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Kittie - "I've Failed You" (CD)

Kittie - "I've Failed You" CD cover image

"I've Failed You" track listing:

1. I've Failed You (2:11)
2. We Are the Lamb (2:51)
3. Whisper of Death (4:18)
4. What Have I Done (5:25)
5. Empires (Part 1) (2:13)
6. Empires (Part 2) (3:41)
7. Come Undone (2:15)
8. Already Dead (2:51)
9. Never Come Home (3:15)
10. Ugly (2:57)
11. Time Never Heals (4:30)

Reviewed by on September 23, 2011

"There's a serious lack of inspiration present that permeates everything, almost like Kittie didn't want to record, and it shows."

I really, really wanted to like the new Kittie album. After defending the band ever since their change in sound, with “Until the End” no longer being nu-metal, it looks like I won't be winning over any new Kittie fans this year. “I've Failed You” is quite simply the worst album that Kittie has made in years and there's no way that I can possibly overlook the horrible production and terrible alt rock ballads.

It's hard to find an album that sounds as bad as “I've Failed You” does in 2011. The fuzzy guitars completely overshadow the vocals, while the drums are just headache-inducing loud. Usually an album brickwalled this badly has a clean mix to compensate for the volume increase, but “I've Failed You” has way too much distortion, mixing the worst of contemporary and old-school production. Worst yet is that the uneven mix makes the vocals barely noticeable at points, completely defeating the point of dynamic songwriting. Siegfried Meier really needs to be ashamed of himself for getting “I've Failed You” to sound as bad as it does, since it's one of the worst production jobs that I've heard in years.

Then there’s the fact that there isn't just one song that irks me, but three that I simply can’t listen to. “What Have I Done,” “Time Never Heals” and “Never Come Home” are all equally horrible attempts at metal ballads that go nowhere and just drag the album down. After getting through this album a total of three times, I began skipping them as a matter of principle. I can only take so much repetitive crap for so long before it just gives me a headache. Kittie should stick to heavier songs, since that's what Morgan Lander and company are good at, rather than branching out and failing.

Outside of the ballads, the first half of the album features a lot of really generic riffing that does absolutely nothing for me. To be fair, if two of the aforementioned abominations are ignored, the quality does pick up around the time that “Empires (Part 2)” begins, despite “Empires (Part 1)” being a pointless acoustic interlude that wasn't needed at all.

Even when Kittie manages to do something right, they don't develop their ideas enough. Very few of the songs are longer than three minutes and often feel rushed and crammed together, but still mid-paced, which is simply jarring to listen to. There's a serious lack of inspiration present that permeates everything, almost like Kittie didn't want to record, and it shows. Anyone looking to get into this band should check out their previous three albums.

Highs: Some of the songs on the album's second half aren't as bad as most of the songs

Lows: Terrible production, short songs, terrible ballads, boring riffs

Bottom line: Kittie has failed me.

Rated 1.5 out of 5 skulls
1.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)