Album Review: Young Kato – Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow

By on Tuesday, 2nd June 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

If you’re a regular watcher of the E4 reality drama Made in Chelsea, you’ve no doubt heard Young Kato’s music already, and if you haven’t been paying attention, you may not have even known it. That’s perfectly okay though. But naysayers of mainstream pop of the world beware: the six-band member strong group from Cheltenham now have a debut album to their name. The title ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ is a more graceful way of rephrasing ‘YOLO’ in slightly more poetic and definitely less common terms, and it’s also an excellent reflection of the 11 songs contained on the LP.

While they might be young and already have Radio 1 support – two attributes enough for some people to turn their noses up to their music and pass judgment – I implore all to give this album a chance at least for one full listen through your streaming music service of your choice, as I think this might be the soundtrack to your summer. Not to mention cause you to reconsider your stance on today’s pop music. Yes, I know, them’s fighting words, but this is no ordinary pop album.

The band smartly begins with their seasonal smash ‘Sunshine’, previously released as the title track of an EP in autumn 2014. (Read frontman Tommy Wright’s track-by-track analysis of the ‘Sunshine’ EP here.) This is followed by their perennial live favourite ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, which works really well, as every pop band needs a roof-raising, fist pump-inciting singalong song, don’t they? ‘Lights’, another stalwart in the band’s live set, is another great pop anthem midway through the collection, tailor made for festival pogoing. Its buzzing synths and driving rhythm provide an effective foil to its love song heart as Wright sings, “I know it’s hard to face the facts / I’m pulling away like a train from the tracks / I‘m sick and tired of being free / and I know you’re meant for me”.

The album’s standout is ‘Ultraviolet’, a snapshot of a winter club night romance that leaves the protagonist wondering “the question that haunts me / will I ever see you again?” The rhythm is relentless, keeping your heartbeat racing, as Wright ponders aloud if the mysterious girl even thinks about him or if he’s “another strike upon the wall”. It’s humanising, an interesting point of view from a boy, as usually it’s us girls who are second-guessing whether a guy fancied us or we were just amusement for the night.

‘Children of the Stars’ is another surprise: a well-paced song, it touches on the innocence of childhood and the desire to go back to simpler days, a sweet yet expansive pop melody running throughout. Contrast this to the pulsating disco beats and handclaps of ‘Remedy’, bringing the premise of Roxy Music’s ‘Love is the Drug’ to the teenagers of the 21st century, or the borderline stalker storyline of ‘Stephanie’, complete with glittery synths. Hold up a minute, are you telling me that all the songs on this album *don’t* sound the same? ::smirk:: I told you!

The only bone I have to pick with ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ is how it loses steam in the final quarter. ‘Revolution’ and ‘Just Say the Word Away’ are both sweeping vocally and are certainly grand in their rich instrumentation, but they’re the sonic equivalent to cloying saccharine. The album might have been all that much stronger if the LP just ended with ‘Runaway’ and on an uplifting, up tempo note. Maybe I just need to listen to those two songs in the context of a colder season but otherwise as is, this debut album from Young Kato with plenty of catchy pop melodies is summertime for your ears.

8/10

‘Don’t’ Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’, the long-awaited debut album from Cheltenham’s Young Kato, is out now on Republic of Music. For more on Young Kato, including my review of their appearance at the Great Escape 2015, go here.

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