thu 22/08/2019

CD: Cats on Trees – Cats on Trees | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Cats on Trees – Cats on Trees

CD: Cats on Trees – Cats on Trees

Anodyne French best-sellers attempt to export their success

Cats on Fire: offering little which stands apart

Cats on Trees are a roaring success in their native France. The Toulouse-based duo Nina Goern and Yohan Hennequin hit the Top 10 there with this, their eponymous debut album and racked up gold-disc sales. Live, Goern plays piano and sings while Hennequin drums. On record though, things are much grander, with orchestration and a sonorous, stadium-sized production.

It follows then that as Goern sings in English, the album is ripe for releasing to the British market. Columbia Records might think Cats on Trees could have the impact of Gallic sensations Daft Punk or Phoenix over here, but it seems unlikely. Detached from their home turf, the pair are going to have a hard time finding an audience, since their undercooked album offers little which stands apart.

With few exceptions, the low-gear songs meld early, “Yellow”-era Coldplay to a watered-down take on the Sigur Rós of INNI and then wraps the results in cotton wool. Nothing new of course in doing this, but where Cats on Trees stray from deliberately reciting the rolling piano, ascending strings and swelling choruses they’ve assimilated , there are suggestions (the carnival-esque “Too Much”, the first half of “Tikiboy” and “Wichita’s” bubblegumishness) of a more quirky, more interesting music trying to escape. Ironic that on “Flowers”, Goern sings “can somebody help me now so that I can be myself.” Indeed. Cats on Trees’ lack of personality sorely suggests she needs the help being requested.

Overleaf: watch the video for Cats on Trees’ “Siren’s Call”

 

Cats on Trees are unlikely to have the impact of Gallic sensations Daft Punk or Phoenix

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Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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