Cate Le Bon


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Me Oh My (2009) , 6.5/10
Cyrk (2012), 6/10
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British singer-songwriter Cate LeBon sang gentle post-Donovan psychedelic folk elegies filtered through Nico's existential angst on Me Oh My (2009). Her vocal range is limited but her stylistic range is not to be underestimated: the songs can be conversational and timidly jangling like Sad Sad Feet as well as psychological and quasi-jazz like Terror Of The Man; equally engaging in the melancholy mode (Digging Song) as well in the ecstatic mode (Out To Sea). The structure and accompaniment varies too, pitting the country-ish Shoeing The Bones (reminiscent of both the Eagles and early Neil Young) against a catchy Eyes So Bright that borders on power-pop, while at the same time fusing ancestral folk and electric rock in Burn Until The End. Synth and drums bestow an almost parodistic marching pomp on the slow-motion folk hymn of Me Oh My.

Cyrk (Control Group, 2012) is more lively work that occupies the same intimate niche but reaches out more openly to rock and pop music. (Puts Me to Work, Falcon Eyed) and a bit more adventurous (Cyrk, Ploughing Out, Fold the Cloth). The bouncy and catchy Falcon Eyed steals the rhythmic idea from garage-rock of the 1960s. By the standards of the first album's naive simplicity, the piano-driven Puts Me To Work is a soaring anthem. The poppy Cyrk might be too facile, despite the loud guitar solo in the middle (and that loud guitar is a mixed blessing in itself - witness how it buries the entire second half of Fold The Cloth), but more complex instrumental counterpoint highlights the portraits of Julia and Greta (the latter all subdued and abstract until the circus-like trumpet fanfare at the end). The slow, solemn, hypnotic Man I Wanted and the oneiric Through The Mill revisit the simpler qualities that made the first album so precious. The dissonant, pounding, almost psychedelic Ploughing Out, Pt. 2 marks quite a departure from that sound, for better and for worse.

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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