A lovely lady can often visually hold a pop song and get it plenty of listens or view but if there’s little else going on, it doesn’t last for long. Bitter’s Kiss is a family band led by Chloe Baker whose voice is crystal clear and lends itself perfectly to light pop rock. She made waves with a beautiful music video and now the first release is out, it’s good to hear where she is without the visuals.
Opening with a song also called “Bitter’s Kiss” we have a track that seems solely to drive Chloe’s vocal forward. Lazy guitars drench around her for a great chorus but the track finishes and fades away as it gets into its stride and so feels a bit like a missed opportunity. “Waste of It All” takes a waltzing beat and goes for a middling pop number. Everything sounds too close to the speaker though as if its battling for your ears attention and that’s fine for rock tracks but this soft rock ‘sensitive approach’ doesn’t suit that style and so it struggles to get me invested. “Love Won’t Make You Cry” sounds like a tv movie rom com ending credits film piece. The voice is nice but the song is so straightly laced in its construction it again lacks the passion and spark required to get me raving. “No One Will” goes for a more acoustic rock feel and because it’s bright and breezy it really improves on what’s come before it. It finally feels like Bitter’s Kiss has something to say and is comfortable in what it’s doing – authentic almost.
However “The Rope” which was the single is what really sells Bitter’s Kiss as something with potential. It’s a subtle and subdued track with a simple guitar riff, minimal drums and it compliments the vocals that are silky smooth like syrup. The track itself is catchy but with depth too. This track is pure gold but it sadly isn’t representative of what else is on the album.
As if to reiterate that the whole moniker is searching for what they want to be “Lovin’ Life” is a synth pop track as Chloe sings about how she loves life in what is a not very happy sounding delivery. Emiliana Torrini is about the only other artist I know with this kind of voice that genre hops but she has threads that tie things together. Here it seems more confused. It’s a shame because “Already Gone” is a nice piano/guitar based track that again has potential to shine but feels a bit wooden in the wrong places (the percussion is great but the keyboards and pianos are wooden) before “Too Far Too Fast” rounds off things with some spacious guitars and hope of better tracks to come.
Bitter’s Kiss definitely put the best song out first before the rest of the album followed. It’s clunky, almost MIDI like playing of instruments to little to add to the simple melodies and Chloe’s voice whilst lovely cannot hold it all up completely. A missed opportunity with potential for more.