Rich Catley - Further Than You
Rich Catley is a UK based singer songwriter, who proves that independence doesn't mean low quality. This four track EP comes with a highly polished sound in an extremely attractive, well designed sleeve. Catley also has many musical friends - these four songs feature a wide instrumentation, from cello, to harmonica, even a brass section filling out the sound. The sound itself though, is very adult orientated, with a slight folk sound - Crowded House, James Taylor - there is not much here that sounds new and contemporary.
But is that necessarily a bad thing? Surely if the songs are strong, none of that matters. Well, on the whole they are. "Could Have Been" is simply wonderful, a dreamy piece of music with a particularly fine piano part, some inventive bass and a beautiful, haunting melody played on the cello. It is very much the best of the four songs here.
"My Last Word" is also pretty good, with a slight country twang and a shuffling backbeat set against some Nashville guitar. Production across all four songs is very good indeed, well put together and arranged. Of the four songs though, "Blind" works the least well - the guitar is choppy, and all attempts to raise the tempo fail, the song merely plodding, never picking up speed. "Nowhere" is better, with some fine lyrics and some excellent brass and harmonica.
For a debut, this is pretty good. A lot of effort has gone into the presentation and production. However, it may be just a little bit too old-fashioned for some ears. Songs like "Could Have Been" though show strong skills in song-writing. It could just do with a bit less polish.
Visit Rich Catley's rather cool looking website.
Or hear the songs on his MYSPACE page.