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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2001 1 Jan

Sometimes the best art is that which is the most simple. Cadet's ability to freely express themselves in an easy to identify with manner is exactly where their niche lies. Granted, nothing they've written or played on the disc is breathtaking, monumental, or the next major wave of phenomenal success, but it's just good old fun—exactly what pop music is supposed to be. Although this disc marks the band's first official release, avid fans of the BEC label may be familiar with them from the Any Given Day: Earth to Heaven worship project.

For whatever reason, Cadet was not included on the CD's spine or front as being the group behind this mostly contemporary praise and worship cover album. Regardless, Cadet members are no strangers to worship, particularly lead singer and vocalist Ryan Smith, a former worship leader for Oregon State University's Campus Crusade for Christ. This youngster's resume stretches back to high school, when he teamed up with now Cadet drummer Chad Basom to play in a band called Narrow Gate. They met Cadet bassist Jason Kennedy in their local music scene, thanks to his participation in the group Pillar (not to be confused with the Flicker Records band with the same name).

Cadet shows a high degree of chemistry, probably stemming from the fact that they've been involved in music at various levels from their teenage years up through young adulthood. Plus they've had production help from Neill King, who's previously worked with the O.C. Supertones, Green Day, and the legendary Elvis Costello. Their self-titled disc starts out with "Speed of Sound," which could easily fill a movie scene that takes place at a beach and has a lot of surfing incorporated into the plot. Their oddly titled track "Gremmy" also fits that theme and would have been a safe bet to ride to the top of the charts in the 1960s. The group stays on a retro path with their comical ditty "God-Man," a song about finding a superhero in Jesus, with a beat that could easily accompany a Superman cartoon.

Cadet also features a cover of "I'm a Believer" by fellow happy rock band The Monkees (actually it's a Neil Diamond song). However, Cadet changed it up a bit to give the romantic pop song more of a spiritual twist—Smith sings "And I saw Your face, now I'm a believer," instead of Diamond's "And I saw her face, now I'm a believer." Cadet does touch on romance, particularly on "The Girl" and "Fantasy." The first is a near Weezer carbon copy speaking of one's desire to find the person God's called them to marry. The second tactfully tackles a more delicate situation where a girl is distracted by the romance in her relationship with her non-Christian boyfriend. Cadet warns for the girl to avoid throwing her faith in Christ by the wayside and building it up in another person. As the disc closes with "Land of the Living," the trio shows a lot of promise, and surprisingly enough, seems like a band that both teens and their parents will agree on.

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