(11 January 2000, NG/Artemis)
The thing that constantly blows my mind about Kittie’s debut album is that it’s by far their most popular and the only one most people know.
Of course, after the last time I listened to it I knew why some wouldn’t have bothered with hearing anything else. It’s not nearly as good as I remembered. Don’t get me wrong, it’s much better than anything I’ve ever put out. But it’s still very juvenile and not at all indicative of what they would become.
I suppose that youthfulness and raw aggression was what attracted many to Kittie. I find it attractive too. Songs like “Do You Think I’m A Whore” and “Get Off (You Can Eat A Dick)” amuse me in ways that haven’t changed since I was a teenager. “Brackish” and “Spit” feature the kind of monster riffs and screamed growls that still tickle my fancy.
Of course, I always thought the secret weapon of this band was Morgan Lander’s great singing voice like what’s used on “Charlotte.” She still didn’t have the experience or practice to use it to full effect like she would by Funeral For Yesterday, but you can still tell there was something there.
The other thing apparent in “Charlotte” is that the riffs they were pumping out had a ton of groove. I’m not a huge fan of the deep, meaningful lyrics you get on tracks like this and “Paperdoll,” but I’m still a sucker for a Drop-D guitar riff with a great groove.
I feel a little sorry for those who only own this album and still point to it as such a milestone. Even by the time, Kittie released the follow-up Oracle in 2001 they’d grown by leaps and bounds. Sure, they probably rose to fame because they were the perfect nu-metal foil to teen-pop superstars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, but if this was the only album they ever released and there had been no In The Black I doubt I’d still have any interest in them 20 years later.