Catman Cohen,
The Catman Chronicles 2: How I Want to Live
(Keevay, 2005)

Catman Cohen's music goes further into the strange and weird in The Catman Chronicles 2: How I Want to Live. Stylistically, it builds on what was done in the first volume, but all too often too many different styles of music are shoe-horned into one song.

"How I Want to Live" would probably work better without the descant voices of the chorus, but the voices sit at odds with each other and then the two tracks of music also fail to meld together. The vocals of "Water is Blood" build on the dark and brooding mood of the music. The opening lines of "My Key to the Stars" are full with such raw yearning that fades through the song. If an '80s pop song was mixed with an '80s metal song you might get something like "Dancing with Mr. Daddy," and it works as poorly as one might expect.

A beautiful desire is gently caressed by music and voice in "If I Could Divide the Smell of Flowers." There is a quiet anger in "Captain of Industry" as beauty and greed mix to reveal some of what the mask hid. The music shifts constantly from song to song, a quiet folk protest song giving way to the erotic funky jazz of "Heaven in My Mind." I want to believe the delivery of "Lovers After the Twilight Ends," and while I can at the begin and end it isn't always quite there.

The tempo of "Ingrid Knows Who I Am" is driven by the guitars and the drums, a reminder how good the music can be. The message of "Tomorrow's Not Always Like Today" is worth listening to, the song itself is harder to absorb. The gravel of Catman's voice can take a bit to slide into "No Luck at All," but when it does the song is at its best. Somehow "Sounds of Love" manages to slide between the different styles of music that make up the separate sections, remaining unified throughout.

There are two very different styles of music in "My Vegas Pussy" as it flips between funky jazz and rock. And then you get a simple song like "Superman (It's Not Easy)," which is so focused and intense, even as it changes its changes are a matter of progression not a sudden change. The CD ends with "Father You Believed," and having a different singer with a very different voice changes the feel of the song.

Once again, you get something different with Catman Cohen, but the songs at times lose cohesion by virtue to trying to do too many things.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Paul de Bruijn

9 May 2009

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