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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Empire is rising...
The Cat Empire are a 5 piece band (or 8 piece if you include the horn section) from Melbourne, Australia. Their style of music is hard to categorise, except to say that it's a funky mix of latin/soul/reggae/hip-hop/ska...etc... The kind of music that you can't help but tap your feet to! No... The kind of music that you can't help but get up and dance to, a huge grin...
Published on 10 Aug 2005 by Amazon Customer

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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good album, disappointing cat empire
Now, do not get me wrong this album is splendid, it's chilled out at the same time as making you wanna shake your sexy self, it got the nice mix of sublime style acoustic guitars and ska voice and the hip-swinging horn rhythms, but it certainly is lacking something. that somehting is the party mood. It is that almost Madness-feel to the music that defined the cat empire...
Published on 27 Sep 2005 by Amazon Customer


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Empire is rising..., 10 Aug 2005
This review is from: Two Shoes (Audio CD)
The Cat Empire are a 5 piece band (or 8 piece if you include the horn section) from Melbourne, Australia. Their style of music is hard to categorise, except to say that it's a funky mix of latin/soul/reggae/hip-hop/ska...etc... The kind of music that you can't help but tap your feet to! No... The kind of music that you can't help but get up and dance to, a huge grin plastered across your face, loving life!
Their diverse influences, and varied backgrounds are brought together through their music in a super-tight, highly skilled fashion, with each band member not only playing fantastically, but really expressing themselves through the music.
Two Shoes is their second album and was recorded in a studio in Cuba. In this album you can see that they have experienced a lot in Cuba, and have brought the influences that they've drawn directly to the music. From the supremely funky opener 'Sly' to the heartfelt 'Miserere' Two Shoes is an awesome album, from this incredible outfit! It has to be heard to be believed! And if you're lucky enough to see them live... that's a different story entirely!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Funky Music to Make You Move Your Shoes, 10 July 2007
By 
Mr. Cm Davis "ChrisChaos" (Whitstable, Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Two Shoes [Us Import] (Audio CD)
Cross a bit of Ska with a bit of Salsa then throw in a dash of Dance/Jazz fusion and top it of with a Reggae rhythm or two, mix it all up with the speed and energy from a troop of manic gibbons on speed and you would be getting close to what 'The Cat Empire' have got down on this disc.
I can't recommend this album enough, but fair to say that after getting a copy for myself I'm now back here getting 2 more for mates whose birthdays are coming up.
If you missed them playing at Glastonbury festival (or anywhere else) then I'm sorry for you, they played the best set there and gave a real high energy polished performance, although the album was recorded in a studio environment they have still managed to capture the feel and energy of their live performance perfectly.
You've read enough now, so just
BUY THE BLOODY ALBUM
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brillaint, 20 April 2009
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This review is from: Two Shoes (Audio CD)
I LOVE this album. It is varied so i've listened to it all the way through three times in a row without getting bored! and the music is fun and witty and will make you feel good. especially good for driving music :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two Shoes -The Cat Empire, 8 Aug 2008
This review is from: Two Shoes (Audio CD)
THE CAT EMPIRE from Melbourne began making music as a trio in late 1999 playing enthusiastically to crowds in the jazz clubs, festivals and bars in their local area. The band was the dream-child of front man Felix Riebl & included Ollie McGill on piano & Ryan Monro on double bass. From the very beginning they had a very unique & distinctive sound.... that, 'Cat Empire' sound!!
Back then the music was all instrumental and only a few extremely rare CD's of their sessions in Melbourne's 'Sound Lounge' (& later in Ollie's sisters bedroom) exist but are hard to acquire... (thankfully, I have them though) but by the following year they were joined by a young Harry J Angus on trumpet/vocals, a SUPERB drummer, Will Hull-Brown & on decks & percussion Jamshid Khadiwala. At last the sound that bandleader Felix had envisaged was complete. With his immensely talented songmanship, Felix now also took up vocals. Harry too writes some very accomplished and distinguished songs & shares lead vocal duties & has himself proven to be a very charismatic front man. It is fair to say that neither Felix or Harry had at the time of recording these sides, an experienced vocal talent although both voices have very distinct characteristics.. especially Harry's. However, later recordings show that practice and 6 years non stop gigs around the world has done a lot for their vocal skills. Ollie's AMAZING keyboard talents are the product of a) a LOVE for the music and instrument and b) a keen and educated ear on the many styles of some of the masters that preceded him like Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and others. In fact ALL these musicians have shown their worth. They have all obviously actively hunted down a variety of good music from across the world and know what music should be. Harry's trumpet playing is so well accomplished, Felix's percussion is outstanding, Jamshid's [DJ Jumps] skills are awesome and Ryan's bass is more than passable and as I mentioned, Will's drumming is as good as it gets. It is collectively however that these guys work best.
