Cat Temper - Nineteen Eighty-Fur

Released: March 1

Being a child of the 80s (no, you don't get to know how old I am), I'm always a hopeless sucker for those nostalgic homages to a time where things were simpler, but actually only simpler because I was too young to know about all the dumb stuff going on. Enter the mysterious Cat Temper - an artist who is consistently able to capitalize on that nostalgia in fun and intuitive ways. Ninteen Eighty-Fur is his sixteenth release and it delivers on what I expected, but it also raised a question for me - how many more cat puns does he have waiting in the wings at this point? 

Jokes aside, the album is a truly incredible piece that hits perfectly on the motifs of the times with comical astuteness. Listening through the album, like much of his other work, I love hearing the little musical pieces that call back to the classics. The first one that majorly stood out was the opening drum part of "Happy Tails," a clear and unmistakable play on the rhythms of a-Ha's classic "Take On Me." Then we get to that "One Paw Out the Door" that plays on the original rhythms of "Sunglasses at Night" (thanks Canada, by the way). 

But something I've always appreciated in Cat Temper's music is that these instances never come off as straight up ripoffs of the original. Instead, they feel like homages that are skillfully tied in with one another in a way that you're likely to hear multiple themes from multiple songs all packed neatly into one. It often feels a bit like a magic trick, but exclusively for your ears and slowly fading memory.  Even with all the subtle winks and nods, the compositions still have a certain originality that can't be missed. On this one in particular, the mixing is incredibly tight. Everything is upfront and center, making it perfect for that car stereo, possibly in your convertible LeBaron. All in all, it's that perfect mix of indulgent nostalgia and modern production sensibilities. 



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