Cage Tropical Image
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79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fourth full-length release for the indie-pop artist was produced with Jorge Elbrecht.
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Top Track

Red Museum
Everything you know is a lie And the life you have, will die Everything you know Everything you know is a lie I am falling Help, you're falling Oh,... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Aug 11, 2017
    91
    Cage Tropical possesses darker dimensions and inspirations, driven by twinges of velocity and an unsettled vibe. This combination suits Rose well: Her music may have emerged from a period of great turmoil, but, in the process, she’s found a new path forward.
  2. Aug 10, 2017
    80
    On these songs, and really all of the album, Rose isn't just using the '80s as a prop or making a novelty record. The big emotions need a big sound and the songs about returning to the city of her youth need the music of her youth to really hit home.
  3. Uncut
    Aug 18, 2017
    80
    Miserable but magnificent. [Oct 2017, p.39]
  4. Aug 9, 2017
    70
    Even after encountering a few detours and career doubts, Rose has turned a bad situation into something remarkable; Cage Tropical is a welcome return from an artist that clear has more to say.
  5. Aug 11, 2017
    70
    Ultimately, despite its broodier and moodier efforts, Cage Tropical never really hits the heights of Interstellar. However, Rose continues to prove that she doesn’t need to dive into anything so sophisticated as Greek mythology or abstract philosophy to communicate her emotions.
  6. Aug 10, 2017
    70
    Cage Tropical is an elegant ghost that slips into your dreams and leaves you with only vague memories of the experience. That would be fine if Frankie weren’t so close to doing something really haunting.
  7. Aug 9, 2017
    60
    Cage Tropical is a dreampop record. ... And the problem with dreampop records is--well, if they fall short of dreams, then you’ve got to either imbue something other than the divine into the lining (hi, Deafcult!), or you’ve got to work it into overdrive until your listener’s heart flutters like a virgin on the mattress (hi, Ballet School!). And our protagonist simply fails on both counts.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 2, 2017
    8
    How long until the 1980s stop informing every corner of pop music? Not anytime soon, recent babymaking opuses 1989 and Emotion seemed to tellHow long until the 1980s stop informing every corner of pop music? Not anytime soon, recent babymaking opuses 1989 and Emotion seemed to tell us. For some reason, whether its the froth and elegance of early new wave or the marriage of synth pop and r’n’b of that ruled the charts during the latter part of the decade, modernizing the sounds of the 1980s keeps on feeling fresh and necessary. Enter Frankie Rose’s Cage Tropical. It’s another 80s referencing dream pop record meaning basically it summons the ghosts of The Cure, Cocteau Twins and Echo and the Bunnymen, with jangly guitars and echo-laden vocals galore. But something distinctive enough separates Frankie Rose from the pack of pretty but insubstantial female-fronted dream pop acts. Make no mistake, the synth pop inspiration is bright and unapologetic, like on “Game to Play”, where the sound is a spot-on tribute to slick FM new wave vibe (think The Motels, The Fixx) and the multitracked chorus has a gravitas worthy of Violator. Undoubtedly steeped in the 80s, the production courtesy of Violens’ Jorge Elbrecht is nevertheless a meticulously rich foray into the less-obvious; strings, piano and mellotron give a sparkling baroque sensibility to tracks like ''Dancing On The Hall'' and ''Red Museum'' while the melodies of 60s go go and surf pop haunt ''Cage Tropical'' and ''Dyson Sphere''. The record’s muscularity and propulsion is nothing but Rose's own, with a tight rhythm section from her chops as a drummer and from her past as a member of more disheveled rock bands Dum Dum Girls and Vivian Girls, proving that while nuanced and wistful, Cage Tropical can subtly rock as well. And her vocals are as expected, the spell that binds everything forward, breathy yet mixed to feel massive, like an angel beckoning you from the horizon on a highway. Unfortunately, and this is a common pitfall within this style of music, they are given as much echo and reverb as to render the words unintelligible. Cage Tropical’s lyrics allegedly deal with disappointment and alienation; prior to recording the album, Rose almost gave up on her music career after a failed and impoverished period living in Los Angeles. How can we connect when, except on the comparatively lucid Decontrol, only half of what she sings is understandable? Another complaint is that the tracklist is a bit short; given the strength of the material, you’re left intrigued for a couple more songs. But these are minor issues for what is otherwise a solid third statement and career highlight for Frankie Rose. Cage Tropical is indeed ideal music for a road trip, one preferibly through dry or template landscapes: the production is as expansive as open field vistas and the songs themselves carry all the anthemic pulse of your favorite New Wave or College Rock hits station. A special 80s-inspired record evoking something else than nostalgia. Expand