Catatonia – Equally Cursed And Blessed (album) – Japanese release
Yes the time has come to give you my rambling thoughts on Catatonia’s 3rd album! This is definitely one of the most eagerly anticipated albums I’ve ever bought – which seems kinda odd considering there were only about 7 months between me getting International Velvet and ECAB being released! And I got Way Beyond Blue in that time too!! How impatient I was 😉 But yes, I remember eagerly reading all the reviews of ECAB, which were pretty varied it has to be said. I remember one reviewer describing it as an obvious progression and that it was basically ‘International Velvet 2’. I then read a different review where it stated the album was ‘anything but International Velvet 2’. So I didn’t really know what to expect!
I bought it after school on the day of release and rushed home to listen to it. I listened to it twice in succession before dinner (and probably a few times after dinner too) and just loved it! You know how some albums are just exactly the right album at that particular time in your life? It was one of those moments. For that year at least, it was the greatest album ever as far as I was concerned. I’ve gotten a little more objective about it now I suppose – I definitely prefer IV and PSS and possibly even WBB, but it’s still a great album and reminds me of the summer of ’99, finishing A-levels and going to Corfu with my friends. And that can’t be bad!!
The main thing I loved about this album, and still do to be honest, is how incredibly eclectic it is – almost to its detriment it must be said, as I’m sure that put a lot of people off. Having something punky and rocky like Storm The Palace, followed by the fun poppyness of Karaoke Queen and then the beautifully heart-wrenching Bulimic Beats is a pretty unusual and bold move. And I love that! I’ve always hated it when you get albums where every song sounds the same and you can’t tell one from the other. There’s not a chance in hell you could say that about this album!! I also found it incredibly instant – the only song that really needed to grow on me was Storm The Palace, which of course it did!
Right, I should actually play it now shouldn’t I?…
‘Dead From The Waist Down’ – Great first single and opening track. Best listened to in the sunshine, but the gloomy greyness will have to do!
‘Londinium’ – I rarely listen to this song these days I must confess. Not that I dislike it, but it just hasn’t lasted as well for some reason. Maybe it was the whole hoo-ha around it being released as a single – I don’t know.
‘Post Script’ – I remember quite a few people not being that keen on this song when the album was released and I’ve never understood why. Yeah it’s not really a stand-out track, but I really like it. And I love the lyrics! Gimme a good play-on-words and I’m happy! “And Joan of Arc come kiss my art – leave a charcoal mark. There’s so much more to solitary refinement”. I mean, come on!!! 😀
‘She’s A Millionaire’ – I always thought this should have been a single – and not just because I liked the thought of a song mentioning tampons being on the radio. It’s just a great song. And it has a recorder solo! How can you not love that?
‘Karaoke Queen’ – the Catatonia song you probably either love or hate! Ha ha. I’ve always loved it, but then again I do love me a bit of fun and campery. Infact I’m fittingly wearing this t-shirt right now. Ha ha. Plus you can do the dance! 😀 I can’t be the only one who does that, right? Right?!
‘Bulimic Beats’ – Just so beautiful and moving and just…I can’t think of an adjective that really sums up the effect of it. I can think of quite a few occasions when I blasted this loudly and put my head right up next to the speakers, closed my eyes and let the music wash over me. Not always the greatest of times, but this song always helped.
‘Shoot The Messenger’ – I always feel a special connection to this song, just because I stole ‘New Bonhomie’ from the lyrics to use as my website name! Tis a great song too of course – can’t beat a bit of drunken-sounding bawdiness! 😉 Infact the first time I heard ‘What Kind Of Man?’ it reminded me a lot of ‘Shoot The Messenger’, just because of the general feel of it. Do you know what I mean? And ah, ‘What Kind Of Man?’!! My love and connection with that song will just have to wait until I reach ‘Matthews’…which isn’t going to be for a while alas!!
‘Dazed, Beautiful And Bruised’ – instantly my favourite song on the album! I was always torn between wanting this to be a single, as I failed to see how people wouldn’t be blown away by it, but also not wanting it to be a single as it works so well as an album track that finishes the album off in style!!
So yes, as this is the Japanese release there are a couple of bonus live tracks stuck on the end too! Interestingly Mulder And Scully and Nothing Hurts.
Anyway, my stomach’s starting to rumble now so I better go locate some food. I hope those of you with valentines are having a good day! I’ve bought myself wine and ferrero rocher, so I guess I can’t complain. Even if my most exciting post was a flyer from Dominos pizza (who I’m a valued customer of!)!! Ha ha. Actually that’s not true, I did also get a couple of packages of blank DVDs from people 🙂 I haven’t forgotten about that by the way – I taped some stuff at the weekend, but haven’t quite got a 4th disc finished yet. So yes, will try and get some more done soon. Right, food…