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The Winding Path To Water is the debut LP from Cat Family Portrait –a one man band fronted by Adam Khangura– Ex-Rapper,Producer, jack of all trades, cosmic deity. Well, the last one is probably a bit of a stretch, but it would be kind of cool and it would definitely influence the final score that’s given to the album (lightning bolt does not seem like a pleasant way to die). Now, onto The Winding Path To Water.
The shift or transition from rap to rock is not usually seamless, as evinced by the few who have done it successfully; even fewer have managed to combine the two in a coherent, decent manner. But this isn’t a rap-rock hybrid (thank God) this is an entirely different animal all together. On The Winding Path To Water there is almost a concerted effort — on the part of Adam– to draw from all sorts of sub-genres and influences. There are some hints at folk and ambient throughout; however, it’s safe to say there really isn’t a dominating genre in any sense. And on top of that the album is awash in an ever flowing sea of change, with each of the 15 track sounding unique unto themselves; the album manages the rare feet of being long,dense, and minimal — without boring the audience to tears.
For the most part The Winding Path to Water has a droning sort of effect on the listener, especially the vocals which are consistently monotone. Although this may be a turn off to some, the combination of the distant vocals and the sparse arrangements combine to create a moody and affecting pieces of music. And speaking of arrangements; the acoustic guitar work, and other instruments are just as effectively used to elicit emotion as the vocals and the lyrics. To characterize the album it is more of a soundtrack to a ‘drive through the desert’ than ‘a rainy day’ if that makes sense.
At 15 tracks The Winding Path to Water is an album you set to play and do nothing else to. Cat Family Portrait has crafted something unusual and necessary with his debut. This feels like the album that people strive to create when they splinter off from their bands to do little weird side projects; the difference being here the artist was actually successful in making something worth listening to. What else is there to say or do other than me telling you to set your iPod/iPhones on repeat, and take in this eclectic collection of musical offerings.
Overall Score : 3/5
Favorite Tracks: Matryoshka , Soul On Ice, Shrontle , Muddy Diamonds
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