Mirror of emotions
Wildly experienced musician Cate Le Bon disregards the need for validation and finds her Reward in this latest album release. A moment of solitude and a moment of praise for the quaint melodies that break through boundaries like withered minds of wit. With each new single, album and EP release, Le Bon transgresses time as new energies and experiences lift her up. She’s not jaded, she’s wise.
Reward feels equally bright and sinful, touching on somber emotions with both dainty and bold melodies. Le Bon’s mental change came touring in Miami, hence the title of the intro track “Miami” drawing us in for 10 songs of raw art and originality. Le Bon taps into her sentiments in notable songs “Daylight Matters” and “You Don’t Love Me” with a feeling of dissociation seeping in. Cate Le Bon’s apparent self-awareness is what’s so musically attractive to us. Her music is for her, and that’s what matters. She frames Reward with both fixed and evolving rhythms and even hits some off-putting notes, but she does this with admirable intention and creative purpose. Regardless, it’s chilling.
Le Bon’s lyrical rhythm in “Mother’s Mother’s Magazines” bounces delightfully until the track transitions to solely instrumental at 1:55. Almost reminiscent of some of David Byrne’s musical oddities, the song plays artfully with jazzy staccato beats and a touch of ’80s new wave, bike horns and buzzing bees. Not over-produced, but rather tucked away with hidden brilliance is “The Light.” Le Bon’s dazzling vocals carry her lyrical narrative like a story untold, just as the melody drools like thick honey, turning into a goopy mass of ambiguous mysticism.
Dissociation expires as Le Bon reels in her courage for closing track “Meet the Man.” Sacred silence is artfully filled with bare piano, brass callings and raw vocals. But Le Bon builds us up and breaks us down at 3:27 when she sings with her last breath: “Tell me, baby/ tell me, please/ love is good/ love is ancient to me/ love is you.” Many have spoken words of love before, but none have sung with such genuine and bold emotion–with the refreshing originality of Cate Le Bon.