CMAT: Crazymad, For Me (AWAL) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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CMAT

Crazymad, For Me

AWAL

Oct 13, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


CMAT, the musical alias of Irish singer/songwriter/musician Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, stormed out of the gate with her 2022 debut album, If My Wife New I’d Be Dead, a glittering combination of pop and country, with soulful vocals and with style and snarky wit to spare.

CMAT has described her sophomore album, Crazymad, For Me alternately as a concept album about a 47-year-old woman who builds a time machine to go back and save herself from a bad relationship (with some incomprehensible references to YouTube, a “time desert,” and 1890s Paris), and also a “diss track across an entire record.” I’m not sure about the former, but the latter is definitely apropos.

This time around, the country-esque tinges of her debut are largely gone in favor of more orchestral pop stylings. To take it from CMAT herself, on her debut she was going to “Nashville;” on this album, it’s “California,” as in the opening track, a big orchestral kiss-off, with biting lyrics and the chorus of, “I’m heading to California/Don’t say I didn’t warn ya/I’m milking what I can from this grief.”

“Vincent Kompany” is a twisted 20th century ballad, one song on Crazymad that retains some of her previous country leaning. “Rent” reminds vaguely of Angel Olsen, a slightly loping track built on acoustic guitar and with added ethereal backdrop before building to a soaring tumultuous conclusion. And “Where Are Your Kids Tonight” is a beautifully melodic duet with former Czars singer and solo artist John Grant that features the beautifully sorrowful lyrics, “I didn’t know good choices make you lonely, and bad ones only make you disappear/I think it’s time I choose the latter/Cuz nothing lasts/So nothing matters/Everything good falls apart and leaves me here.”

The album starts to run together a bit with balladry in its second half but jolts back to life with the stellar melody of “Stay for Something” about a dissolved relationship and the complicated emotions that result. The album ends with “Have Fun!,” built on a jaunty piano melody, eventually incorporating some cheeky violin runs, culminating in the chorus lines, “Ooh have fun, cuz I’m done.”

Ultimately, what CMAT has done with Crazymad, For Me is create a new pop music, centered around melody, heartache, and resolve, and filled with more than a dash of gallows humor to boot. (www.cmatbaby.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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