“Palm Mall Mars” is the latest in a long line of mallsoft albums from 猫 シ Corp.; this time with an interesting concept. After years of doing albums about malls on earth, 猫 シ Corp. has decided to go far out into the future and decided to throw in a bit more budget in order to deliver a higher quality product that most satisfies his vision of a futuristic mall in space.
猫 シ Corp.’s trademark formula is here, background crowd sounds combined with adult contemporary music that sounds less jazzy and more mellow than ever before. This definitely contributes to the more futuristic vibe of the album and adds to the big budget feeling of the album; it makes you feel like you’re there, like this is actually happening in some alternate reality. As always, the balance between realism and fantasy is perfectly balanced, it gives off a certain aesthetic that is both retro yet forward thinking at the same time, that kind of aesthetic that can only be found in early vaporwave.
Despite the theme and bigger budget, this sounds similar to 猫 シ Corp.’s older work. It’s as if the artist is retreading old material without knowing it. Don’t get me wrong, 猫 シ Corp. has the ability to innovate when faced with similar but derivative themes; the artist’s work in “NEWS AT 11” notestanding. It’s just the artist had big ambitions and couldn’t achieve everything the artist wanted. It does not mean it’s mediocre though; it’s still a good album that is worthy of being in your vaporwave collection. You can hear it in the quality of the audio and how all the elements meshed together, the artist here has truly refined the art turning it into a good mallsoft album. This doesn’t feel fake, this feels real.
The album promised wow and awe only to deliver disappointment. While the elements have been refined and while there is substance, this feels like a greatest hits collection. If you’re a newcomer looking to get into mallsoft than this album is for you, mallsoft veterans will find an enjoyable addition to their collections and 猫 シ Corp. fans will find a lot to like here. The problem isn’t that the album is bad, the problem is that it promised big but disappointed, if you don’t go in big, you’ll enjoy this album.