Cage Depart From Me

Cage Depart From Me
Chris Palko has been laying low since his alter ego went emo three years ago with Hell's Winter, but now the tormented rapper is back, combining the rock-ready production and sad sack subject matter of that album with the vivid, violent imagery and witty writing of his pre-Def Jux days. Depart From Me is rife with mentally unbalanced characters given life through Cage's first-person narratives, including another song about his stay at Stony Lodge Hospital ("Dr. Strong"). Lead single "I Never Knew You" is about a stalker, while "Teenage Hands" has a verse about a girl dating an older man followed by one about a recent army recruit in action. And then there's a song about goth chicks ("Look At What You Did"), one about child abuse ("Beat Kids"), an anthem for the big boys ("Fat Kids Need An Anthem") and more. The only disappointment is "Kick Rocks," a previously released song whose simple beat and spoken, off-the-cuff verses come off as an interlude that goes on way too long. While the over-the-top horrorcore character of his early career will be missed, Depart From Me successfully combines the best of both periods of Cage's music for a perfect prescription for those in the mood for something dark and demented. (Def Jux)