With her high-profile connections and her name in the spotlight, over the years she expanded her business and brand portfolio from not only tattoo and body art, but into a prolific make-up career, where she championed vegan make-up, being a devout animal lover (No animal testing for those confused, no bunnies in slutty lipstick), to yes...even singing.
Now...don’t get me wrong; just because you are admittedly very talented at one thing, and have been able to grow a successful following with another, doesn’t mean EVERYTHING is going to work. Hypothetically at least. To make this point, her appearance on “Rosary Blue” by THE 69 EYES wasn’t exactly spectacular back in 2012, but is it fair to judge a person's singing career on one niche bonus track? 2021 saw Kat release her debut solo album, by the name of “Love Made Me Do It” …let’s see what it took her nine years to get up to....
The album opens up with “Intro”; the most original of opening tracks, and, it’s your typical purely instrumental introduction that’s designed to create a sense of suspense and intrigue. Though, to be fair, the deep, chilling synths here give off a very “Stranger Things” vibe. I swear that TV show’s intro was so good it’s become a standard bearer to this exact sort of synth driven instrumentation. First track proper then; “Vanish” follows in the same vein as the aforementioned 69 Eyes collaboration. It’s a hushed, delicate piano piece with Kat’s vocals sounding husky, raspy and vulnerable, as she sings about her fears towards being able to love. It’s quite a solemn, self-depreciating track and really quite deep in its self-reflection to be fair, and an emotionally powerful start.
Lyrically, Kat can remain subtly negative in certain aspects but credit to her, despite this, she’s released a selection of absolute bops, and we’ll start with “Exorcism”. The percussion rich retro synths give this a wonderfully new-wave throwback, and the chorus is on another level. The almost spoken-word delivery of the track's vocals allows for the harmonious notes to shine through, and for all intents and purposes this is a brilliant pop song.
This is continued with “Lost At Sea” which instrumentally channels the same energy electronically as say, WILLIAM CONTROL, and the throwback vibes are strong here. The chorus feels like an eruption of frustrations as Kat sings the tracks title, amidst a barrage of more intense guitar and drum work and the whole piece just feels like, more of the frenetic advocation of her own mental state and wellbeing. The string work adds taste and maturity to the overall message and it’s like a real sense of reflection, sung with honesty and it’s applaudable.
Album highlight then “Pretending” is simply superb...the 80’s-rich electronic pop harks back to the likes of ULTRAVOX and A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS and yet again, the chorus here is one of the catchiest things you will hear this year. This is modern new wave pop at its very best and once again the simplicity of a catchy-ass chorus, along with the nostalgic vibes of early new romanticism allow this to be a legit tune; this is a flawless, faultless pop track and all of the applause needs to go to Kat for delivering this. There are other efforts such as “Enough” which channel the likes of THE CURE, and even "Protected" featuring PETER MURPHY of BAUHAUS no less, but to be fair, we’ve peaked.
While not being a complete sweep, with the likes of “Interlude” being ultimately pointless, and “I Am Nothing” returning to that solemn, hushed slow-jam effort, it’s not an entirely fun-filled record. Obviously, the tracks that stand out do so on their own merit, and each to their own, but to lose the intro and interlude cliches would save some time, and it’s only a shame that Kat indulged in more of the slower offerings, knowing what she is capable of as a pop star it turns out.
Don’t get me wrong, the album as a whole, is impressive and wasn’t what I was expecting following the 69 Eyes collaboration, but I’m glad it’s gone this way. Few modern pop artists correctly mix modern production with the aesthetic of their own 80’s influences and too often it becomes cliché, but with Kat not being a renowned musician, the expectation was non-existent, and her tracks have sounded fresh as a result. It’s not a perfect album start to finish, but it’s a brilliant nostalgia trip, and a great gateway for some of y’all younglings to take an interest in some classic 80’s electronic pop. Love apparently made her do it, I just hope she does it again...