Melee is a band from Orange County, CA. I really liked their previous album, Everyday Behavior (2004). After a few years of touring in Europe and Japan, they’ve released their new cd Devils & Angels. It is their first major label release. The difference between the two releases is that D&A is more pop and, to me, a bit overproduced.
At first, I thought I was listening to an ’80’s album. Upon further listening, it seemed an odd blend of Rick Springfield, the Goo Goo Dolls and Maroon 5 mixed with the tunes of Flashdance. Nevertheless, the more I listened to it, the more I enjoyed it and found the songs running through my head. They are very catchy with a lot of pop hooks and melodic harmony. There are also jamming piano tunes, sweet guitar riffs, and beautiful vocals. Melee is very talented in writing and performing. Their lead singer Chris Cron has a strong and beautiful voice.
“Built to Last” is particularly catchy.
“Rhythm of the Rain” evokes cozying up and listening to the rain pour down and speaks of growing up, romance and relationships. This seems to be the theme of the album.
“Frequently Baby” includes lyrics such as “she’s just a teenage maniac with her heart out on the dancefloor”. Very energetic and revved up.
“For a Lifetime” talks of going back to the beginning again and growing up, coming of age, going out in the world to find answers.
The very poppy “Drive Away” speaks of the conflict of wanting to stay and yet leave a relationship, with its guitars sounding like driving.
One of my favorites is the slower, more romantic tune, “Can’t Hold On”. “If you can’t hold on, on your very last try, I’ll be there in the morning to pull you through.”
“Imitation” speaks of “not giving you up to the devils inside your head”.
“Love Carries On” is a slow powerful ballad with a crescendoing chorus.
“She’s Gonna Find Me Here” has beautiful piano-driven harmonies.
“Biggest Mistake” is very danceworthy and speaks of “the psycho with the blue dress on”. The lyrics are interesting including “Gonna sue Jet Blue for everything they put me through.”
“You Got” is also one of my favorites. It has a Rob Thomas/Santana vibe to me and is more grooving with rich and sensual guitar riffs.
“Stand Up” is anthemic and poppy.
The bonus track is a cover of Hall & Oates “You Make My Dreams”. It is done simply, cleanly and reminds me of why Hall & Oates were so popular.
Melee’s D&A is upbeat music. It’s not heavy or anything to study too closely. It’s more something to let wash over you and bring you with it into its head-bopping vibe. It’s poppy bubbly feel-good music, a nice change when you want something light. At the same time, the band is very talented and I’ve heard they are great in concert. Enjoy!
Also, the cd art is gorgeous!