"Devils & Angels"

(Warner Bros. Records 2007)Melee - Devils & Angels

After releasing their first album, "Everyday Behavior," on Sub City in 2004, Melee was snatched up by major label Warner Bros. Records. Now on their major label debut, "Devils & Angels," Melee seems to strike a rather angelic pose as their smooth, clean-cut pop sound soars and flies with power chords and effortless melodies while the accompanying lyrics routinely flip flop in their attitude towards love.

Fans of smooth pop will likely find "Devils & Angels" a quick favorite. The reassuring lyrics of "Can't Hold On" pulls listeners in with the chorus while the love tune "Imitation" is more up tempo and up beat as frontman Chris Cron sings that you are the only one he will ever need. Melee could likely put out an album strictly of piano ballads. From "Love Carries On" to the upbeat sound of "For A Lifetime," piano makes a strong impression on the album, almost sharing the spotlight with Cron. The album's hidden track is a cover of Hall & Oates "You Make My Dreams Come True" that is tight as they stay true to the original.

When all is said and done, Melee is an unabashedly pop rock band. But "Devils & Angels" lacks the hooks to really do the genre justice and keep you singing along. Further, the band seems unwilling to take some chances or venture outside of the box. Even the Hall & Oates cover, which they did well, they could have put more of their own twist on. The result is an album that blends until songs are indistinguishable, strung together by one soaring chorus after another.


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