In the realm of acoustic pop-punk-emo, i.e. Dashboard Confessional, there isn't much new you can do to it. There's the meaningful, heartfelt lyrics, and the acoustic chords with the occasional electric guitar and drum backing. However, on his first release, the Talk is Cheap
EP, Dave Melillo delivers on all fronts, with some really great songwriting skill for a 17 year old. He also has a good voice and the ability to write really catchy songs that you'll find yourself listening to over and over again and not get sick of. For a first effort, this is a great EP. Although it doesn't do much to re-invent the genre, per sae, it accomplishes what it sets out to do, and that's write a good album that will no doubt be the anthem to many-a broken heart.
The EP begins with "Sam's Song", a completely acoustic number with good lyrics and a catchy chorus. Because it's totally unplugged, Dave's voice is really showcased on this track, and it is a strong one. The lyrics are insightful too, and he has some amazing talent at writing love songs. This is a solid song, and it opens the EP well by introducing you to Dave's style. After this comes "Vatican Roulette", which begins with a pretty cool electric drum beat and even features some synthesizer. This is another pretty good song, with a more mature topic- something about a party and a mistake that was made after too many drinks. It's a good song though, different from "Sam's Song" in that it has a full band, with electric guitars and drums. It's not one of my favorites, but still, it's a good song- just not as acoustically-syled.
Next comes "Knights of the Island Counter", which i think is the best song on the album. It begins with a nice little acoustic riff and some piano, which adds a nice touch. Dave then begins singing, with some great lyrics and a great voice. The drums add a really nice touch in this song, because they aren't loud or overwhelming and provide a nice contrast to the acoustic guitar and piano. It's really a great song, and it shows how good he is at writing music. After "Knights" is "This is 2005", which i think is probably the weakest track on the EP. It's a little slower, and again, is just acoustic guitar and piano. I just can't get into it because it moves too slow for me, and it's not as catchy or well-written, in my opinion. The EP closes with "Morris County Blues", which is another electric-acoustic-drum type song, with the full band deal going on. I really like this song, not only because the music is written well, but because the lyrics flow really well- the rhythm of the chorus is really great, and it's a strong track. He manages to say a lot of words while not sounding rushed, and it works well for the song.
This is a really good EP, and probably would have gotten a 4.5 or 5 if it weren't for "This is 2005". However, it's still a very good release and it showcases the talent of a young songwriter who seems to have his style in mind, and he plays it well. Dave Melillo delivers on the Talk is Cheap
EP, with acoustic anthems and meaningful lyrics. If you're a fan of Dashboard, or basically any emotional music, then this EP is definitely worth your while.
[url=http://www.mtvu.com/music/dave_melillo]Download the EP for free here until May 18, 2006.[/url]