Not much needs to be said about The Cat Empire. As far as their status as group, they are undoubtedly an established force. Their latest work, Steal the Light is yet again a solid contribution. Released on May 17, it is the Australian squad’s sixth studio album. One thing the album is: fluidly cohesive. One thing the album is not: unworthy. All in all, Steal the Light should please the music lover in all, even if The Cat Empire’s brand of ska-rock is not necessarily your preferred style.
To start the album off, “Brighter than Gold” sets the stage with dancey elements and groovy overtones. It is a great introduction to a generally energy-filled, ska-hoppin’ record. Moving on, “Wild Animals” is a catchy little number, utilizing hakuna-mutata-like bouncing rhythms and a distinct attention to ferality. With lyrics urging you to “[not] let them kill the wild animals inside of you,” it is hard not to agree with most of what The Cat Empire has to say. For an especially fun song, skip to track four, “Am I Wrong.” It is probably the most approachable song/anthem on the collection and should start to appear on popular outlets shortly. Especially with more sunshine the immediate future, this song will most likely appear on playlists filling the warm dusk air.
One of the more attractive elements of this album is the utilization of various tastes and traditions. One song, for instance “Don’t Throw Your Hands Up,” manifest notions of soul and funk while “Like A Drum” has a latin foundation. The variety renders Steal the Light a truly versatile and well-executed collection of tunes. Kudos go to the Australian jammers for their creativity and musical curiosity. Such an endeavor is quite rare amongst popular musical acts these days.
In the end, I can comfortably say that Steal the Light has earned its place. Each track is delivered with professionalism and it is apparent that The Cat Empire is especially particular to the mastering of their craft.