The voice is the original instrument—but that doesn’t mean that there’s anything original left to say. Years of cut-rate also-ran pop acts who can’t sing or dance or woo the front row have left a bad taste in the mouths of fans hungry for something saucier. Whither originality?​

Tabby 5 emerge at a time when staid monuments to the expected are being erected at every streaming platform and live venue, and their arrival is the harbinger of something fresh, possibly even fun. Even the most jaded critic must marvel at five-part harmonies sung with such obvious passion, and this critic is no exception. In this case, curiosity thrilled the cat. Antecedents may influence, but without passion, the vocal group will just be a pale imitation of what once was. “Paws Off” showcases the passion and pedigree of Tabby 5 and is truly something to savor. Grade: A

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