If you’re to believe certain corners of the internet, Cashmere Cat is here to save electronica, pop, R&B, everything. And who can blame people for thinking that? On his debut album (and following a shedload of chart credits) Magnus vhas managed to sign up some of the world’s biggest A-listers for guest spots to create the hit-and-miss 9.
What it comes across as, however, is the outsider kid who joins a new school, makes all the same noises and wears all the same clothes, and suddenly gets accepted by a group of (perceived) cool kids. What 9 lacks, however, is a sense of originality beyond the first two songs – Kehlani‘s Night Night and Kacy Hill face-saving Europa Pools.
And then does it go downhill in a most spectacular way. 9 (After Coachella) says it all – it’s the comedown from the overrated rich kid party, where everything sounds like a blaring racket in the wake of hipster meltdown (ironically enough it features their darling SOPHIE). There is no better way to describe this song too, which is so utterly irritating it might as well be a flower-crown or culturally-appropriated jewellery.
The rest of it just takes the worst of its featured artists’ tropes and wrenches them into something unpalatable. The Weeknd meeting Francis and The Lights might sound like a dream on paper, but Wild Love practically unlistenable for the club, the car, or even your room. Høiberg’s beats flit between predictable and catastrophic, with the only sense of things being a Cashmere Cat production is how boring they are.
Saving graces? Apart from the first two tracks, it’s down to Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande on Quit – though even then she’s lumbered with the same “I can’t quit you” refrain over and over till it becomes nauseating – and Selena Gomez. But even they deserve (and are capable of) more than what Cashmere Cat gives them here. Instead it just sounds that they’ve been told a shell-suit is the cool new thing to be sporting, totally unaware that it makes them look as horrific as Jimmy Savile. Disappointing.