Catman Cohen – The Catman Chronicles 2: How I Want To Live (CD)

“How I Want To Live” is really at the nexus of funk and gospel; the soulful female lyrics that are so dominant on the track really take listeners back to the days of disco for the track’s five-plus minute runtime. The triple-vocals present on “Water Is Blood” really add a controlled chaos to the track, something interesting that really gives individuals a reason to look at the liner notes.

The liner notes really show Catman’s concern about the oncoming water shortage that will hit the United States in the next few years (to combat this, Catman is donating proceeds from each album that will benefit water organizations. Later tracks like “I Could Divide The Smell Of Flowers” do not have the urgency of tracks like “Water Is Blood”, and try desperately to make up for this lack with a more nuanced instrumentation. “Tomorrow’s Not Always Like Today” is perhaps the most chilling song present on the entirety of “How I Want To Live”. Most exciting about the track is that Catman’s vocals transcend the “Cookie Monster” terminology for the duration of the song to have a certain catchiness that is only increased by the smooth vocals of Henry Iglesias.

In fact, the continual repetition of “wake up” is almost with the same urgency and importance that the same phrase had in Spike Lee’s “School Daze”. In fact, the tenor of Catman’s voice during the second half of the CD really is an improvement from the first disc, and gives listeners hope that future discs will incorporate these small aural differences. “Sounds Of Love” is a track that starts out with a fair share of wobbliness, especially during the faux-ethnic vocals that dominate at times, but really has a kernel of catchiness that is truly allowed to pop in one’s ears at certain times. “Superman (It’s Not Easy”, the disc’s one cover is done in a way that far outstrips the schmaltzy Five For Fighting original, and also has stylistic ties to Warren Zevon’s last few CDs of work. “How I Want To Live” should be “How The Fans Want Catman To Live”; this disc is far more compelling and impressive than Catman’s last go around, owing much (in my opinion) to the increased presence of Catman on the disc. Catman’s grizzled vocals on “Superman” are the perfect encapsulation of the disc in toto; there is no emotion verboten to pass unmodified through Catman’s lips this time.

Top Tracks: Superman, I Could Divide The Small Of Flowers

Rating: 7.5/10

Catman Cohen – The Catman Chronicles 2: How I Want To Live / 2005 Self / 15 Tracks /> / Reviewed 27 August 2005

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