First Company Records
Release Date: April 15th 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
- Let It Go (3:41)
- Do You Want To Build A Snowman? (2:06)
- For The First Time In Forever (3:36)
What does a band do after they’ve delivered probably their most mature and lyrically sound album? Well in the case of Stellar Kart, from Phoenix, Arizona, and also one of the most popular and powerful pop/punk bands, alongside Hawk Nelson and Relient K; they’re definitely bringing back their fun, frenzied, energetic and upbeat punk roots on the back of the successful All In, and it shows in the most recent EP Frozen. The movie Frozen, starring Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel as the protagonists Anna and Elsa; has gone global rather exponentially, being the highest grossing animated film ever, with many more story ideas in the works for a franchise. The story (about a princess who treks on a journey with a mountain climber, his pet reindeer and a walking, talking snowman, saving her sister from herself, from her magical powers that has turned the town into a continual snowing winter state), has warmed the hearts of many as we are met with universal themes of love, forgiveness, hope, reconciliation, and optimism, and the theme that no matter what you’ve done you can be forgiven for your past transgressions. On this EP, Stellar Kart present us with the songs ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?’, ‘Let it Go’ and ‘For the First Time in Forever’, probably 3 of the most famous songs of 2013.
“Let It Go”, which won the Best Song Category at the Oscars recently, seems to be an odd choice for Adam to sing, considering that on most versions a female leads the track (Idina Menzel and Demi Lovato on previous versions) however Adam’s love for Disney songs shines through here. Driven by strong electric guitars and a clean piano riff at the beginning to pique our interest, Stellar Kart display their pop/punk prowess for all to see. While the song doesn’t really mention anything about God (I mean, with the words ‘no right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free’ inserted in the second verse, it’s almost like the song is preaching universalism or atheism if it wasn’t from a Disney film!); what I can gather is that people will be drawn into the song because of the simple fact that we can let go of our worries and troubles and just be who we are without fear of condemnation. While the song doesn’t go any deeper about how we let go or who we let go to; as Christians we believe that letting go means giving everything and laying it all down in the hands of Jesus, and as we let go, we can trust God. As this song reminds me of Josh Wilson’s “Carry Me”, we can all place our hope in Jesus, and realise that our burdens are not for us alone but for God and our family and friends. “Let It Go” may only show us part of the realisation of freedom and security, but part of the way is more than enough for God to work in the hearts of non-believers! The last two songs “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” and “For The First Time In Forever” round out the short but punchy EP. Though on the surface sounding superficial; both these tracks speak about deeper, meaningful issues when listened to at a more intense level.
With “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” sung at an amazingly quick pace, this is a song that Anna sings to Elsa trying to encourage her to actively participate in life rather than just shut people out and sit away in her room. This 2 minute tune possibly has more meaning than the successful single “Let It Go”, as at times we could be in the situation of Anna or of Elsa- the one encouraging our friends to live life to the fullest and the one who needs help, motivation and inspiration. The song about building snowmen (an obvious metaphor for living life) lets us know that sometimes we have to step out of our shells and our fears and live without inhibition. As our strength comes from Jesus Christ, Stellar Kart shows this fact deeply through their faith.
With Aleigh leading the song “For The First Time In Forever”, a song about the notion of freedom and showing the world who we really are, as Anna vibrantly tells about her anticipation of meeting a suitor at the ball; the celebratory ballad reminds me of the feeling we should have all the time with Jesus Christ in our lives. The sense of wonder, excitement and gratitude for the life we’ve been given by our Heavenly Father is expressed in this song as Aleigh sings out ‘…for the first time in forever, there’ll be music, there’ll be light, for the first time in forever, I’ll be dancing through the night…’, even if the subject matter in the movie is vastly different to our pursuits of Jesus. As Christians, we should be excited to know God more, and excited to walk in His will as well, as we discover new things about the world around us. Thus these three melodies, led brilliantly by Adam, Nick, Aleigh and Jeremi, can and most probably will impact listeners of all beliefs, due to the sheer cult status of the film as well as the popularity of the band.
Though these songs do not seem to be overtly ‘Christian’ in the themes; Stellar Kart still sing passionately and emotionally cry out and proclaim wholeheartedly. If nothing else, Frozen EP will give Stellar Kart great exposure to the mainstream market, perhaps reaching a wider audience, and hopefully fans of the Disney songs could check out the rest of their discography, and as a consequence, maybe find Jesus Christ as well. And if you’re a fan of SK, Frozen and pop/punk music, then this EP is for you! Well done Stellar Kart for remaking the songs that I’m sure people will be singing for a long time! Maybe they’ll record another EP for the next Disney movie?
3 songs to listen to: All of them!
RIYL: Sanctus Real, Relient K, Hawk Nelson, Royal Tailor