Delusions of Grandeur

Artist: Cathy Richardson
Listenability Scale: 82%
Released by: Cash Rich Records
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Upon my first listen to “Delusions of Grandeur,” the follow-up CD to Cathy Richardson’s Grammy nominated “Road to Bliss,” my first thoughts went along the lines of “Maybe I missed something, but I think I prefer my Cathy rockin’ a little bit more. This CD seems a little bit more melancholy, laid-back. I’m not really sure if I’m liking it.” So I listened to the CD again, paying a little more attention since I was stuck in the dude-mobile on my way to Ohio, but I was still kind of daydreaming. Then the song “Things Are Different” started, the bridge of the song hit, and I was snapped back into my liking most everything by Ms. Richardson, rockin’ or laid-back. I finished the song, bounced back to the first track, and paid a lot bit more attention, still stuck in the dude-mobile, somewhere in Indiana, and began to like the CD a little more and more with each listen.

So listening to “Delusions of Grandeur” a few more times, I have begun to recognize many gems of songs that I missed that first time through. Of course there is the song, “Things Are Different,” the song that snapped me back into Cathy Richardson reality. It’s a ballad-styled song, with a great line in the bridge – “Time erases faces, changes hearts and minds and dreams,” and is sort of reflective song at someone you remember from your past whom you’d like to show how your life is now, and how they might have fit into it. Another is “Overwhelmed,” a nice love song which kicks ass as the song wraps up. “I Don’t Want Anything” is a song that starts off slow, and at first had me patiently waiting for it to turn into a rocking number, but it didn’t, and you know what, after a few listens I didn’t care anymore, because the song worked perfectly into a section of the lyrics – “And I’m turning off my phone, ‘cuz when I sit here all alone I don’t want hear how many times you didn’t call.” Cathy did this one right because it ends up being a nice, bluesy, reflection at a busted relationship.

The other song infecting my head sort of confuses me a little, because I have absolutely no idea why you might be growing a garden in your closet. The song is called “Closet Cultivator” and it sort of tells the story of a next-door neighbor in an apartment complex who seems to grow a nice garden, in a closet no less. It’s got a slight reggae beat, which I think is also supposed to mean something, I just can’t wrap my lips and breath around it. The neighbor seems to know what to do with a good seed, and the person in the song, who seems to have writer’s block, seems to think that by visiting her neighbor emitting a fragrant aroma, it will help break the block. I think there is more to this song, I’ll just have to study the lyrics a little more, I think. Sadly, or maybe happily, me and my neighbors don’t share a common vent in our townhouse walls. Enough bad innuendo on my part, Cathy Richardson does a much better job with the innuendo in the song, and dammit, that bouncing beat is catchy.

But Cathy does do something else on this CD which I found just fantastic, and that is on the song “Two Questions.” She took two questions, formed into lyrics, simply “Why are you such a drag? And why do you fuck me up every time you come around here?” and by repeating them differently, made a full-length song out of those questions. And it so works.

Cathy Richardson, for “Delusions of Grandeur,” slips away from her rocker style and keeps things in a bluesy mode, almost gospelly at times, and seems to have gotten a jazz bug a little up her butt. I have to admit that I am not really a fan of jazz, which her song “The Sacred Relationship Between Humans & Plants” reminds me of, but I do understand where she is going with it, but I just didn’t like it.

A couple of listens in I realized that I’m really liking this new Cathy Richardson CD, even if the rockin’ isn’t there. And once again she has teamed with Bill Dolan to create some great CD packaging outside of your standard “jewel box” when you buy the CD. My only recommendation is don’t try to get the CD out of the packaging while you are driving, and I’m not talking about the shrink-wrap. Buy it, you’ll understand.

The CD comes packaged as a theatrical performance, with each song being a scene in a play on a grand stage. Explanations abound for each song, in the little playbill booklet included with the CD, the lyrics are there as well, and some of the songs make a little more sense with the stories that preface them. I have to admit that I didn’t pay that much attention to the stories (I’m sorry Cathy) in the booklet because I’m not a reader type of person.

Anyway, for this review, I’m going to kick the “Bonus Material” out of the equation, it’s five tracks of the same songs on the CD that have been re-done for language or editing purposes, and will ignore the first track, because it’s an “Overture” and I didn’t like it. With that I’m giving “Delusions of Grandeur” from Cathy Richardson an 82% on the Entertainment Ave! listenability scale. I’m not a fan of “A Fool’s Regret” and “The Sacred Relationship” song, so I’ll leave it at that. But the rest have grown on me like a fungus, and it’s a good fungus.

Though not being rockin’ as much, this CD will probably grow on you if you give it a couple of listens. Sometimes you need to do that. I did, and I’m glad.