Personnel: Mike Payne (guitar); Aaron Shannon (programming).
Audio Mixer: J.R. McNeely .
Recording information: Superphonic, Nashville, TN; The Holiday Ian, Franklin, TN.
Photographer: Dan Coronado.
If you agree with most that Christian punk popsters Stellar Kart aimed for their broadest audience yet on 2008's Expect the Impossible, then you'll probably consider their fourth album, Everything Is Different Now, as bringing it all back home. The band, with vocalist Adam Agee at the forefront, has matured and altered their formula from blink-182-type power punk to meaningful vertical praise. Like their hard rock counterparts Kutless, the Arizona foursome seem to have found their true selves in praise & worship music, focusing their fierce rock energy like a laser beam to connect with listeners in new and amazing ways. In typical Stellar Kart fashion, the album has a twist. The original songs are rounded out by a handful of covers, some of which might be expected on a worship album, while others give listeners a challenge to discover how they fit in on such a collection. For instance, the group scores creative credit for covering Norman Greenbaum's 1970 classic "Spirit in the Sky," turning up the tempo and bathing it in radiant rock energy. Other covers include Audio Adrenaline's "Until My Heart Caves In" and Matt Redman's "You Never Let Go." Agee's rousing vocals and the band's tight rhythm section comprise the heart of the album. More terrific stuff like the anthems "All My Heart" and "We Shine" show that Stellar Kart's true sound shines through on this praise collection. ~ Jared Johnson