Under the haze that precludes the opening stanza of lyrics in Shiadanni’s new single/video combo “Kitty Mama,” there lies a melody that is soon to overwhelm us with its unbelievable size and strength. Shiadanni’s voice is always the main feature in any song that she records, but if I’m being honest, this track starts off by letting us know that we’re not in for the standard fodder that some of her longtime fans might be expecting to hear in this release. She’s cutting loose and dipping her pen in an atmospheric ink, ultimately producing a sound that could be her most becoming to date.
The video’s shots of seduction aside, I haven’t been able to get enough of what “Kitty Mama” uses as a cornerstone of its most dynamic moments – its crushing rhythm, which ebbs and flows much like a tidal wave before finally settling under the thumb of Shiadanni’s lyrical delivery. Her timing is so careful and precise in this song that it’s sometimes hard to believe that it’s actually a real, living woman singing and not some sort of synthetic encapsulation of what a pop vocalist could be if stripped of any reticence under the spotlight.
This definitely qualifies as being a hook-oriented piece of material, but one of the finest qualities that “Kitty Mama” sports is its textured instrumentation, which lends a bit more agency to the emotional element in the music than most pop songs are ever in possession of. Shiadanni has never been one to employ unfeeling themes simply as a means of getting people onto the dancefloor, and in this sense, “Kitty Mama” is no different than her past releases. What sets this single apart, for me at least, is its tightly-developed arrangement, which comes across as being far more complex and sophisticated than those found in previous studio recordings from this performer.
As the simmering bassline fades away and Shiadanni drives off into the night in an eggshell Audi 12-cylinder, the tension produced by the beats we’ve just heard doesn’t disappear with the music – it hangs in the air above us for at least another five minutes after “Kitty Mama” has reached its conclusion. Moody, surreal pop has been the subject of a lot of critical debate in recent times, but for what I look for in the emerging genre’s best artists, this track and its composer pretty much have it all and then some.
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