From the opening strains of â€œContradictoryâ€, Lucas Cates calls forth the Dave Matthews Band. However, this influence is not borne out through the entirety of â€œContradictoryâ€, as a bluegrass type of style dominates, along with a Jason Ringenberg meets Anthony Kiedas approach to vocals. The track starts slowly, but by the time Cates has worked through half of the song, individuals will have to listen a little closer. This is a brand of pop rock, and while individuals have certain expectations for the genre, Cates does well breaking those. â€œ4Everytimeâ€ shows a little more of the interesting stylings of Cates on â€œContradictoryâ€, In this, there seems to be a spoken style that Cates goes back to often during the disc that is reminiscent of later Crash Test Dummies or slightly like Chris Isaak. The amalgamation of a number of styles during â€œ4Everytimeâ€ is interesting, but reduces at points the enjoyment that individuals can draw from Catesâ€™ music.
The slower style of â€œThe Loveâ€ allows for Cates to drop away the talking style that previously colored earlier track. This decision is smart, as the mumbling/talking approach of Cates was distracting, taking away from what is a very interesting bit of instrumentation and vocal interplay. The tracks may not break much in the way of new ground, but Cates does well in giving listeners a reason to listen to eir. The one thing that can be done to make â€œContradictoryâ€ stronger would be to change the production style present. While right now, Catesâ€™ output is very smooth and finished, perhaps this is not the best possible style for Catesâ€™ music. What may make this music a must-listen is a showing of the raw sound of songs like â€œMight Sound Strangeâ€. Allow some of the human element to show during Catesâ€™ music, and individuals will be able to more easily identify with eir.
Still, there is no denying that Cates has a tremendous amount of talent and comes forth with a set of tracks that individuals will enjoy. Hopefully for eir next album, there is more of the way of experimentation with the approaches and overall sounds that Cates can create. Doing this will allow Cates to catapult eirself to the next level, and perhaps get more in the way of plays on college and private radio stations. Get this album a listen, and make sure to pick up the next album that Cates releases so that one can do a valid comparison.
Top Tracks: Undercover, Might Sound Strange
Lucas Cates â€“ Contradictory / 2006 PopBomb / 10 Tracks / http://www.popbomb.com / Reviewed 14 December 2006