Reviews Cayetana New Kind Of Normal


New Kind Of Normal

Normally when I hear obvious shades of the 1990s, my first thought is straight from an ad campaign of the era: been there, done that. It’s an oversimplification, but you get the point. The real problem is mimicry instead of taking influence. Cayetana have some clear influences from the alt rock of my formative years, but they’re ultimately set in the now. It’s why New Kind Of Normal works.

The self-released album is a mixed tempo journey, 12 songs over 41-minutes. It’s up and down, celebrating the positive and lamenting the bad, generally circling back to life’s mistakes and lessons learned (unlike the ‘90s, which were all about a spiraling cynicism). 

In “Mesa,” the first song of many to jump out, the song makes the best of a bad situation: “Together we make flowers out of weeds.” That’s an apt metaphor for the whole record’s emotional rollercoaster. The song itself features notable bass lines with scraggly, up-and-down vocal flare. Those moving vocal tones and bass leads define a lot of the sound, surfacing again in “Bus Ticket.” The band slows it down on “Easy to Love” or “Side Sleepers,” but the album is mostly in the middle, with power pop melodies amid emotional peaks and valleys. 

Two standouts are “Grumpy’s” and “Follow,” each of which pop in part because of their sunny musical tone. The lyrics aren’t as bright—but the songs are about moving forward through the hangover.
While this record has unmistakable ‘90s tones in the songwriting, the overall theme and progression shows a growth from the drag-your-feet downerism of the grunge era. New Kind Of Normal takes those simple progressions and emphatic choruses but gives them a sense of hope.

8.3 / 10Loren
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8.3 / 10

8.3 / 10

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