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Cash Cash

Take It to the Floor

(Universal Republic; US: 20 Jan 2009; UK: Available as import)

New Jersey rockers Cash Cash are supposed to be a throwback, a mash-up of retro cool resulting in a progressive sound. The band’s bio pegs them as “exciting techno-pop” with elements of “70s funk, 80s anthem pop and 90s mellow alternative.” Even their album’s cover is splashed with bright colors and eye-catching fonts that suggest a love for all things New Wave. So, it is ironic, then, that Take it to the Floor sounds more like a mix of styles that have dominated Top 40 radio over the last five years than trendsetting artists of the past.

That’s not to say that the album isn’t enjoyable; the band can write huge hooks and carry themselves with enough style and confidence to score big points with teen-age listeners. But, no reinventing or even reimagining of any wheels is taking place. The band’s dominant traits suggest Fall Out Boy with some synthy window dressing; and, any funk present in their sound is cribbed more from the Maroon 5s and Justin Timberlakes of the world than from older bands that influenced those artists. The band’s best tunes (“Party in Your Bedroom,” “Your Love”) showcase a gift for melody and a creative spark that can be further harnessed. By playing down the standard emo-pop elements here and playing more to the sounds Cash Cash wants to represent, the band could truly have something special.


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