Love is sporadic, spontaneous, and, in truth, CRAZY! Yes, love is what the world needs now and what every human being desires, but Cass McCombs has created an album that sonically reminds you of the hurdles that come with said wants. Mangy Love beautifully exhibits that heart matters are a tangled web.
Love at its purest, most unconditional is rough to attain, which is why it can appear like a web; on one hand, you are sifting through it, and on another, you feel stuck by it. Hence, Mangy Love feels like you have taken a musical moment to breathe and think about said love. McCombs’ softly sings his lyrics like a pensive man looking outside his window wondering, “Why do we (human beings) work the way we do?”. He appears stunningly lonely with the softness of his voice furthering the album’s aura of quiet thoughtfulness. It is a record that you listen to while lying on your bed and meditating or sipping your coffee and observing life as it crosses your window. This is not to say that the album does not have its more uptempo, “rocker jams” like Switch or In A Chinese Alley, but Mangy Love is not about jumping around. It is a record about standing still and looking at the world to ponder its machinations.
Mangy Love is not an album to listen to; it is album to live. First, I am huge fan of psychedelic rock, and Cass McCombs’ is on my roster for some sweet psychedelia. He uses light drums and guitar strums throughout his songs to create the subtle hypnosis that occurs when you stare at the world without a blink. Like his lyrics, McCombs wants to look into the heart of people to observe their constant tussle between passion and apathy. Songs like Medusa’s Outhouse, which was my favorite song, and Run Sister Run, a playfully, tropical track in defense of a sister’s worth, speaks on opening up to vulnerability, which is different from being vulnerable.
Everyone is vulnerable, but McCombs’s music is open to that aspect of humanity. Every human being tries to act like he or she does not have some weirdness, sadness, or fear. Yet, Mangy Love is an ode to the silent, alone moments we give ourselves to acknowledge those aspects of the soul in our self and others. Even mores0, it is a defense of such aspect. With McCombs’ you can be weird and lovely, all at once, because they are both apart of being human. It is refreshing to hear someone say and celebrate that in an album.
1) Laughter Is The Best Medicine: a 70’s folksy-rock love letter to laughter. Like in most tracks, McCombs has moments where he speaks over the beats, and presents himself like a narrator of this album. Hence, the song feel like the soundtrack to a day in the life of McCombs.
2) Medusa’s Outhouse: This song falls upon your ears like, colorful, silk scarves upon your skin. It is stunning in its portrayal of loneliness. It seems more like a poem made in disappointment with love.
3) Switch: a funky take on seduction. The bass plays as a sultry pull to McComb’s lyrics of a woman that playfully devoid with her love.
4) Run Sister Run: Caribbean rhythms course through this song to make you want to dance as you lyrically proclaim “Thou shall not judge women!“.
Cats McCombs’ Mangy Love will be released on August 26. For more information and to buy the album Click Here.