Thursday, July 02, 2009

Cage: "Depart From Me" album review

Cage is the stage name of Brooklyn rapper Chris Palko. His new full length album, Depart From Me, comes out on July 7th.

Blending rock sounds with heavy hip hop beats it would be easy to describe Cage's sound as rap rock. That term doesn't serve it justice. Unlike the rap rock of the late '90s (I'm looking at you Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit), Cage's music has a punk influence rather than a metal one. The result is more intense and thoughtful than those artists. He has far more in common with artists like Saul Williams, P.O.S., and Blackout Sands than with Chester whatshisname.

Social commentaries are rife throughout the album. Rather than making grandiose political statements Cage chooses to tackle more everyday issues like drugs ("Kick Rocks"), violence ("Beat Kids"), and sexual abuse ("Teenage Hands"). He addresses each of these issues with sincerity and intelligence. In doing so he proves that hip hop does not have to degenerate into a battle of bitches and hos to grab your attention.

In all of this Cage never loses sight of the fact that if your songs are not good, nobody will listen and your message will not get out. It's undeniable that tracks like "Look At What You Did" are infectious and will keep people coming back for listen after listen.

Hip hop needs more artists like Cage, P.O.S., and Saul Williams to restore interest and integrity to the genre.

Cage plays the El Mocambo in Toronto on July 4th.

Best tracks: "Look At What You Did", "Teenage Hands"

Track listing for Depart From Me:
  • Nothing Left To Say
  • Beat Kids
  • Dr. Strong
  • I Found My Mind In CT
  • I Lost It In Havertown
  • Teenage Hands
  • Eating Its Way Out Of Me
  • Kick Rocks
  • Katie's Song
  • Strain
  • Fat Kids Need An Anthem
  • Look At What You Did- MP3
  • Depart From Me
  • I Never Knew You

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