Published May 21, 2019Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Timothy, also known as Cate Le Bon, packs a lot of punch on her fifth studio album, Reward. Her style is veiled in mysterious, hypnotic lyrics and striking instrumentals that make the listening experience feel otherworldly. Rather than just another record to her repertoire, Reward is more of an indication to her reinvented, alluring sound.
Many of the tracks are simple and mostly repetitive. However, mixed with Le Bon's monotone, but mesmerizing, soft voice makes you feel like you're getting a glimpse into her dreamy state of mind. The joy of listening to her sing comes from her voice twirling around her words, rather than being abrupt.
Opening track "Miami" begins with a tri-tone harmony cycle, one minute of tonal arrangement Le Bon shyly croons in her rich soprano voice. "You Don't Love Me" shows off her diverse vocal range. Reminiscent of St Vincent's jagged, robotic sound, Le Bon can go from delicate to '80s-inspired throbbing. Other tracks like "The Light" and "Home to You" are xylophone-heavy, sounding buoyant and playful, but never dull.
Reward is a lucid rush of avant-pop. Dreamy and sonic echoes, layered with Le Bon's sotto voce lyrics, make this her most compelling album. (Mexican Summer)