Cashmere Cat
9


4.0
excellent

Review

by musicallychallenged USER (35 Reviews)
April 28th, 2017 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: evolution

For three years now, Cashmere Cat fans have been waiting. We haven’t had any certain non-single projects since Wedding Bells, and up until literally today, it seemed like the LP might never drop. To make matters worse, a rough draft (titled Wild Love) leaked late last year, and it was pretty half-baked, with a lot of long overly plodding instrumentals and repetitive vocal hooks. Songs were frequently being dropped and forgotten, for better (“Throw Myself A Party” was emblematic of the problems of Wild Love, although I suspect its disappearance has more to do with the complete removal of Starrah) and for worse (“Adore,” probably the best thing Magnus or Ariana have ever put out, mysteriously absent). The previously detailed and fitting album art disappeared and was replaced with a simple “9” over plain black, with no clear meaning. And of course, collaborators are present on almost every track on either draft of the album, something completely absent from either of his EPs. The point is, it made sense to be hesitant about 9. But I’m here to tell you there’s nothing to worry about.

The biggest concern I’ve heard is that there are too many collaborations. Ignoring the subtly sexist and at the very least anti-pop nature of most of these complaints (try to read the comments on a song of his with a female vocalist without finding something about him working with people who are implied to have no actual artistic ability), this is not an album where the main artist gets overshadowed by the “feat.” markers. Magnus’s production style is obvious on every track. Twinkling bells and dripping synths are paired with rapidly accelerating drums, brief uses of negative space and left-and-right glitching vocal chirps. If anything, his style is more consistent now that he’s finally gotten the reputation and label clout necessary to use the R&B vocals he’s obviously always been dreaming of using – there’s no more R&B-esque sections in tracks, only actual R&B sections, a significant upgrade for an artist that was always missing the humanity that lyrical hooks provide.

Meanwhile, some people had the opposite feelings – Cashmere was perhaps becoming uninteresting, another producer with a simple style whose production was no longer a guarantee of quality but instead raindrop sounds as a DJ signature, a sound creator instead of a talented songwriter. I’ll admit to being in this camp pre-9, especially after I heard Wild Love, but I was wrong. This is a superbly interesting album, with a solid construction and an airtight playlist where most artists with this many tracks in their vault would create a longer, easier-to-chart mishmash of an album (looking at you, Hudson Mohawke). The 22, A Million-esque prismizer is just one of many new effects that add a whole new twist to what might have otherwise become a formula, and getting the brilliant student of sound design SOPHIE on a couple tracks certainly didn’t hurt. Meanwhile, the actual verse-chorus structure of some tracks adds a lot more memorability than he’s ever had before. And a relatively brief 34-minute runtime of tracks that generally balance between his old, in-your-face style (“Victoria Veil”), a subtler, more background role (“Trust Nobody”), or a great mix between the two (“Love Incredible”) makes for a great listening experience.

Whatever your issue was with the idea of 9, whether you thought Magnus was getting too reliant on others or too cocky, it’s OK. Put your fears to rest. He’s back, and better than ever. A recent interview revealed that he started making this kind of music as a joke, just trying to check off all the worst stereotypes of the generic things bad R&B artists do, soundclowning before it was a thing. It took seven years, but he has evolved from highlighting the flaws in a style to inventing his own. Here’s hoping he continues the progress in the next two.



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user ratings (40)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
musicallychallenged
April 28th 2017


521 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks to Dylan Pemberton for briefly editing this at 3 AM



listen to this if you want to hear a glimpse at the hopeful future of r&b

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

Crawl
April 28th 2017


2366 Comments


Thought this was a new Incubus album.

Digging: Citizen - As You Please

brandontaylor
April 28th 2017


598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

after coachella and trust nobody are jams, but the track with the weeknd is unlistenable. i'm sure this will be more cohesive overall than wild love though, and more ariana is never a bad thing.

FrancieBrady
April 28th 2017


6 Comments


Crawl, I thought it was a joke review of some fake band making fun of Incubus. Ooops.

PistolPete
April 28th 2017


4493 Comments


I turned 6 upside down.



This is 9 now.

Digging: Sarin - Darker Lakes

bentheREDfan
April 28th 2017


351 Comments


Yeah I thought this would be an Incubus crack as well.

silentstar
April 28th 2017


2501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

such a good album



btw, there is also a leaked demo album from way back that contains some of the cuts on this album but also some songs not found here (e.g. Fallin, Throw Myself a Party), which was pretty good too

dub sean
April 28th 2017


992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love cashy cat, but couldn't stand the after coachella drop - so i made an edit without it: https://dbr.ee/HuJz



for all who want it^^





album is pretty great, I wish he would have kept the Paws track from the leak but otherwise happy with the final product. Quit, Victoria's Veil & Trust Nobody are my favorites.

literallyzach
April 28th 2017


441 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

oh wow lol this album is really annoying to me. almost stopped at that autotune on wild love YIKES

BlushfulHippocrene
April 29th 2017


2013 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This was good, but none of the songs are really sticking with me. Good review, too.

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2017


26789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Been looking forward to this.

Digging: Open Mike Eagle - Brick Body Kids Still Daydream

literallyzach
April 29th 2017


441 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ariana feature is the only thing worth listening to here

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
April 29th 2017


26789 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Disagree after two listens. Thought Ariana's feature was a little disappointing actually, there are some better moments on here.

literallyzach
April 29th 2017


441 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

hmmmm second listen and 9 (after coachella) stands out a little more for the SOPHIE production but the rest of this album is still pretty disposable for me. at least ari has vocals. and that weeknd song needs to be deleted from human history

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2017


8452 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"9 (After Coachella)" through to "Infinite Stripes" are the highlights imo

Digging: Fever Ray - Plunge

silentstar
April 30th 2017


2501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

honestly that weeknd song is probably one of his best songs since the mixtapes

literallyzach
May 1st 2017


441 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

i hope that's a dig at the rest of his equally shitty later discography but my heart knows it's not

Brostep
Emeritus
May 2nd 2017


4313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i really really fuck w this, wow

Brostep
Emeritus
May 2nd 2017


4313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm super glad he's hopped off his "future bass" kick now that the market's saturated, this style is way more interesting

truekebabpower
May 10th 2017


787 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Idk, I did prefer the EPs, although this was not bad at all.



Btw no love for "Plz Don't Go"? Might be my favourite on here, although the spelling kills me.



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