Falling from such great heights.
Does a (cashmere) cat always land on its feet?
Following some heavy-hitting collaborations like ‘Trust Nobody’ with Selena Gomez and singles with Ariana Grande, it seemed that Magnus August Høiberg was moving in the direction Diplo took Major Lazer: from grimey clubs to out-and-out radio pop. But with the release of 9, it’s become clear that there is no real direction of this new and but not improved Cashmere Cat.
As painful as it is to say, 9 is awkward and confused. Cashmere Cat attempts to straddle the world between pop and future bass but fails. In some of the more pop songs, he taps into commercial trap house territory, but perhaps he should stick to what he knows, because to be frank, acts like The Chainsmokers do that shit way better.
This may be what you get when you start to rely too heavily on collaborations: a watered down version of the original music. That’s not to say there are no shining moments in the collabs though. Kacy Hill redeems ‘Europa Pools’ with her enchanting vocals, as does The Weeknd‘s addition to ‘Wild Love’. The SOPHIE input to ‘9 (After Coachella)’ when taken independently from the rest of the song is also super funky in that SOPHIE kinda way.
But after listening through the album, I feel ill from the over-production of it all. Each track might be able to stand on its own (maybe), but when put all together, it’s simply too much. In fact, the only song on the album that is just Cashmere Cat and doesn’t have a feature artist, ‘Victoria’s Veil’, sounds like a weaker copy of his 2013 track ‘With Me’. Perhaps that’s why he needs to rely on these collaborations. There are only so many ways his signature kitschy bleeps and bloops can be originally put together?
We know Cashmere Cat can reach heights of maturity as seen in his EP Mirror Maru. And if cats really do have those nine lives, let’s hope Høiberg has some time to claw his way back in another life.