Cate Le Bon: Mug Museum (Wichita) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, November 21st, 2019  

Cate Le Bon

Mug Museum

Wichita

Nov 15, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Welsh songwriter Cate Le Bon returns, less than two years removed from her triumphant Cyrk. There's a dreamy, gauzy feel in many of the record's 10 tracks; Le Bon's recent relocation to sunny CaliforniaMug Museum was recorded in Los Angelescould have a lot to do with it. "No God" is embodied by a strong, rolling bass line and high-gain guitar; "Mirror Me" floats on faint, feverish church organ and sluggish, thumping drums. There's a palpable heat in her new songs that's more intense than her previous work; you can hear the fiery psychedelia in the swirling, clashing woodwinds and scorched, distorted chords. The crawling guitar lead in "Cuckoo Through the Walls" feels completely burned out; the amplifier sounds equally overtaxed on "Wild." In the racing "Sisters," Le Bon's lyrics invoke startling images of hands being set on fire; in the chorus, she sings "I'm a sister/I won't die." (Le Bon cites the emergence of the album's themes followed her maternal grandmother's passing and the shift in familial relationships that ensued.)

At a couple points, the pace of Mug Museum slows down and feels meditative, bringing the record's boil down to a cooler simmer. The bright, pretty "Are You With Me Now?" has a laid-back, lazy Sunday vibe. The album's highest pointa duet with Perfume Genius titled "I Think I Knew"is also its calmest; it comes at the midpoint of this robust, sometimes-frenzied experience, giving listeners a much-needed moment to catch their breath. (www.catelebon.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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