Album Review: Boomkat, “Boomkatalog.One” (2003)

Boomkat, 'Boomkatalog.One'

Boomkat is a group comprised of actress Taryn Manning (Crossroads, 8 Mile) and her older brother Kellin. Before buying the album, I had heard buzz about it in several magazines, and heard a small clip of their first single, The Wreckoning, on the radio. I picked the disc up one day while browsing Tower Records, figuring that even though I hadn’t heard any of the songs off the album, I’d at least like one.

That was an understatement.

The album opens with “Yo!Verture”, a catchy interlude.  Next up is one of my favourite songs on the album, “The Wreckoning.”  I LOVE this song. I don’t understand why it didn’t catch on more with the mainstream pop audience, but it’s awesome. Taryn starts off the song, singing, “I came, I saw, I kicked some ass”, which is basically one of the best lines I’ve heard in awhile. The song is really unique and a great song to song to get you pumped up about something, whether it be getting a job promotion or dumping your ex.

Taryn comes very close to rapping in “Now Understand This”, but actually pulls it off quite well (unlike Kellin…but I’ll get to that later).   Another of my favourites follows with “Wastin’ My Time.”   I think just about any girl/woman can relate to this song. It deals with the insecurities that come along when you have a crush on someone. It’s actually a slower, ballad-type song, but the interesting thing about Taryn’s voice is that she can pull this off, too. Her vocals come off sounding very sultry and sexy.

Taryn Manning at The Paley Center For Media's PaleyFest 2014 Honoring 'Orange Is The New Black'

“B4 It’s 2 L8” is yet another great song. The first line is, “I won’t break. I might bend, but I won’t break”, which I love. The song is actually kind of depressing, but tries to gives you hope. A strong, well-written effort all around. I’m crazy about “Daydreamin'”  for various reasons, but one of them being that I can relate to it on a personal level. Taryn takes us back on a journey of childhood memories that just about anyone has experienced at least one of. The lyrics are woven so perfectly so that even if you haven’t done some of the these things, you can actually see it happening as Taryn sings along.

The album has two dull moments with “Move On” and “Know Me.”  Both songs sound bland and boring and are actually terribly alike, which is too bad.  I usually skip both of them.

Thankfully, “Crazylove” comes next, and is yet another- you guessed it- favourite!  Crazylove isn’t exactly a term that Kellin and Taryn have made up, but I’ve never heard it in reference to “Sleepin’ in and eatin’ out” or “Doin’ Taebo at the gym” like it is in this song. The song is actually a really cute, feel good type song, that just about anyone could have crazylove for (excuse the bad pun). I can’t completely draw the line between favourite or skip when it comes to “Look At All The People.” In the song, Taryn tells us about how people are quick to judge without even knowing the person that they are judging, which I like the idea of, but the song itself is quite boring. It’s missing a catchier chorus or something to make it less forgettable.

Meanwhile, in “Bein’ Bad”, it’s the weekend, and Taryn is ready to party and get drunk.  Kellin also has a “rap” solo, which wouldn’t be so bad if his voice didn’t sound exactly like Daniel Bedingfield’s. If you know what Daniel Bedingfield sounds like (He sings “If You’re Not The One”, and “Gotta Get Thru This”), you’ll know that there’s nothing wrong with his voice (I like him a lot, in fact), but he has a really girly type singing voice. Now imagine him rapping. Exactly. Not a good thing.

At first, I didn’t like “What U Do 2 Me”, but it’s since grown on me. Taryn meets a guy at a club, and the song goes on about how much Taryn likes him and vise versa. One thing that disturbs me about Boomkat, is that in few songs, it seems that Taryn and Kellin are singing to each other. In this song in particular, it seems like the guy that Taryn is meeting is in fact, her own brother. I’m guessing that Kellin is talking to another girl that he’s met at the club, but hey- you never know. People have never figured out if The White Stripes were brother and sister, or lovers, or both. Also, Kellin sings in this song, which is much better than rapping.

The album ends with “Left Side/Right Side”, a pop anthem about equality, which surprisingly doesn’t come off as preaching or cheesy. I love the song, and think it has such a great message. The song came out at the perfect time, seeing as how we are fighting with Iraq. If only people could adopt this way of thinking all over the world.

Though a bit uneven at times, Boomkat’s debut is a pretty solid one.  Though Taryn is now a bonafide acting star (check her out in Orange Is The New Black), there’s still a part of me that hopes she and Kellin will get back together and release a new album.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Track Listing
1. Yo!verture
2. The Wreckoning
3. Now Understand This
4. Wastin’ My Time
5. Move On
6. B4 It’s 2 L8
7. Know Me
8. Daydreamin’
9. Crazylove
10. Look at All the People
11. Bein’ Bad
12. What U Do 2 Me
13. Answers
14. Left Side/Right Side

*This is a brittpinkie “classic” review. I have edited this review for content and formatting, though retained my original opinion of the product.

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