Monday, February 18, 2008

Melee – Devils & Angels

A particular online dictionary provides us with this definition of the word stale:

stale [steyl] adjective
not fresh; vapid or flat, as beverages; dry or hardened, as bread.

musty; stagnant: stale air.

having lost novelty or interest; hackneyed; trite: a stale joke.

having lost freshness, vigor, quick intelligence, initiative, or the like, as from overstrain, boredom, or surfeit: He had grown stale on the job and needed a long vacation.

Law. having lost force or effectiveness through absence of action, as a claim.

See also: Melee

As evidenced by their latest album Devils And Angels, Melee are the flat coke in the refrigerator that is the modern music scene. They display practically no creativity, innovation, or spin whatsoever on their typical radio-rock sound.

Melee ride on the coattails of Elton John, as the main melody is carried by the vocals and piano playing of frontman Chris Cron. The piano playing is something that everyone has heard before in the background of many pop tunes. The only difference here is that it is found louder in the mix, which wouldn’t be a problem if the piano playing was worthy of being a focal point of the album, but sadly it is not.

Every cliché is present. 90% of the songs about girls: check. A track worthy of Monster Ballads? “Can’t Hold On” and “She’s Gonna Find Me Here” provide two big ‘ol checks here. Gang Vocals? Look no further than “My Biggest Mistake.” Swanky 70’s throwback tune? “You Make My Dreams.” Bee Gees style falsetto? Check. String Section? Present and accounted for in “Drive Away.”

Melee call to mind 3rd Eye Blind in the guitar department, and Maroon 5 in the rhythm section. If you’ve lost your copy of Songs About Jane, you may want to consider switching it out for Devils & Angels.

Devils & Angels is pop music. The same pop music that Fall Out Boy and countless other bands have capitalized on as of late. The sound is formulaic, bland, and altogether uninspired. Melee sounds like a band that could be played on the John Tesh radio show and fit right in. If that doesn’t scare you off, then Melee might just be your new favorite band.

If the band set out to make an album that will get played on the radio and pleased their managers at Warner Brothers, then they have certainly succeeded. I mean no disrespect to the music that Melee has made, but this is an album full of the same songs we hear on the radio everyday, only this time they are repackaged with the piano a little louder than before.

I am sure there are loads of people who will love this band. They’re the same people who jumped off the Backstreet Boys bandwagon just to get on the ‘N SYNC train, and when that locomotive crashed, they had already moved on to hip-hop, or Hawthorne Heights, or whatever the next trend was.

To take a line from the very deffiniton of the word bland, Melee have grown stale on the job, and probably could use a long vacation.


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12:13 PM  

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