These days, I try to remind myself that Hell’s Winter is a really good album and it was before that idiot Shia LeBouf started championing Cage as his favorite and said he was going to make and star in a biopic about him. It had been a while since that album had come out now, though, and I was curious to see what he had in store for a follow up. I started to read about experimenting with guitars and keyboards, and I though, “All right, that’s cool - musical growth and experimentation. I can get behind this.” Unfortunately, it didn’t really pan out the way I envisioned it. Instead of being a dark, complicated, progressive hip hop album, we get a strange emo-rock-rap hybrid that never really finds a point that succeeds. As I listen to the album, I keep thinking, “Okay, now its going to hit and become awesome,” only that point doesn’t ever really hit. While the lyrics on Hell’s Winter are mostly in the spirit of claiming his life and his career after suffering so much earlier and his life, this album just seems to reek with a mixture of self-pity and self-loathing that rubs me the wrong way. Also, the lyrics seem to just be dumber in a lot of the cases, such as in songs with titles like “Fat Kids Need an Anthem.”” While there could have been a good, progressive song about the struggles of young kids with weight, we get a bad song with Palko screaming “I was a fat guy! I was a fat guy!” It’s one thing to be disappointed by someone who never had potential, but it’s depressing to see someone to go from Hell’s Winter (which granted, is not perfect, but there’s a lot to like) to the weak work on Depart From Me and hanging out with a no-talent hack like Shia LeBouf.