Song of the day: Kat McGivern – "Kamikaze Heart"

July 28, 2011

Today’s post is about American singer Kat McGivern.* The post is pretty long, so you may want find a comfortable chair…

Preface / Disclaimer:
Although this post may end up seeming like a non-stop catalogue of complaints, it’s not. It’s just a few things I noticed in the course of listening to the music. As for the music overall, I didn’t mind it. (Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it.)

The Post:
I think I’ll have to treat this post a little differently today. I’ll make it a post with chapters.

THINGS I NOTICED

1. The Name

I’m not a fan of shortening names. For example, I loathe being called “Pete”. (Ugh. My name’s not “Pete” – it’s Peter.)

However, if somebody wants their own name shortened (rather than someone else shortening it for them), I’m fine with that. I’ll say: “No problem. I won’t call you Albert if you don’t want me to. I’ll call you Al.”

The reason I’m bringing up this pet peeve of mine is that today’s artist goes by the name of Kat McGivern. Now, because I’m not entirely sure if young Ms McGivern’s first name is actually Kat, my grumble in this instance may be completely misjudged and misdirected. But I wonder if Kat’s name is actually something longer, something like the more poetic Katharine, or Kathryn, or even Katarina. If so, I’d rather call Kat by her full, much-more-appealing-to-me name. Unless she prefers to be called Kat, of course. Then I’ll shut up about long and short names.

Anyway, Kat is being promoted as a frisky Grrl, full of Grrl-power (think P!nk / Kelly Clarkson / Miley Cyrus / Taylor Swift / Hayley Warner et al). I reckon the name suits the image very well because it’s short, snappy, zappy, zippy, and punchy. Kat.

2. The Album Cover

The cover of Kat’s album, My Kamikaze Heart

…reminds me of Florence + The Machine‘s Lungs:

As far as the image concept goes, I’d say they’re pretty similar.

3. The Music

At the risk of not making much sense, I’d say that this: the songs are very good but I don’t like them much.

Now to explain the above sentence…

For what they are – i.e., modern rock songs by a strong-willed person of the female persuasion – they’re accomplished and highly polished.

4. Song That Sums Up Kat McGivern

Probably this one. And I think the word is “feisty”:

Kat McGivern – “Kamikaze Heart” (2011)

Link

5a. Enjoyable Song With Annoying Vocal Mannerism

Kat McGivern – “Dance With The Devil” (2011)

Link

This song contains a glaring example of a current vocal practice that I detest. It involves breaking the voice as it introduces or ends a vocal line in a song. I’ve heard it called the “catch”, but it may not actually have a name. Whatever it’s called, it’s something many, many singers do nowadays. It’s now very common, and is such a blatant attempt at wringing as much emotion out of “the moment” that it unfailingly gives me the heebie jeebies. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Def Leppard‘s vocalist Joe Elliott explains it in a part of a documentary about the making of Def Leppard’s Hysteria:

5.b Same Song, Lyrical Coincidence

In “Dance With The Devil”, the line at the end of each chorus is this:

“If loving you is wrong I don’t want to be right.”

Cue a Luther Ingram song:

Luther Ingram – “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right (1972)

6. Song With Odd Pronunciation

Kat McGivern – “Fall To Pieces” (2011)

Link

At 2:50 Kat says “pieces” so strangely to me – differentiating the two syllables of “pieces” – that it sounds like she’s saying two separate words: “Peace Ezz”.

7. The Bit At The End Of The Post That Wastes Even More Of Your Time

I don’t have anything to say here. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve finished the post.

Kat McGivern official website
Kat McGivern on Facebook
Kat McGivern on MySpace
Kat McGivern’s YouTube channel
Kat McGivern at ReverbNation
Kat McGivern on Twitter

(*Thanks to the delightful Amanda** at LaFamos for letting me know about Kat.)

(**Hi, Amanda!)

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