Cage is one of those rappers than you cannot help respect, despite his sometimes vulgar stories. Since “Agent Orange,” everyone has been aware of how vivid and arguably picturesque a Cage song can be.
Although this album features a similarly witty Cage to that of his previous releases, it’s more mature. It appears more introspective and risky than “Movies For The Blind” was, he even states he “Said everything I said on “Movies” because of my buzz.”
This album is disturbingly beautiful. The material is more autobiographical than I knew the first few times I heard the LP. “Too Heavy For Cherubs” touches upon the way his father, a Heroin abuser treated him when he was younger. “Stripes” is yet even more personal, Cage describes the scenario his mother went through being stationed in Germany due to his father’s army involvement. He talks about his father’s dis-charge and return to the U.S. The hook, “Fuck Bill Murray, not the actor, the dead beat dad” is actually aimed at his father.
“The Death Of Chris Palko” is another gem, but the show is stolen by Camu Tao who finishes off the track with a changed up, faster paced beat which he flows over to perfection. The drums feel like they were mapped to his voice they mesh so fluidly.
Cage rips into High & Mighty and their business dealings on “Public Property,” attacking them regarding payment, his masters and the duo themselves. There’s also “Subtle Art Of The Break-up Song,” yet another gem which feels rather like Eminem’s “Just The Two of Us” as it begins. His swaying flow glides over the beat perfect as he tells a chilling tale of a horrifying experience with his girlfriend. The hook, which Cage himself is sampled within works perfectly.
My only strong complaints are with “Perfect World,” because of its annoying hook, and “Grand Ol Party Crash” which features Jello Biafria parodying George W. Bush. The militarily influenced drum beat and strong vintage computer game bombing effects provide an interesting texture to the beat and although Cage does a good job above the beat, the hook featuring the Bush impersonator doesn’t work.
“Hell’s Winter” finishes in spectacular form. The final selection of tracks are dark and classic Cage, very vivid and sinister to the point of being somewhat haunting. “Hell’s Winter” is a brilliant sophomore album, perfect for any Cage fan or to enlighten anyone to become one.