by / November 19th, 2009 /

Cate Le Bon – Me Oh My

 3/5 Rating

(Irony Bored)

Last seen speeding through the chrome and glitter Delorean inspired world of Neon Neon, Ms. Le Bon has packed up her silver suitcase hung up her moon boots and headed back to her roots. Anyone expecting an album of Roland drum machine influenced rejects will be sorely disappointed, the only whiff of eighties pomp and glamour to be found here is her fantastically ironic New Romantic surname’¦

Instead her debut offering Me Oh My is a crooked take on the usual singer-songwriter fare. Folksy piano led tunes are interspersed with unexpected wonky Moog bleeps and heavy, grinding guitar riffs as Le Bon’s captivating sorrow-laden, injured vocals soak through, like Vashti Bunyan on downers.

“These are hard times to fall in love” she glumly exclaims on the tear-stained country tinged -Shoeing the Bones’ sounding part Euros Childs part Cat Power. The gaiety continues throughout the album with dark odes to painful isolation and failed affairs like a rain sodden, gothic cartoon come to life.

When served up in a fuzztoned off-kilter manner like the title track and the excellent -Hollow Trees House Hounds’, that is reminiscent of the sixties gems unearthed by the Finder’s Keepers crew which is no surprise given her links with Super Furry Animals Gruff Rhys and label founder Andy Votel. These thrilling imaginative moments work beautifully showcasing her skill as an artist with a playful desire for the discordant as well as the mellifluous.

Although for every sublime spark of originality there are moments of plodding meandering filler so frustratingly mundane and melodically pedestrian they cloud the album, draining it of all its exhilarating inventiveness and leaving it as flavourless as the dreary albums made by her doe eyed derivative contemporaries. Me Oh My is a rich opaque album full of moments of autumnal depth and shadow that has the makings of an interesting debut but sadly unravels losing its way at the end of a promising journey.

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