Album Review by EDF
A short time has passed since I reviewed CatDesigner’s debut album CHEMICAL JAZZ. Now that was a good album but the follow-up STRANGE LITTLE CREATURE is an even better album. Musical ideas just flow out left, right and centre and this is partly due to Qy on keyboards fleshing out each track with an added depth that was lacking in parts on the debut album.
The leading track on the album, VAIN AS I AM, has a psychedelic 1960’s feel crossed with Scott Walker, making this a compelling start. Multi-instrumentalist Nick Troop’s psychological songwriting side comes to the forefront on A MIND LIKE MINE. The title track features the sort of vague lyrics that most big label artists just would not attempt to write. In other words, it’s up to the listener to make whatever they want from the lyrics. GOOD THOUGHTS sounds a bit like the Smiths and features the best crooning I’ve heard since Morrissey’s last album. You are reminded that people shamefully just don’t make this sort of music anymore. We than enter the heavy metal section on the album with FREAK SHOW. The ideas are good but this sort of track would sound better with extra musicians backing Nick.
The loud makes way for the soft as the quite first part of HEAVEN’S ON YOUR SIDE makes way for an unexpected loud crunching guitar romp. The message of longing expressed in COME AROUND is straight forward enough and I do like the vocal backing at the end of the song. This is followed by the track that actually put a smile on my face, the playful CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR HEAD. There are a few people I know that could so easily fit the sentiments of the song. The phased guitar effect on STRANGE GODS works really well and for some strange reason this track reminds me of The Icicle Works. We finally come across the Jeff Buckley influence on the closing track WHITE FIRE and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s great to see an artist who was only around for such a short while, have a major influence on other musicians.
This is a better follow-up album than it has any right to be. While the first album showed a lot of promise, the second album allows Nick’s visions to be fully realised. The potential of his newly recruited bass and drum players adding new layers to these songs in a live setting is an appealing thought.