We’ve met Paul Catten before, (here, here and here), and you never know what you’re going to get from the man. His latest release is far more accessible and pop-influenced than I was expecting, and it turns out that this is no bad thing at all. It seems that Paul has a talent for writing pop-infused rock songs. Who knew?
This sounds like the kind of luscious, expansive alternative rock that you were far more likely to encounter in the 90s than here in 2020. You can hear influences from 90-style grunge, indie, and even some elements of nu-metal, (the good ones). Faith No More appear to be a prime influence, as does Beck, (there’s a Beck cover included), but I’m also reminded of lesser known bands like Lodestar, Senser, and Sneaker Pimps too. They key, of course, is that all of these are only reference points, and The Beauty of Decay exists in its own right as its own creation, and very enjoyable it is too.
Paul’s versatile voice focuses on clean singing on this album, and his vocals are filled with character. The songs are richly delivered and instantly appealing. A balance is struck easily between the instant gratification of pop-infused alternative rock, and a deeper longevity born from experimental creativity, engaging singing, and luscious orchestral/electronic elements that add layers of emotive content to the music.
I wasn’t sure what I was expecting from The Beauty of Decay, but I confess it wasn’t this. This is a very enjoyable album, and it’s great to see an artist not only spread his creative wings, but do so very successfully.
Very highly recommended.