The last time I was able to see Billy Idol live was in 2015 at Donington Park’s Download. That year he presented his, to date, his last album “Kings and Queens of the underground” but in the slightly more than hour of performance he did not play any song from the album dedicating himself to his usual classics. It was clear that he was not proud of the work. Since then he had only presented an EP with the title “The roadside”, nothing remarkable in his important career either.
Now he presents us with another EP with the title “The cage”, four new songs that improve his last two releases somewhat, although whoever expects to hear something similar to all the masterpieces with which he delighted multitudes of followers until “Charmed life” will be disappointed. although its sound continues to sound at eighty. Fortunately, this job is allowing him to tour and if he’s lucky the same thing will help him return to Spain, something he hasn’t done since that concert at La Riviera in Madrid ten years ago.
“The Cage” opens with the title track, to the beat of an effective mid-tempo guitar riff with Billy Idol’s restrained vocals building to a crescendo that leads to a chorus with a chorus that works well. The surprising thing comes on the bridge that reminds us of Iggy Pop’s “Real wild child (wild one)”, which is not surprising since it has always been one of William Michael Albert Broad’s references. Steve Stevens’s guitar not only takes center stage at the beginning, but in “Running from the ghost” it also has a prominent place, even though it starts at half time with piano and voice. A relaxed beginning of almost a minute until reaching the elaborate riff, the choirs and some sharp guitars. Despite this, the tone is calm and until after two minutes Idol’s voice does not give off that aggressive and rock attitude that has characterized him. “Running from the ghost” is far from punk, resembling more a hybrid between AOR, hard rock and American pop. “Rebel like you” is a classic “rock” song from the eighties with choruses before the chorus with a genuine American flavor. He doesn’t invent gunpowder but it works from start to finish. Something that cannot be said about the last cut “Miss nobody” because in the first three songs, without finding any “Dancing with myself”, “Rebel Yell” or “Craddle of love”, yes, at least a certain return was seen to the past and an evolution for the better after his disappointing last works. But “Miss nobody” is an impossible attempt to make black music, with the baritone voice of Billy Idol a la Barry White or Marvin Gaye with an excess of choirs and synthesizer.
The truth is that except for the impossible “Miss Nobody” the rest of “The Cage” is worthy, with brilliant moments and that brings us back, albeit in this minor format, to one of the key names in rock. And both “The cage” and “Running from the ghost” and “Rebel like you” can be added to the repertoire of any live show by the British-American musician.
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Billy Idol – The Cage (EP) – Rock The Best Music