Kitten fails to produce a great project despite solid conceptual choices
Pop-rock band Kitten is back with another EP aptly titled Goodbye Honeymoon Phase. Frontwoman Chloe Chaidez has recently worked with or toured with great artists like Smashing Pumpkins, Girlpool, and Charli XCX. Considering the diverse sound of this EP, the wide variety of recent collaborators makes sense. On this particular project, the Charli XCX influence definitely feels the strongest, mixed in with some ’80s vibes and production styles. Unfortunately, while the influences are clear but not overwhelming, the songwriting and execution of these stylistic choices aren’t quite as strong.
First of all, “Friday’s No Fun Anymore” is the only song on the EP that feels fully realized. Everything about this song is extremely entertaining, deeply affecting, and fits the theme of the project. The lyrics perfectly capture the elation that comes with youthful experimentation, while also hitting on the disappointment that can become all-consuming when realizing that one can’t feel, or live like they’re young forever. The lovely overlaid vocals feel like a community of those who feel as if they’ve lost track of their past in the same way. There are beautiful and cathartic moments throughout the song, like the chorus explosion on the great line, “I wanna dance all night while we still have time”. Despite the all-around excellent songwriting on this track, Kitten fails to reach this high bar anywhere else on the project. Each song has a great idea at its core or unique viewpoint on the project’s themes of change, growth and aging out of a certain lifestyle or relationship, but most aren’t executed nearly well enough.
On “Distraction” and “Memphis”, Chaidez’s vocals sound utterly sterile. The “you don’t know me” refrain on “Me” feels childish since the song is mostly lamenting universal problems, and are not explained in any new or meaningful way. “Goodbye Honeymoon Phase” is completely in limbo; the storytelling isn’t good enough for it to be a solid ballad, the electronics aren’t good enough to satisfy those itches, and the acoustic parts, while maybe the most solid, are barely there. It’s a concoction where each part feels messy, and the whole feels extremely unsatisfying.
Goodbye Honeymoon Phase is a project where there is no shortage of good ideas. The pathos at the emotional core of the album is deeply intriguing, and something with which plenty of listeners have the potential to relate; the issue of moving on to a new phase in life in any number of ways, whether it be a significant other or the way that one chooses to live their life. Kitten mostly fails to manifest more than one above-average track from these good ideas and solid thematic concepts.