The Cab – Whisper War
Release Date: April 29th, 2008
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen/Decaydance Records
When I first listened to The Cab, I couldn't help but be taken back to 1998, when acts like N'Sync and Backstreet Boys were taking the world by storm. I'll admit that I was a fan, but then again, so were most people at one point or another. The Cab's debut album Whisper War reminds me exactly of what I liked about the boy-band genre 10 years ago, and the band includes their own touch to make it relevant in the scene today.
The whisper wars begin with "One of THOSE Nights," a song that features vocals from both Brendon Urie (Panic at the Disco) and Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), which is sure to give any scene girl a musical heart attack. The track is insanely catchy while being a perfect indication of what's the come in the next 11 songs. "Bounce," by far the biggest song on Whisper War, sounds just like something N'Sync would perform, especially considering the chorus ("bounce, bounce, baby, bounce back to me") and how it's very reminiscent of "Bye, Bye, Bye." I won't be surprised at all if this song hits every radio station across the country in the next couple of months.
With every Matt Squire-produced album, it should be expected that the production on it will be great, and with Whisper War, it's definitely no exception. The production is outstanding and is what makes this record so good for what it is. Proof of the quality production is found in the re-worked versions of "Take My Hand" and "I'll Run." The finished product on those songs sound extremely well-polished and were well worth the year-long wait after being some of my favorite songs of 2007.
Vocally, Whisper War is quite impressive. Regardless of how many think the music is unoriginal and generic, vocalist Alex DeLeon has a nice set of pipes, and they're displayed well throughout the album, especially on "High Hopes in Velvet Ropes." The stand-out song on Whisper War, "Zzzzz," does anything but make me fall asleep. It has become my new song to wake me up and jump start my morning. With every pop album, there always seems to be one of those obligatory ballad songs that usually feel out of place. In The Cab's case, this comes toward the end of the record with "Vegas Skies," but they do surprisingly well at it and manage to not lose my attention mid-way through like most of the random soft songs in the genre.
Overall, Whisper War is as poppy as poppy can get; it practically sounds like Justin Timberlake with guitars. Besides the fact that the lyrics are quite cringe worthy at times and the musicianship isn't anything we haven't heard before, The Cab have created another album that will definitely take place in my listening rotation for a while. While I'm going to start constructing my Summer playlists on my computer, I suggest The Cab start constructing their award shelves in their living rooms.
They have more ability than this album shows. And the synth on Zzzzz makes me want to cringe and pull my hair out. The sheer amount of production on the back-up vocals makes me want to pull my hair out.
And yet I can't stop listening to it. I'd just be much happier if I knew there wasn't that much production there (I've seen them live twice and loved it).