Album Review: Cate Le Bon - Crab Day

In ‘Crab Day’, her tilted ear for expression continues to rule the roost, with her compositions only growing more dissonant.

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A curious muddle of smashed life-fragments, Cate Le Bon invented a new language on her last album ‘Mug Museum’. She took all the things we touch every day - loss, coffee cups, cigarettes, beaten egg yolks - turned them in her lyrical hands, and gave them a tangible weight, with that yawning, unobtrusive delivery of hers. She made them mean something more. In ‘Crab Day’, this tilted ear for expression continues to rule the roost, with her compositions only growing more dissonant.

As surreal and barmy as ‘Crab Day’ is, letting rip euphoric screams of “wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,” and racing barefoot through erratic honky-tonks and brassy squalls, there’s poetry to be found in every pocket. “Love is not love when it’s a coat hanger,” sings Cate Le Bon on ‘Love Is Not Love’; refusing to settle for hanging up her heart’s anorak on a convenient, but ultimately unsuitable peg. “I’m a body of dreams for you, I’m a dirty attic,” she sings elsewhere with a distinct whiff of Nico; hanging onto clutter and suffocating memories because letting go isn’t an option. Asking familiar questions in downright bizarre ways, with a musical palette that continues to revel in awkwardness, slipperiness, and experimentation, Cate Le Bon is a dab hand at holding a warped mirror up to life, and reflecting things in unexpected ways by now.

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