THE MUSIC of The Cat Empire has very mixed influences ranging from Reggae, Ska, Cuban, Gypsy, Jazz, Hip-hop, Latin, Funk, Swing & Dub, often blended into one track. Their real strength though is in their live shows (I have seen them 6 times so far) highly recommended and extremely invigorating and uplifting.
Onto the album, TWO SHOES. It was something of a dream for the band to have an album recorded in Havana's famous Egrem Studio & to be produced by he great Jerry Boys (think Buena Vista Social Club) & this experience shines through these tracks like the Cuban sunlight through a sweet señorita's dress in high summer. The album starts with the soulful song SLY pretty much guaranteed to get you moving & feeling The Empire vibe from the start with Ollie's almost trademark slightly distorted analogue Rhodes sound and Felix's knowing lyrics and cheeky singing style. It's a party song & featured on their (US) TV debut live on Letterman & then various other TV shows around the world. Next up is Harry's IN MY POCKET - Just amazing! The track is so well executed, the rhythm is infectious & the lyrics take you everywhere you've ever wanted to be. Then LULLABY, another knowing 'love song' from Felix that puts a smile on your face & an insatiable urge to sing along. Track 4 is THE CAR SONG, great fun & track five is the song TWO SHOES which first appeared on the collectable CD from the band,'THE SUN' of which only a limited number exist. The concept of the song is simple & genius & an unforgettable Cat Empire experience. Track 5 is the beautiful song MISERERE played to the rhythm of a beating heart at rest & is a sombre reflection that not everything in life is upbeat & carefree. (The US version of this album has the signature tune THE CHARIOT as track 5). Next comes SOY Y SOMBRA, pretty much a homage to Latin music & could have been just as at home on a Fania All Stars album. Now it's PARTY STARTED for track 8. Gather round the beach, or barbi open a beer or a bottle of rum, give the band some room to play & presto.. How hard was that? Actually, pretty easy if you're these guys. OK, now PROTONS, NEUTRONS, ELECTRONS is one of Harry's fun & deeply philosophical (not to mention utterly genius) reflections on life. CARPE DIEM is the message here as throughout the Empire ethos. SALTWATER is a nostalgic look at days gone by from Harry & how they never actually leave. The finale is the magnificent THE NIGHT THAT NEVER END with it's fantastically atmospheric crescendo. May these great songs from these six uniquely talented young guys never end either. The Empire be rising. Long live the Emperors and "long live living, if living can be this".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funky Music To Make Your Feet Float, 19 Dec 2007
By 
Mr. Cm Davis "ChrisChaos" (Whitstable, Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Two Shoes (Audio CD)
Cross a bit of Ska with a bit of Salsa then throw in a dash of Dance/Jazz fusion and top it of with a Reggae rhythm or two, mix it all up with the speed and energy from a troop of manic gibbons on speed and you would be getting close to what 'The Cat Empire' have got down on this disc.
I can't recommend this album enough, but fair to say that after getting a copy for myself I'm now back here getting 2 more for mates whose birthdays are coming up.
If you missed them playing at Glastonbury festival (or anywhere else) then I'm sorry for you, they played the best set there and gave a real high energy polished performance, although the album was recorded in a studio environment they have still managed to capture the feel and energy of their live performance perfectly.
You've read enough now, so just
BUY THE BLOODY ALBUM
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cat Empire - Two Shoes, 22 Aug 2006
This review is from: Two Shoes (Audio CD)
The most awesome music I've heard for a long time! You just can't help but feel so high when you listen to it. Hard to say what 'style' it is but I love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic album, 6 Oct 2010
By 
Mrs. C. Swale "BikeGrrl" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Two Shoes (Audio CD)
Great strong tunes with lots of different instruments - fell in love with it almost instantly
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good album, disappointing cat empire, 27 Sep 2005
This review is from: Two Shoes (Audio CD)
Now, do not get me wrong this album is splendid, it's chilled out at the same time as making you wanna shake your sexy self, it got the nice mix of sublime style acoustic guitars and ska voice and the hip-swinging horn rhythms, but it certainly is lacking something. that somehting is the party mood. It is that almost Madness-feel to the music that defined the cat empire and the first album for me. Every song made you want to drop everything, buy a couple of bottles of red and just party on a beach. But this album goes for the subtle approach. It let me down and to avoid you making the same mistake, try and listen to a couple of tracks before you buy it, especially if listening to the previous album influenced your desire to purchase. You can always check out some of the tunes at [...]
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Two Shoes
Two Shoes by The Cat Empire (Audio CD - 2005)
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