CAT is in an era of self-discovery, exploration, and reflection. The artist, regularly known as Catherine Cosentino, has crafted a six-track work highlighting her musical muses ranging from a variety of genres, including country-tinged pop, jazz, acoustic, and indie. Box Of Chocolates begins solemnly, almost meekly, with “Grandmother’s Car,” which unveils the artist’s singer/songwriter roots.
Touting a vocal tone similar to Jewel à la her debut opus Pieces Of You, CAT wears her heart on her figurative sleeve, and conveys every emotion, insecurity and pain through her melodies. However, the vocalist truly grows into the album with “Tire You Out,” which conveys a more pop-driven, country sound, similar to bigwigs Counting Crows.
However, it’s “Insomnia” that displays CAT’s quirky, oddball side; and frankly, it’s a side that is equally intriguing and memorable. The singer tinkers with her vocal tone and range, with her backing band of electric guitar, batterie, and bass following along for the journey. It’s a rollercoaster ride of a track—convoluted, mind-bending and at the same time, fascinating. While the album takes an unexpected shift with “Fow Pow,” a jazzy, scat-inducing piece, CAT has an air of confidence that makes it seem like a natural transition.
Despite the range of genre shifts, twists and turns, Box Of Chocolates truly shines when CAT focuses on simplicity and earnestness. Tracks “Kiss” and “Fire Song” boast an uncanny similarity to Sara Bareilles, and yet CAT’s distinct voice makes the songs all her own. Her confidence radiates during these tunes, which makes them have more impact despite their instrumental minimalism.
While the album showcases the beauty and importance of being musically eclectic, it’s even more vital for artists to acknowledge and grow from where they breed the most potential. And judging from the final product, this New Jersey-bred artist has a lot to work with.