Review Summary: While not entirely consistent, the Cab's breakthrough album is packed with ultra-catchy hooks, and musicianship that tends to be sorely lacking in mainstream pop nowadays as a whole.
On several occasions, I have heard people dismiss the Cab as simply "Justin Timberlake with guitars". While some similarities can be seen in the two's sound, the Cab add their own spin that make Whisper War an experience all its own.
Let's have a look, shall we?
1). One of THOSE Nights
This is a suitable opener, being the first single off the album, with music full of energy masking the darker lyrics. Definitely one of the angrier songs on this album, but it nonetheless brightens the mood of the listener and ushers us into Whisper War. (4/5)
Another one of the singles, Bounce benefits like the rest of the songs from the excellent production values and DeLeons astounding vocals, and it brings a lot to the table when it comes to giving the Cab possible radio hits. The lyrics for this one, however, can't quite get into myself, so that's a few points docked. (3.5/5)
3). I'll Run
This song is heartfelt and upbeat at the same time, as DeLeon promises to be faithful to his girl, and asks if she'll have faith in him. It's quite touching, and serves well to contrast with some of the ego displayed in some of the other songs. (4.5/5)
4). High Hopes in Velvet Ropes
While sticking to the same theme that Bounce was going for, this song benefits from switching things up with some slick acoustic guitar in the bridge and impossibly high notes in the pre-chorus. (4/5)
5). That 70's Song
This song is basically DeLeon talking about how a girl is being too clingy, and the catchy as hell guitar in this gives the feel of an very polished 70's rock ballad. (Sort of, please don't quote me on that.) (4.5/5)
6). Take My Hand
Another song taking the epic anthem approach and succeeding, the guitar work on this song is perhaps the best on the whole album, which is saying a lot. Add that with some fun lyrics, and you've got some prime music for your summer playlist. (5/5)
7). Risky Business
A decent dance number, though nothing really sticks out enough for it to soar far above just "good". The second chorus is pretty good though. (3/5)
8). I'm a Wonder
By far the weakest song on the album, with the douchiest lyrics, (seriously, the lyrics make Levine look like Mother Teresa) it starts out slow and even DeLeon's vocals and the guitar work keep this song from being just a filler song to just being mediocre. (2.5/5)
Now THIS song wakes me up from the coma of the previous song. The chorus soars, and is a dance number that inspires and brightens me everytime. (3.5/5)
10). Vegas Skies
Perhaps the BEST song on the album, the combination of string, piano and guitar gives me pleasant memories of Acoustic #3 from the Goo Goo Dolls. It manages to kindle that sort of magic that the proper ballad should do for the listener. (5/5)
11). Can You Keep a Secret?
Another decent dance number. Again, can't think of much to say about it. Electric pop, not bad, not exceptional. Just pretty good. Next. (3/5)
12). This City is Contagious
After having a pretty solid tracklist all in all, Whisper War needed something energetic, confident and inspired to close it. This song is exactly what the doctor ordered. This song is the anthem of the Cab singing directly to their fans ("Right now this town is for the taking") an anthem that I can repeat day after day. Surely a spectacular way to end a great album. (5/5)
All in all, this is a very good first effort by the Cab, with the musicianship and the vocals carrying the album to new heights. They bring a sense of swagger and confidence that makes this music distinctly "Vegas". If you aren't into power pop, this might not convince you. Otherwise, definitely check it out.
Overall: 4 stars out of 5
One of THOSE Nights
Take My Hand
This City is Contagious