The Cat Empire: Cinema

The Cat Empire: Cinema
Australia’s The Cat Empire has seemingly been operating just on the fringe of the mainstream for half a decade now. Their 2005 sophomore album, Two Shoes made it to number 49 on Billboard’s heatseekers album chart. However, that was the only album out the group’s five studio album to chart in the US. In their native Australia the group are huge rock stars, they hope with their fifth studio album, Cinema they can achieve similar fame in the US.
The group has a poppy sound but it is not exactly what I would call mainstream music. The group’s sound is an amalgam of ska, jazz, funk, R&B, latin, and rock. The mixture of so many esoteric influences does not necessarily appeal to American’s often close-minded mainstream. Take the album’s first single, “Feeling’s Gone” for instance. The track’s steady beat and slick keyboards are reminiscent of Spoon. The chorus get a little bit more poppy than Britt Daniel and company ever venture. I would compare the chorus to a more rocky Maroon 5. Although the track is obviously a great pop song, it is a little more bland than the standard fare from the group.
“Call Me Home” features a great ska beat with funky latin keyboards and even a little vinyl scratching for flare. The song is catchy while being a little more interesting than “Feeling’s Gone”. “The Heart Is A Cannibal” features latin percussion that reminds me of Lionel Richie‘s “All Night Long” but the big horn filled chorus sounds like something out of a Daddy Yankee song. The mash-up of these seemingly two opposite ends of the spectrum may sound awkward in description but actually work incredibly well together.
In the end, Cinema really tickled my fancy. The Cat Empire combine genres so effectively that they have created a sound that is both familiar and catchy as well as unique and interesting. Every track on the album brought something different to the table and nearly all of them were successful.
Rating: 8.5/10
MP3: The Cat Empire “Feeling’s Gone”
Buy: iTunes