â€œHow I Want To Liveâ€ 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 trackâ€™s five-plus minute runtime. The triple-vocals present on â€œWater Is Bloodâ€ 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 Catmanâ€™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 â€œI Could Divide The Smell Of Flowersâ€ do not have the urgency of tracks like â€œWater Is Bloodâ€, and try desperately to make up for this lack with a more nuanced instrumentation. â€œTomorrowâ€™s Not Always Like Todayâ€ is perhaps the most chilling song present on the entirety of â€œHow I Want To Liveâ€. Most exciting about the track is that Catmanâ€™s vocals transcend the â€œCookie Monsterâ€ 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 â€œwake upâ€ is almost with the same urgency and importance that the same phrase had in Spike Leeâ€™s â€œSchool Dazeâ€. In fact, the tenor of Catmanâ€™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. â€œSounds Of Loveâ€ 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 oneâ€™s ears at certain times. â€œSuperman (Itâ€™s Not Easyâ€, the discâ€™s one cover is done in a way that far outstrips the schmaltzy Five For Fighting original, and also has stylistic ties to Warren Zevonâ€™s last few CDs of work. â€œHow I Want To Liveâ€ should be â€œHow The Fans Want Catman To Liveâ€; this disc is far more compelling and impressive than Catmanâ€™s last go around, owing much (in my opinion) to the increased presence of Catman on the disc. Catmanâ€™s grizzled vocals on â€œSupermanâ€ are the perfect encapsulation of the disc in toto; there is no emotion verboten to pass unmodified through Catmanâ€™s lips this time.
Top Tracks: Superman, I Could Divide The Small Of Flowers
Catman Cohen – The Catman Chronicles 2: How I Want To Live / 2005 Self / 15 Tracks / http://www.catmancohen.com> / Reviewed 27 August 2005