Monday, September 17th, 2018

Polycat – I Want You

Not to be confused with Doja Cat, Thundercat, TacocaT, Cashmere Cat, Cat Power, Catcall, Fat Cat, or Catfish and the Bottlemen…


Alfred Soto: As elegant as late ’80s Jam and Lewis, “I Want You” allows Polycat to navigate across an elegant musical space. Hyperbole interests them not at all — they dramatize. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: “I Want You” strikes a delicate balance. On the lyrical level, as well as in the maximalist ’80s pastiche notes of the production (those orchestra hits!! the big skronking guitar!), Polycat aim for high drama. Yet in the softer notes of Rattana Janprasit’s vocal performance and production — the way he yearns in the prechorus as the percussion rattles below him especially — you get the feeling that “I Want You” wants nothing more than to be a supreme piece of chill pop. That these two competing desires can coexist so sublimely is the core appeal of “I Want You”– a close second is the inexplicable quoting of “Happy Birthday to You” as the song’s instrumental climax, which bewildered and endeared me in equal measures on first listen.

Iain Mew: A marshmallow tower which starts luxe and gets luxer and luxer as they go up. Which is impressive but also a lot of one thing, especially when it’s not my favourite to begin with. It’s not that each new level doesn’t reveal some surprising new details, just that they’re all still made of the same basic stuff. If Polycat did something more with the prog guitar wail from the beginning that all but disappears after, it would help.

Jonathan Bradley: It’s an opulent guitar riff, dripping in diamonds and pearls, and Rattana Janprasit’s delicate singing can’t match its luxuriousness. His chorus, however, is classic R&B: comfortable with taking its time, and all the finer for it.

Ian Mathers: The backing is indeed very slick, but with grace notes that comprise practically a little symphony of pops, clicks, stabs, and washes that just grows more vivid with closer attention. The vocals, meanwhile, in both form and content throw back (in a good way!) to acts like Boyz II Men, which combine with the slightly different tenor of the production in a surprisingly harmonious, overall wonderful blend.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The ’80s-loving Thai group returns with a single that finds them channeling all their energy into a tastefully dramatic ballad. Compared to Polycat’s previous singles, “I Want You” is dense and attention-seeking: all ears stay glued to Rattana Janprasit as he elegantly pines for an ex. He’s sad there won’t be another “Happy Birthday” to sing to her, and is increasingly envious of the new boyfriend’s current position. “Seeing him do what I used to do, I can’t take it,” he sings, and his soaring vocals sell the sentiment.

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