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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Review - Cris Cab at SOBs in NYC
Thursday, February 02, 2012

When you look at Cris Cab you might assume he’s the newest cast member of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, or an “after” picture in a Proactiv commercial. He’s young, fresh faced, and is squeal inducing if you’re a teen or tween girl. If you based an initial analysis of Cab on his looks alone you’d think “pop singer.” Scanning the crowd at SOBs on Tuesday night and seeing the groups of teen girls at the show, and the unusually low 16+ age limit, would have only reiterated that notion. When Cab starts to sing, however, the sound that comes from Wyclef’s latest protege is roots reggae with a curiously authentic feel to it. The best way I can describe Chris Cab is that he’s a teenaged version of UB40, but with a bit more of an edge (even if he’s too young to drink any “Red Red Wine”).

The show on Tuesday was a release party for Cab’s latest mixtape, Echo Boom, and Cab performed a combination of music from the album, like “Rihanna’s Gun” and “Gypsies on the Boulevard,” and songs off of his previous efforts, including “Good Girls.” Cab also performed quite a few covers including the only version of Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” that I’ve ever liked, as well as a solid version of Sublime’s “What I Got,” and great version of The Police’s “Driven To Tears,” which he used as his encore. Wyclef joined Cab on stage for a version of “No Woman No Cry,” and stayed for a few songs before letting his young protege finish out the show on his own. In doing this, Clef provided a blueprint for how a veteran artist can help his young artist without stealing the show. He always made sure it was about Cab.

For the young girls in the crowd, it was all about Cab from the moment he stepped on stage, and his audience is only going to grow. In a classic case of not judging a book by its cover, Chris Cab is one heck of a reggae singer. I only hope he continues along that path and minimizes the number of teen pop songs he does. It’s no surprise that he has a few, and to his credit, although they’re decidedly teen pop recordings, he performs them as reggae tunes live, and seeing the way the teen girls ate it up at SOBs on Tuesday night may mean the pop scene could soon enjoy an infusion of music created using something other than a drum machine.

Pot dealers of the world take note, there’s a whole generation of white girls that are about to work their hair into dreadlocks and start rolling joints. Chris Cab is setting the vibe, and he’s doing so with a boyish smile that will make your mother love him all the while.

For photo gallery from the evening head on over to Photo Album - Cris Cab in NYC.

Here are a couple of the songs mentioned in this review.





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