CMAT is more than three chords and the truth, delivering a vulnerable sophomore record that can stand proudly amongst her country-pop predecessors.
Her charisma oozes from every track on Crazymad, For Me and if you have ever been lucky enough to catch her live, this encapsulates who CMAT really is; pure energy and unadulterated passion for her craft.
There is a diary element to the tales of broken hearts, identity crises and loneliness, life according to CMAT put to music. Crazymad, For Me is, however, more than sharing experiences through music; you feel as if you were meant to hear these songs.
It’s almost impossible to think that CMAT could improve on her impressive debut If My Wife Knew, I’d Be Dead (almost being the operative word here). Yet, her humour and musical literacy has brought her into a new era. The cinematic element of ‘California’ [premiering here at midnight of album release] opens the record to show that things have gotten bigger and better.
The twin track to ‘Nashville’, which opens CMAT’s previous album; the sunny south coast offers another place of refuge from her life. ‘Can’t Make Up My Mind’ is sleek and again the production has gotten to such a satisfactory level that you couldn’t imagine the record in any other way. The same can be said for ‘Phone Me’, an addictive listen bolstered by a string section and a crazy dance hook.
‘I…Hate Who I Am When I’m Horny’ acts as a crystal ball for the direction that the singer-songwriter could go in. A collage of influences can be heard (Tori Amos, Florence +the Machine, Lily Allen alongside so many more), but they are so fleeting, they can be hard to pin down; a sign of the sound that CMAT is crafting for herself.
Her country heart pushes through on ‘Torn Apart’. The slide guitar and harp sounds are little touches that accompany the grandiose track that could be the soundtrack to a modern cowboy film.
The pop culture references come thick and fast once again. From Gilmore Girls to Sex and the City, these tributes are like a hall of fame for CMAT; those who have accompanied her in the background as she’s grown up. ‘Have Fun’ is a spiritual closer for If My Wife Knew, I’d Be Dead, emphasising the cathartic journey we’ve been on as we celebrate leaving it all behind.
Classifying any one track as a highlight would be a disservice to Crazymad, For Me. CMAT has presented us with a crown, each song a sparkling jewel that shines wonderfully in the light.
That said, ‘Rent’ is so full of heartbreaking passion that will reduce you to a puddle before the end of the first verse. Weighed down by a relationship that brought CMAT to boiling point, the track builds from solo guitar to country-tinged ballad; ‘I was in love with something that didn’t exist’, a knife twisting into your stomach. Then, the crescendo washes you away as you can hear the raw emotion in CMAT’s voice, reminiscent of Tina Turner towards the end.
Back to back bangers is no exaggeration and when CMAT preaches her own gospel, it’s for good reason. Equal parts rage, reflection and retribution, Crazymad, For Me will stand the test of time.
Photo credit: Sarah Doyle