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CMAT shines on the conceptual Crazymad, For Me

"Crazymad, For Me"

Release date: 13 October 2023
CMAT Crazymad For Me cover
11 October 2023, 09:00 Written by Adam Wright

The imaginative complexities required for a concept album often take a while to gestate, usually coming further down the line in an artist’s career. Not for CMAT.

She’s an artist who has hit a creative purple patch on album number two; imagining, and delivering, a story worthy of its creator’s prowess.

While addressing themes not unheard of on a pop record, Crazymad, For Me is still a unique piece of work; creating a psychedelic soundscape with a foundation of country-influenced chord progressions. Its themes of heartbreak and regret meanwhile are, of course, commonly walked paths but its the presentation of such themes that give the album its edge.

Set 20 years in the future, the album revolves around its protagonist, presumably CMAT, travelling back in time to prevent her past self from entering into a damaging relationship. Following CMAT’s journey from anger to heartbreak and eventually acceptance, the record’s story is put centre stage and is delivered with a relatability not often associated with concept albums.

Crazymad, For Me’s grandeur is found in its imaginative delivery, which combines the alternate realities of Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love with the sci-fi worlds of Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. Such magic moments are seen on reflective tracks like the Bush-drenched “I…Hate Who I Am When I’m Horny” which sees CMAT interrogating her reflection and “Whatever’s Inconvenient” (the LP’s lead single) which explores her unhelpful tendency to gravitate towards damaging situations. These tracks form the album’s pointed edge and push Crazymad, For Me into symbolising a new chapter in CMAT’s development.

Elsewhere there’s nods in the direction of The Cure (“Where Are Your Kids Tonight”), Patsy Cline (“Can’t Make Up My Mind”) and Angel Olson (“Torn Apart”); three influences that have perhaps never shared an inspiration board before. Nods are also cast in the direction of Irish Trad music, which gets somewhat of a spotlight on the album’s closer “Have Fun!”.

While such abstract concepts require perseverance, and do run the risk of coming off as pretentious, CMAT succeeds in making each track individually compelling, while simultaneously excelling in exploring her more abstract side.

Crazymad, For Me shows CMAT to be in a world of her own, one that’s way ahead of the pack.

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