Recording information: Atomic Sound; Big Sky Recording, Ann Arbor, MI; Elm Street Recording; Hess Street Recording Studios, Lansing, MI; Reed Recording Co.
A Family Album, the Verve Pipe's first LP for kids, went so well that the group -- aka Brian Vander Ark -- jumped at the chance to record a second one in 2013. Are We There Yet? is cut from the same cloth as A Family Album -- it's another ten-song set of shamelessly exuberant, singalong pop -- but it doesn't feel as if the Verve Pipe is reworking tired ground. Part of that is due to the album being so irrepressibly cheerful it gives off the impression of perpetual movement, but most of it is due to Brian Vander Ark and Donny Brown's talents, which lie in this kind of big, bright pop. They're clever pop craftsman whose talents extend beyond the mere writing of the song; they can also make a good pop record, layering instruments and effects to give the impression of joyful chaos. Just like they did on A Family Album, the Verve Pipe sound like they're having a blast on Are We There Yet? so it's easy for the whole family to have a good time with this nifty little record. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine