Mêlée - The Masquerade

by Matthew C. Miller on Oct 5, 2010 at 2:19 AM
R&R Engage (1)

Melee - ROCKandREVIEW.com

Mêlée's got their new album, The Masquerade out today, October 5th, 2010 at digital and retail outlets.
They've also been selected as the iTunes Free Single of the Week, with their song "The Ballad of You and I," and the new album can be had for only $6.99 from the same place.

Mêlée is a pleasant mix of The Script meets Keane on a daytime movie set in LA. Sometimes their sound can be a bit too "Hollywood." However, The Masquerade is a solid effort that is full of meaning and purpose and I think this is an album that their fans are going to find to be their best yet. It's also likely to lend several tracks to any number of current TV and movie scripts as the songs are fitting for most any situation a writer could need.

I like how Mêlée have no fear of mixing in any sound from 80's electric drums to dance-inspired keys to suit the moment. Mêlée's sound is indeed very polished, but still conveys a sense of depth and struggle. Lead singer, Chris Cron has a voice well beyond his years. It is strong and versatile and he's got a fair chance at taking best male vocals one of these years.

Melee - The Masquerade - ROCKandREVIEW.com

The Masquerade is a very upbeat album yet has the core of a lyricist yearning to break through. You can hear sounds from Tony Basil to Hall & Oats to Keane to nothing but Mêlée mixed in a rather decent manner with thoughtful, timely lyrics. The Masquerade is somewhat more electronic than their previous efforts, Devils & Angels and Everyday Behavior and that may be due to the constant change of drummers. You may remember their latest drummer, Derek Rock from Suburban Legends, who played Disneyland quite regularly.

"The Ballad of You and I" is the lead single from The Masquerade, and is the track available as the iTunes' free download. It's an excellent track, bright and airy and without a doubt one of Chris Cron's best lyrical efforts to date. If the song has a fault, it might be that it sounds like U2 or Coldplay, but at the same time that familiarity is going to open doors to new fans. "Freeze," "The World Keeps Turning," "What Good is Love (Without You)" and "On The Movie Screen" are among my favorites on the album. All of them are either driving importance home in a beat or through deep lyrics. Really, the only songs I would have cut from the album are "Girls Wanna Rock" and "Wedding Dress." The songs sound like the repertoire of a lesser band. They are loud songs that will get a crowd going and sound like Keane meets the Cars, but they are at a distance from the substance of the rest of The Masquerade. "What Good is Love (Without You)" pays homage to Queen as does the Queen cover, "Teo Torriatte," where Cron is found singing out some very well pronounced Japanese.

"Someday You'll be a Story" is Mêlée's cornerstone song. From any in their catalog, it's promise is delivered. It's an up-lifter for sure, in the vein of Carolina Liar's "Show Me What I'm Looking For." This one may make the R&R list of the year's best songs.

Music snobs are going to find it hard to peel the vital bits of Mêlée away from the Disney polish (plastic?) that engulfs Mêlée's contemporaries on the younger end of the scale and the hipster effect of Mêlée's contemporaries in the mainstream, especially if seen before heard. I encourage any true music fan to give them a go, if even for just a quick pick-me-up or a critical appreciation for producer, Josh Abraham's latest work.

It's unfair to compare Mêlée to an institution such as U2 but they are trying hard to place themselves near the likes of The Script, The Feeling and Jacks' Mannequin, a place where they are near equals.

From SubCity to Warner Bros. to Sire, Mêlée seem to have some good label backing across their three-album career, and from all accounts they seem to be "big in Japan," so I'm hoping they will put in the time and put up with the pain needed to transform from a good band to a great band and not just go for what's easy. A long arc of a career is better than a plastic splash in the pan any day, although it typically takes your life.

Pick up The Masquerade on iTunes

Visit Mêléerocks.com

Mêlée - "On The Movie Screen" - Video - Lyrics

Mêlée - "Built to Last" - Video - Lyrics

Mêlée - "On The Movie Screen" acustic - Video - Lyrics

Mêlée also have several great videos off of Devils and Angels, but in a lame move WB disallowed embedding so you'll have to look them up yourself.


Mêlée is:

Chris Cron – lead vocals, piano & guitar
Ricky Sans – guitars, synths & vocals
Ryan Malloy – bass & vocals
Derek Rock – drums & vocals


Mêlée - The Masquerade - Track List

01. The Masquerade 04:03
02. Girls Wanna Rock 02:55
03. On The Movie Screen 03:15
04. The Ballad Of You And I 04:43
05. The World Keeps Turning 03:47
06. Immortal 03:42
07. Wedding Dress 03:20
08. Freeze 04:19
09. What Good Is Love (Without You) 03:49
10. Someday You'll Be A Story 04:29
11. Towers 04:16
12. Teo Torriatte (Queen Cover) 04:56
13. Built To Last (Acoustic Version) 03:34


Mêlée - "On The Movie Screen - Lyrics

It all began
With the roundabout.
We're leaving from the theatre;
The credits fade on sweeter days
You're off again
And you're filled with doubt
Another ruined evening
Your fantasies keep leading you away.
They're leading you away.

Now here you are still living for the kiss;
The kiss you think you need.
Whispered words still tremble on your lips.
It's more than you have seen
On the movie screen.

You dress me up in the love you see
It's orchestrated beauty
Synthetic and alluring
Look, I know it's tough.
We may disagree,
But there's simple in the magic.
I'll never lead you tragically away.
I'll never lead you away

Love's not always picture perfect.
We fight, we cry, we learn it's worth it.
Love's a supernatural fire that burns.


Mêlée - "Built to Last" - Lyrics

I've looked for love in stranger places,
but never found someone like you.
Someone whose smile makes me feel I've been holding back,
and now there's nothing I can't do.

'Cause this is real, and this is good.
It warms the inside just like it should,
but most of all it's built to last.

All of our friends saw from the start.
So why didn't we believe it too?
Whoa yeah, now look where we are.
You're in my heart now.
And there's no escaping it for you.

'Cause this is real, and this is good.
It warms the inside just like it should,
but most of all it's built to last.

Walking on the hills that night with those fireworks and candlelight
You and I were made to get love right

'Cause this is real, and this is good.
It warms the inside just like it should,
but most of all it's built to last.

'Cause you are the sun in my universe,
considered the best when we've felt the worst
and most of all it's built to last.

1 R&R Engage comment to “Mêlée - The Masquerade”

  1. Machelle Zanders Says:
    This is an awesome post. Thanks for sharing this stuff with us.

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