Just a mere five years ago, Welsh post Britpoppers Catatonia were the darlings of both the UK press and the music buying public and one of the biggest bands in Britain. Five years on, we find Catatonia frontwoman Cerys Matthews going solo and going in a completely different direction. For her debut album, Cockahoop, Matthews immersed herself in the musical culture of the American Deep South and came out with an alt-country gem of a record. First single ìCaught In The Middleî incorporates folk, alt-country and a jaunty pop bounce to sound like nothing currently on the market. Strings, horns, marimbas ñ no instruments are off limits and when paired with Matthewsí one of a kind voice, the results are exemplary. It may not reach the commercial success of Catatonia, but one feels that listening to ìCaught In The Middle,î that Cerys Matthews has found her spiritual home and amazingly itís far away from her beloved Wales.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN