Radio Wars

The Cradle

NNA Tapes, 2022

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The Cradle is the solo project of Paco Cathcart, who has a background playing in bands like Eyes Of Love, Shimmer, Sweet Baby Jesus and Palberta, among others. On this fourth album for the NNA label, Cathcart places auto tuned nursery rhyme hooks, thick drum machines and a whole lot of creativity into a bedroom pop affair that was recorded entirely in his home.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Side A starts with the shimmering melodies and bright percussive sounds of the processed vocals of “Lights Off,” and “Tell Me What You Want” follows with a similar, stylish demeanor that’s a bit dreamy, as well as warm and quite mesmerizing. Further on into the front half, the beat-driven “My Right Side” is somewhat like an electro-pop version of the Hokey Pokey, while “I Went In And You Came Out” is a quirky, charming version of today’s indie-pop.

Side B leads with the hypnotic repetition of “Let's Clean Up,” which drones with an undeniable energy,  though it’s the light buzzing of the reflective “City Life” that stands out on this portion of the listen.

Further on, the soft, poetic singing of “I Love That Music” is met with the well-timed sounds of the late Ras YoYo’s harmonica in a warbly sort of way, and the gentle “It’s Not Related” is meditative in a strategy that turns repetition into art. The album exits on “I Love The World I’m In,” and it’s a busy finish that’s destined for a late night at the club with its rhythmic appeal, unpredictable drumming gestures and abstract noisemakers.

Cathcart has 40-plus releases available that span sound collages, acoustic balladry and beat-based noise. The very diverse songs found on The Cradle embrace many of those concepts, and it’s a highly iconoclastic journey that’s his most accessible to date with a very polished recording and infectious delivery.  

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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