Cat's Eyes | Cat's Eyes

 Polydor (2011)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 7, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

'Cat's Eyes' album by Cat's Eyes

It is a generally agreed upon truth that the best pop music occupies the small Venn-diagram overlap between the sacred and the profane, the itty bitty piece of real estate where our secret subconscious gets confused between which feelings belong to the Lord and those that reside Below. Few modern long-players understand this as innately as this unlikely debut from the duo comprising Faris Badwan, the mopey vocalist for the Horrors, and Canadian opera singer Rachel Zeffira. The result of their intersecting aesthetics is a Cat's Eyes album that meshes pre-rock girl-group songcraft and church-y reverie with more than a hint of menacing '60s film paranoia. "Bandit" turns a typical "he stole my heart" diatribe into a satanic choir hymn to a Man with No Name, whereas "Best Person I Know" and "Face in the Crowd" take Ed Sullivan shimmy and toss it down a lonely hallway to oblivion. Throughout, delicate orchestration and billowy organ work combine with a drastic sense of reverb-ed distance, making the whole thing sound like a tiny B&W set that is blaring a Sam Fuller flick from across the rows of a cavernous cathedral. Whether telegraphing heartbreak, world-weariness, or menacing intent (the latter especially on the Psycho-meets-Bad-Seeds nightmare of "Sooner or Later"), Badwan and Zeffira excel at heightening their musical senses simultaneously to the graces of the Heavens and the billowy depths of Hades.
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