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Songs for Girls to Sing

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Album Review

When it comes to value for the money, Songs for Girls to Sing has to rank up there as one of the best collections around. Not only is it a demonstration of the quartet's productivity — being the second compilation of singles (from 1994 to 1996) the band had released thus far — but it's jam-packed to a full CD's length with 36 songs! (The final four are unlisted bonus tracks from a live show, making the collection even more of a treat.) Perhaps understandably, a number of songs on Songs for Girls to Sing are barely fragments, but as a whole it still ranks up there with collections like the Buzzcocks' Singles Going Steady and Pansy Division's Pile-Up as demonstrations of guitar pop excellence. Certainly the Cat's Miaow isn't anywhere near as punkish or loud as either of those two acts, though, sticking to a softly charming approach, with gentle reverb and echo giving everything a hint of a shoegazer influence. A ready comparison would be fellow countrymen the Cannanes, whose David Nichols plays on "Do You Think It'll Snow Tonight?," but the quartet follows its own inspirations instead of simply copying. The range of covers assayed is a good sign in and of itself — Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From," Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces," and Spiritualized's "Let It Flow" are just three of the choices, plus selections ranging from Phil Spector to St. Etienne. Still, the originals predominate, counting some inspired posthumous "collaborations" with F. Scott Fitzgerald and Chris Bell. Thorough liner notes from Bart make for the icing on the cake, detailing where every song originally turned up, along with a few fun stories along the way. There's the fact that the "This Is All I Ever Wanted" single is "my mum's favorite record," while another incident is recounted in which the group did a launch party for a release "but forgot to give any away."

Customer Reviews

gentle on purpose

Twee, Lo-fi, it what you want, but Bart doesn't stretch his songs out with a lot of repeated choruses, extended solos or other unnecessary fluff. Its pretty much no-frills feelings bared. Excellent, very touching lyrics and dreamy vocals abound. "Smitten" is one of the best songs ever done by anyone, IMO. "The Others Way," "Barney and Me," "Revant de Toi" (Dreamin of You) are also quite excellent. Maybe not for the backwards baseball cap wearin', SUV drivin' crowd, but if you still think flowers are beautiful, if a walk on the beach suits you, if you've ever woke up next to someone and just watched them sleep, then this might be something you would like. Another reviewer pointed out a couple of songs in the style of the bands alter-ego 'Hydroplane', that i could do without, but overall, this is one of my all time favorite CD's.


I love it when these guys come up during a shuffle


I smile each time their track starts playing...


Formed: May, 1992 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Australian indie-pop band the Cat's Miaow formed in May, 1992; a quartet comprised of members of the incestuous Melbourne music scene, the lineup featured vocalist Kerrie (formerly of the Beat Poets and Tra La La), guitarist Bart (from Blairmailer and Girl of the World), bassist Andrew (also of Blairmailer, as well as the Ampersands) and drummer Cameron (ex-Girl of the World). Recording on a primitive four-track, over the next two years the Cat's Miaow issued a series of cassettes on the small Aussie...
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