To someone who listened to a lot of indie rock in the mid-00s, Prairie Cat's music will feel instantly familiar. Although it's hard to pinpoint exactly what creates this impression, the songs of his new album, Is Cary Pratt, feel like they would fit nicely in-between other tracks saved on one's forgotten iPod Nano. Maybe it's the input of Ryan Dahle, an engineer known for his work with the likes of Mother Mother and Hot Hot Heat, who acts here as a producer, blending folk and bedroom rock nuances.
Well-made while staying somewhat outside of current trends, it's a lack of affectation that makes Prairie Cat's album so endearing. A song like lead single "Crib Talk" with its cheeky beat and somewhat dorky rhyme scheme, gives the listener the impression that they're in on an old inside joke, while managing to convey truly earnest, heart-warming emotions about a universal subject like fatherhood. Elsewhere, songs like "Did You Dress Yourself" and "Wrong" pack more than their share of swagger, while maintaining oddly human proportions.
Put simply, Is Cary Pratt feels like an album recorded in a bedroom by an old, exceptionally talented friend. For a professionally produced album composed by a seasoned songwriter, that says something. (Fuzzy Logic)