Kittie – I’ve Failed You
With the album title setting you up for low expectations by being called I’ve Failed You, things can only go up from there right? I would agree that they have failed us when they agreed to take part in the Gathering of the Juggalos a couple of weeks ago, but in these times it’s all about whatever pays the bills I suppose. But ominous titles and the compilation of the world’s most retarded fans in all of music aside, the album is actually pretty damned good. Really the only hard part of the album to swallow is the radical genre shift from song to song or within the song itself at times. I was definitely impressed with the band as they turned things up a notch and went straight for the jugular with the heavier, darker sound.
‘I’ve Failed You’ leads off the album with possibly the heaviest song they’ve ever written where frontwoman Morgan Lander would make Angela Gossow proud. It’s a short, repetitive song but it gets the job done. The in your face heaviness continues with ‘We Are The Lamb’ which is a little bit longer and is a nice display of the musical talent present within the band now that they’ve been working together with a solid lineup for a few years. ‘Whisper of Death’ starts off just as heavy but switches back and forth between the heaviness and Morgan’s clean vocals, which are admittedly an acquired taste, that were most prevalent in 2007’s Funeral For Yesterday. The song itself feels very deep and dark however, which makes it a lot easier to digest. ‘What Have I Done’ is the long track on an otherwise short album, clocking in at 5:25. The song is way too mellow for the first three and a half minutes, making it a bit awkward in its position on the album. Just when it feels like it’s gained a head of steam and is going to finish strong, it ends just the way it began. The song would be much more appreciated at the end of the album for me because the heavy as fuck mentality that makes me turn on the album makes me skip over the song. ‘Empires (Part 1)’ is a short, unneeded two minute intro to ‘Empires (Part 2)’ which is signature Kittie and plenty strong enough to stand on its own without the intro. The song is heavy, catchy and the clean vocals are a lot more reminiscent of their early days. The guitar work being put on display here is a nice change as well. ‘Come Undone’ is another two minute and change punch in the face. The clean vocals are actually pretty cool here because of how short and unexpected they are. ‘Already Dead’ is another brutal song that would make any metal fan happy regardless of the usual “I hate female vocalists” demographic. ‘Never Come Home’ is another abrupt change. Again, it feels dark and stays with the overall theme which makes it feel like it belongs on the album still, but it’s not what you’d expect after ‘Already Dead’. The song even reminds me a lot of Lennon’s voice especially in her metal side project, Devil’s Gift. ‘Ugly’ is fucking sexy and has more testosterone than anything on the new Chimaira album (more on that later). The album closes with ‘Time Never Heals’ which is on the gloomy, slow side of things as well. It’s the kind of song you’d expect to close the album though so the radical change isn’t abrupt and shouldn’t scare you off here since you’ve already made it to the end.
This is one of those albums that took a few listens to really appreciate. The first time I listened to it, I tuned out the majority of the clean lyrics and was very much on the fence about it. When I sat down to give my two cents about it, I realized that from top to bottom it keeps with a common theme which makes everything gel together a lot nicer with each listen. I think that there is infinite potential in this current formation of Kittie. The heavy songs they’ve written are by far the heaviest and possibly their best stuff to date. This album sounds like their most inspired album as well which makes even the softer songs not suck. One song at a time, there are a few songs that people won’t care about, but when listened to as a whole, it’s Kittie’s most solid effort in over a decade. There runs a good chance that this album will end up on a few end of the year lists. 7.5/10