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Il Volo
Il Volo Ingram Hill
Alex Z. Name: Symphony Soldier
Label: Z Entertainment
Release Date: 08.22.2011
Rating: 4.9 out of 5

Review written by: Lauren Engberg

If you haven't heard of The Cab, now is the time to find out what this band is all about. This Vegas based band is quickly gaining notice with their new album "Symphony Soldier." It's been three years since their last full-length album "Whisper War" was released, and even though "Whisper War" wasn't commercially successful it was a stepping stone in the right direction. After some tough moments with member departures and leaving their label Fueled By Ramen for creative differences, it was in question if this album would ever get to the fans. 

With all the troubles the band faced, they fought hard to come out with an album that truly will impress any first time listener. The three year gap allowed for lead singer, Alex DeLeon, to write with a few Top 40 names in the music industry, which some made on the album. Also featured on this album is the work of producer John Feldmann, who obviously took this production up a few levels, to make it a truly insane piece of work that is easily radio friendly. 

The first track of the album opens with "Angel With A Shotgun," signaling a war is about to be fought, "I'm an angel with a shotgun / fighting 'til the war's won" The very beginning starts with a slow choral and builds up until you hit the hook that's easily one of my personal favorites on the album. It's the perfect song to start out this album and leaves you craving for more of it. 

Their single "Bad," who Martin Johnson of Boys Like Girls helped co-write, is easily a song that's radio ready, catchy, and infectious that it's almost ridiculous something like this hasn't been played over and over across the country yet. It's by far one of the best pop songs to hit music in a while. This is the song one will find themselves blasting out their car windows with no shame screaming along to DeLeon's vocals. 

The next track "Endlessly" is a song that begins with Alex Marshall's famous piano skills and DeLeon's soothing vocals that will make you hit the repeat button on this infectious track that Bruno Mars helped pen. It's easily another radio ready song that will make The Cab another well-known top 40 band. 


After that track ends it goes straight into "Animal," a song penned with Maroon 5's lead man Adam Levine. It quite obvious there's a Maroon 5 influence in this intensely catchy and funky song. The guitar licks are impressive and lead a chorus that DeLeon makes sure to leave replaying over in your head. Another song off the album that is just as playfully catchy is "Temporary Bliss," with a chorus that shows off the theme of the album - love, lust, and heartbreak. It's the second track off the album and leads into the other surefire hits for "Symphony Soldier." 

It needs to be noted that it's not just the lyrics that make the album one of the best pop albums of the year. The instrumentation of Ian Crawford, the band's former guitarist, on the guitar is insane and is showcased in songs like “Animal.” It's also obvious that Alex Marshall's piano skills are definitely up to par in songs like "Endlessly." All of the catchy lyrics and magical instrument playing give your ears one heck of an album to listen to. 

"Intoxicated" features a full band sound and hooks that are fun and playful tying in with the love theme. "Grow Up and Be Kids," a high energy song that puts anther take on the classic "don't wanna grow up" subject matter, and also credits John Feldmann and Pete Wentz as co-writers. It presents a whole new flare to the record with a Michael Jackson influence sound. 

"La La" is by far a standout on the record with DeLeon's vocals being showcased, catchy beats and hooks, and overall pop sound that rivals current famous top 40 hits. This is my favorite off the album because of how well this song is presented vocally and lyrically. A song called "Her Love Is My Religion" is similar to "La La" in pop influence and melodies that make it just as equally catchy as the others on the album. Songs like this will definitely expand The Cab's growing fan base. 

"Another Me" and "Lovesick Fool" are beautifully executed songs. "Another Me" features Ian Crawford's guitar skills and emotions in DeLeon's vocals that gives you goosebumps while he sings about a lost love that he revengefully sings "Well good luck finding another me." It's a sure fire hit for the people who experienced similar grief to old significant others. "Lovesick Fool" is hauntingly beautiful and will definitely hit your heart hard. It's a perfect ballad about heartbreak that will be hard not to listen to. Marshall's piano is present and adds that flare that perfects the song that much more. 

The album finishes off with "Living Louder," a song that shows off the album as a greater whole. If you listen carefully to the lyrics DeLeon sings "We're all soldiers tonight," "I'm fighting harder," and "Loving stronger tonight," which seems to be a thank you to the people who helped the band get to where they are today. It's an uplifting song with lyrics that are a perfect closing to an album that is "Symphony Soldier." 

I truly believe this album is one of the best pop albums to hit the music scene in 2011. Even with all the hardships, leading man DeLeon made sure to fight his war to get this album to the fans and people that ever doubted the band. His vocals are showcased in such a brilliant way with emotion in each song that it makes the album that much closer to perfection. It's also noticed that this album doesn't really contain any fillers, which is hard to come by in any album. Let me also point out that this album also reached a slot in the top 10 albums on iTunes WITHOUT a label. Impressive? I'd say so. 

I truly believe this album is a one of a kind masterpiece that fans were rewarded for waiting so long for. For the new fans who just happen to have heard "Bad" on the radio, listening to this album will make you think differently of the band. They aren't some one hit wonder with that song. In fact, the whole album is full of hits one will come to love over and over again and abuse the replay button with. "Symphony Soldier" is an album any music lover should have stored in their music collection for these specific reasons. 2011 is by far the year for symphony soldiers. 

Facebook Comments: Keep 'em clean folks!
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