The Cat Empire
That environment is apparent on "Two Shoes" and plays a large part on such songs as "Sol y Sombra," with its jazz piano centerpiece and salsa flair. But even with that influence as a foundation, the Cat Empire showcases its carefree, fun-loving spirit more than any musical style, from turntable scratching ("Party Started") to a lyrical listing of subatomic particles ("Protons, Neutrons, Electrons") that sounds like a sultry come-on.
Much of the Cat Empire's charm lies in vocalist Felix Riebl's delivery. The lyrics of album-opening "Sly" read like lewd gawking, but the pickup line "It's a pleasure to meet ya / Ya look like one incredible creature!" has a high probability of success with Riebl's joyful yelp. Peppered with the urgency of razor-sharp horn vignettes, the song is a seductive, feel-good dance track and, like the rest of "Two Shoes," a lighthearted soundtrack to chasing away the winter blues.
-- Catherine P. Lewis