A CD Review: How I Want To Die: The Catman Chronicles 1

HOW I WANT TO DIE constitutes the darkest 75 minutes most people will experience in their entire lives.   It is nothing less than a poignant reflection of America in decline, the final musical and lyrical gasps of a collapsing Empire.

 And it is brilliant.

For those strong souls who manage to listen to the entire CD from beginning to end without slashing their wrists first, they will be left with a most profound, painfully impacting, sonic speculation about family, love, society, mentors, and God.

Yet as disturbing and downbeat as the CD happens to be, it is at the same time very soothing.  The CD is a kind of tortured Jewish version of Catholic confession....and when that confession is over, we cannot help but feel as though Catman Cohen acted as the proxy for our own anxieties, secret torments, and regrets -- and in doing so, like some Jewish Christ-surrogate, he releases his pain in order that we may release ours.

There are moments in HOW I WANT TO DIE that are both indelible and astounding.  You will never forget them, no matter how hard you might try.

Start with Catman himself and his raw, deep, talk-sing voice.   Not since Joe Cocker first burst on the scene has a voice appeared on a recording that is so simultaneously grating and mesmerizing.   The man cannot sing and yet, ohmiGod, how the man can sing!  He is in desperate need of singing lessons yet, who cares, when he is giving us such an enthralling, lyrical lesson in what really matters in life.

Then move on to Amy Court whose dreamy voice is an ultra-sexy, sweet, estrogen bath, the kind that makes a man want to spend the entire day lying inside its hot, breathy, waters.

Next, Jimmy Swan, and The Crime of Being Me.    Holy hell, this boy can sing... and wail...and wail...and wail.  If there is anybody, man or woman, who is not left with at least a single tear in the eye by the song's conclusion, then that person most likely is some kind of metal, unfeeling robot posing as a human.    The song is nothing less than the son of 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother,' the pop song that became the anthem for brothers across the world -- and yet 'Crime' happens to penetrate right through the brotherly bone in a way that 'He Ain't Heavy' never quite approximates. 

Other special vocal honors go to Ronee Martin, who sings on the cover version of the old hit, Wishin' on a Star.  She is everything Whitney Houston used to be before the poor girl got hooked on drugs.   Martin¹s voice is nothing less than a larynx barometer of pain, a most soulful measure of multiple love disappointments and many spilled tears.

As a stand-in for the daughters of the world, Elly K provides extremely sweet, vocal, sugar-coating in a touching, regretful, song about a dead father.

Molly Zenobia takes a fairly ordinary love song about Vancouver and instills strange, hot, and unforgettable magic into its verses.

And finally, take a  close listen to Catman's remake of the Kylie Minogue party hit, Can't Get You Out of My Head.   Catman's suicide version will be requested repeatedly on radio stations across the world by those shell-shocked fans of the song who simply cannot believe what he did to it.

According to the press kit, Catman Cohen, (working with his most proficient production team:  arranger Henry Iglesias and engineer James Lum) will be releasing a follow-up CD shortly, entitled HOW I WANT TO LIVE, and the title suggests a more upbeat vibe.   I only pray that Catman...as a most singular Poet of Darkness...as a 21st century Jim Morrison meets Barry White meets The Zombies meets Bob Dylan... does not allow joie de vivre to undermine his original and strange perceptions of the world.

What I Really Hated:   Some songs use drum tracks (instead of live drums) and that makes them sound more 'robotic,' less flesh and blood.  Not sure if that's laziness or lack of money.

Favorite songs:   Father You Believed, The Crime of Being Me, The Mentor, Vancouver, Fluffle-O (Hidden Track)

To learn more go to: http://www.catmancohen.com

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