Kitty Clementine is odd. It’s pretty clear that she’s going for odd…but it’s important to note that she succeeded. Clementine is the kind of musicians I prefer to dislike. She’s the type that unapologetically does whatever the hell she wants to do, and that has a tendency to turn out like self-indulgent trash.
Clementine, however, has the skill to back up her eccentricity. Raised in Sydney, Australia, she grew up with one goal: To be a musician and singer. She followed that dream to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she was accepted to their Jazz program. After some time, she left to learn music the old fashioned way: By living it, first in New Orleans and throughout the South, and eventually out to L.A. where she recorded her first full-length and self-titled release.
“Kitty Clementine” is a solid 45 minutes of experimental, gypsy, classical, jazz, spoken-word, poetic, and outright-odd music. It is a musician’s album, one in which many other musicians will listen to and admire the honesty. Spoken songs such as “Who Be Brave?” are poignant, but not so directive that they feel like an inspirational speaker. “Montegut Street” is a great hooky song with catchy riffs, one that I expect to hear in movie soundtracks in the future. The ballad “Don’t Let Me Be Alone” wonderfully illustrates Clementine’s vocal abilities, and of all songs is the first that delves into the realm of mainstream music.
The star of the album is “Blow That Horn.” (Linked) Again, Clementine’s vocals roar in this track, and they are amazingly highlighted by the music arrangement.
It takes guts to be the odd one in an industry where pop is king. When you have “musicians” who just twist knobs to win a Grammy, it is certainly a leap to embrace eccentricity and record music that most people might not understand. Kitty Clementine took that leap, and while it might not pay off with unbound commercial success, she most certainly succeeded in making a truly unique, interesting, fun to listen to, and thought provoking album. I wish there were more musicians out there like her.
Recommended to: Musicians, and non-musicians who cherish a bit of oddness.