Song of the Week: The Crowd, The Cat Empire

This post originally appeared on Turntablr, the conceptual inspiration for Vintage Voltage

Click here to listen to “The Crowd,” by the Cat Empire

I used to not like this song at all. With a group like The Cat Empire, however, it’s only a matter of time before you like everything they do. “The  Crowd,” off of 2003’s The Cat Empire, snuck up on me until two days ago I realized I loved it.

Harry Angus’s vocal delivery is not for everyone, but he serves as a counterpoint to Felix Reibl’s (the band’s other lead singer) fluid and suave lyricism. Perhaps Harry’s lackadaisical approach to singing is why I like his voice a little more than Felix’s—he just sounds more relaxed.

Much like Van Morrison, Harry is continually tinkering with his phrasing. Accents and stresses change constantly, and the lyrics themselves are brilliant: “But life is curved not angular/so when things start to strangle ya/remember rain still falls on the halls of power/new babies being born every hour.” He also gets points for the Ezra Pound reference–not really someone you expect to find name-checked in a pop tune.

The groove is laid back and blissed-out. Ollie McGill’s electric piano intro makes the song sound almost like a musical hangover until 3:35, when the track breaks into a huge bridge. After that, it’s a feel-good explosion of noise that surges under a message of compassion (“Let me mingle with the good people we meet”).

If you like the Cat Empire, this is a great track that you may have overlooked. If you don’t like the Cat Empire, go check out the entire Two Shoes album. If you still don’t like them after that, go see a doctor.