainstream music. What is Cartel doing different? Well Cartel puts the best songs on the album maybe not the songs you necessarily will defitnely like and listen to all the time, but with a bit of catchiness you will listen to this a lot. For a first full length album Cartel put together a heck of an effort, and it results in being a "Up and Coming" pop-punk band.
Cartel can sometimes get repetitive and some of the songs are non-sensual. You see that in some songs it's like they forget their place in the song and have to sing it all over again. That's how bad the repetitiveness is. Sometimes in some cases repetitive works in this band's case it really doesn't.
I just put what was bad there for you to give you a warning of what you might experience when you listen to this band. I find it bad when people just go by the rating of somebody's review and don't know what they are getting into.
Now I will do a Track-by-Track Review:
1. Say Anything [Else]: Just a great opener for a new band to the pop punk scene. The band comes out with a great chorus that echoes throughout the song. They also hit the instruments hard in this song and it makes it a real fun song to listen to. The lyrics are meaningful and are about seeing bad and doing something about it, such a great song. 4.5/5
2. Honestly, this song starts out with more off the bands on the rise feel. The chorus is smooth but the lyrics don't really lead into the chorus like they should. The instruments are mostly drums like they are throughout the album. This song is all right but it is not a great song like the first track. 3/5
3. Runaway is another solid track. The opening starts out with some catchy lyrics and cool instruments before the song mellows out. I like the song even better when it mellows out. The chorus is another well-done job by the band. This is a good track, but it's not a great track. 3.5/5
4. Matter Of Time has a more of a poppy than punk feel to it. The lyrics are all right and the song never reaches a peak of excitement though. It is very stalemated. This is all until the chorus pulls the song together. This song reminds me of the song "I know You Know" by Taking Back Sunday another pop-punk band where it proves that a great chorus can make a whole song. Even when the surrounding lyrics are so-so. 4/5
5. Burn This City, one of the best songs on the album and one of the most original. The lyrics are brilliant throughout the song and especially in the chorus. The instruments and the background vocals are also done well and it's one of the few songs on the album that doesn't get old. 4.5/5
6. Save us, is one of the most diverse and unique songs on the album. The piano makes it a cool instrumental and the lyrics are great also. The song is an emo cry for help and it's not original, but it is original because it hasn't been done in this unique way. I love the deepness of the chorus in this song, it is just unbelievable. 4.5/5
7. Luckie St., I remember listening to this on there first EP, and really liking the song. Now it is even produced better for the full-length album. Cartel started this album off with mediocre songs but now the songs are really getting better and better as the album goes on. That is really rare to find in an album. These lyrics are great on here, and the drums and just the energy this song has is great as well, awesome song. 5/5
8. Settle Down, is another great song. The song isnít a soft song like the title suggest but the song is still a kind of calm after the storm song. But the song brings a whole another storm. The lyrics are great and so is the chorus. And for the first time in the album I can say that Cartel did a great job with the guitar work, it really fits the song well. One of the harder and faster songs on the album, it may not be their best but it still is wonderful. 4/5
9. If a Fail, is a decent song. It breaks the string of great songs but the song is still all right. It's kind of a skippable song but the chorus still kept me interested. One of my rare listens on the album but it's still a good song. 3/5
10. The Minstrelís Prayer, when I first heard this song I was hooked. The soft song that is filled with heart, The Minstrel's heart contains some of my favorite drum work of all time and it has kind of a Christian punk feel and I love these kinds of songs, the song never slows down or loses rhythm and that's another thing I respect it for, what a great and intriguing song. 5/5
11. Q is a simply titled song that has become my favorite on the album. One of the reasons is because you can really feel that Cartel is building for a gigantic ending, which they are building for. Another reason I like this song is it's kind of like a quick 2 minute 30 second interlude to the album. But enough of what it has done for the album. The song has unique lyrics and it has really duel vocals for the first time since Say Anything Else, which I really like. The song also doesn't have any long breaks it comes right at you. It also has some of my favorite lines of the album: If your not getting answers, well ask better questions. Got to love this song. 5/5
12. A, is supposedly the answer to the question in "Q" that takes nine-minutes of brilliance to solve. The song goes at it's own pace, and really has lyrics that blend in with the album. And it really does justice to the great album, Love the song. 4.5/5
Great album with lots of great songs
An "Original" pop-punk album
They really do great when they use duel-vocals
Could use more duel-vocals
Conclusion: This album did a lot for me concerning pop punk. I was getting tired of the industry being not original; Cartel brought some originality to the industry. They also didn't take off many songs. I like many of the songs, and I would recommend this for a buy.