I can’t think of a single better combination of words than “cat-themed Kate Kane album from Bloated Kat Records.” Any of those three factors would have me dropping everything else to listen, but the combination is an outstanding pop-punk success filled with whimsical odes that I’m pretty sure retroactively invented the teen-talk saying, “that’s a bop.”
Album opener “Kyrie and Shaq,” a fantastic tune with a ’50s aesthetic that could fit well in any context, is followed by the 48-second “Kiki,” which locks in the tone for the record. “Kiki, I love you. You’re my best friend / Everything I do is for you,” Kane sings, with a lilting voice and a reckless panache.
There is nothing this album wouldn’t do for its feline inspirations, it would seem. Things only get a little serious with “Walter,” the bad kitty of the bunch. “We’ve got some issues to discuss,” Kane admonishes, and later, in the chorus, “You are such a bad cat / you are such a bad cat / you peed on my skull hat / you can’t fuckin’ fix that.”
I can’t help it. I feel for Walter. We’ve all been bad cats at one time or other, and the adoration that fills so many of the other tunes would go a long way, an optimist would hope, towards winning over the thoughtless Walter. But ultimately, over the course of the album’s longest song, it becomes evident that there is still an affection for Walter (or at least his mustache).
Too much cat psychology? Perhaps. But I can’t help it if Kane’s lyrics are so damned winning. Each song is a mini portrait, a compelling character sketch that captures each pussy’s personality better than most of us could our nearest and dearest human companions. These aren’t just songs, they’re love letters.
Even the one to Walter.
Don’t miss this album. It’s precise and delightful. Even if you don’t like cats (who even are you?!), you’ll love meeting them here.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 257.