Warren Cate: The Reparation Tapes (Warcat)

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Warren Cate: Say What You Will
Warren Cate: The Reparation Tapes (Warcat)

Cate is what we might call an "occasional" rock'n'roll singer-songwriter: this is only his fourth album in about 14 years. He has a day job.

I recognise on his website some highly favourable comments (uncredited) from me down the years, and his music has always found a place on my Sunday afternoon Kiwi FM show. This album will too.

Cate has real feel for a power-pop into alt.country song, usually driven by staggeringly powerful guitar work, although this time he really lets Grant Wills peel off some bluesy licks in a few places.

Cate also has a nice feel for a country-rock tune and if he gets on a "silver steed" here then we can still forgive him. What I've also always liked is that he doesn't necessarily write closed verse-chorus verse-chorus songs, some he lets just thread out in their own natural direction or sit on a riff for their own sake.

This one has enormous firepower (Our Little Secret, Say What You Will, This Kinds Luv) and he understands how an echoed vocal can add depth and dimension.

This time out he seems more blues, power-rock country influenced, and he can nail you to a wall. Got heart too: the tense, Dylan-on-meth Thank U Brother/Sister/Father/Mother says it all.

I just wish he'd do it more often.

Still, if you are getting it right, why rush into things? 

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