7 May 2017

Cashmere Cat - 9 (album review)

Cashmere Cat is a Norwegian producer who is best known for having produced Kanye West’s Wolves, as well as for working with artists like Ariana Grande and Benny Blanco. His debut album brings in a star studded line up for one of the most creative electronic pop albums of the year.

The interesting thing about 9 is that there are only two tracks here that are pretty radio friendly. Trust Nobody is a standard sunny alternative R&B it features Selena Gomez doing a sort of trap style hook which is initially awkward, but given a few listens I find this style suits her quite well. Quit features another former child star, and previous Cashmere Cat collaborator Ariana Grande. Her vocal performance is fantastic as it has been on all of her recent projects. This track tricks you into expecting some Ibiza style EDM drop but instead soothes you with a much more satisfying smooth synth and some tropical percussion.

9 (After Coachella) incorporates SOPHIE’s production and the voice of MØ. It just sounds like an average top 40 song for the first 30 seconds, but you’ll fall down a sonic rabbit hole when the PC Music scented twist hits. Although I've not been a huge fan of  MØ’s output thus far she is tolerable on this track, but still kind of sounds like the margarita pizza of alt pop vocalists, but we get a tiny bit of passion from her on this track so let's not dwell. This track for the most part sounds like a SOPHIE track, every aspect of most of the run time is just dominated by his clanging bubble-gum trap production reminiscent of his tracks Hard and Get Higher. Now this song sounding like a SOPHIE doesn't have to be a bad thing, but it kind of takes away from Cashmere Cat. Having a vocalist steal the show on a song is just about fine, but a co-producer? Hmm.

Luckily, this is a one off we hear an eclectic sound palate on most of this record, which does sound like it's fresh out the mind of Cashmere Cat. The opening track, for instance which features Kehlani with some James Blake style autotune a luscious strings fill up the background of this track unfortunately it’s only 1:45 minutes and leaves you craving more.

Wild Love is driven by this high pitched jittering synth stab which sounds like it could have come straight from Super Mario Bros 3, and intensely vocally modified Weekend incantations. It’s probably the stand out track on the album there’s something stunning about the production work here which is half down to Francis and The Lights. Victoria’s Veil also pulls from the video game style, sounding like an obscure title screen for a 90s arcade game. As Ariana Grande sings on the 5th track “I can’t quit you” maybe she might even be referring to this addictive virtual feeling record on the whole.

7.0/10

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(Words: Cal Cashin)