Review: Kat Von D – “Love Made Me Do It”

Kat Von D needs no introduction but for those like myself that don’t follow her career too closely, I think it would come as a surprise to most that her most recent project sees her embark on what may very well be her most personal journey to date as she prepares for the release of her debut album Love Made Me Do It.

The influences on the album are clear from the offset as the whole album is set against a blend of 80’s inspired synth sound, haunting vocals and stunning lyrics that help to showcase a side of Kat Von D that I doubt many knew existed. The album opens strong with Intro, a track that really could have done with a better name, let’s be honest, but it is what it is. Intro is a short instrumental opener that fuses together some really nice rhythmic synth work and electronic drums to set the tone for what’s to follow before we’re moved nicely along to Vanish which is a softer, more subdued and subtle tack musically that lets Kat Von D’s vocal work take centre stage.

Enough, the latest single to be released from the album, is a stunning track that builds on the two openers with the synth sound serving as the backbone to Kat Von D’s vocal charm while Exorcism picks the pace up a little and keep things interesting.

I Am Nothing was the second single to be released and may very well be my favourite track from everything else on offer here. There’s a majestic, almost dream like quality to this song that just hits me on a more emotional level than the rest but truthfully out of the 12 tracks on offer here, there’s not a single bad song among them.

Other album highlights include Protected, Lost At Sea and Pretending but be warned, Love Made Me Do It probably isn’t going to be the album a lot of people are expecting. It comes across as being more delicate than expected, fragile even. There’s a vulnerability to what Kat Von D gives us with this album.

However, with that being said, I think Love Made Me Do It comes across as being very much in the spirit of the new wave and early industrial music of the late 70’s and 80’s with influences likes of Depeche Mode, Gary Numan and The Cure in particular shining through albeit with a punk rock sensibility that’s organically combined with the to be expected gothic undertones.

What I actually really like about the album is the fact that even though the songs are catchy enough with the retro 80’s synth feel, it isn’t the kind of album that’s full to the brim of summer anthems and at times the music actually subverts your expectations and takes you in directions you didn’t expect to take you. Yes, there was times when all I wanted was for the album to kick into high gear and deliver that sing out loud moment that would make me crank up the volume but I actually admire the restraint of everyone involved here to make sure that wasn’t the case.

I’m sure there will be a multitude of reviews that will break down the deeper meanings behind the songs and the lyrics but as I’ve said before in my reviews, I’m all about the music itself and how it stands alone and isolated from the stories that helped spark it into reality. Love Made Me Do It certainly does shy away from expectation in order to deliver something special.

For anyone looking for a showcase of Kat Von D’s musical artistry and talent, then look no further than Love Made Me Do It as you couldn’t find a finer example of a vision made real or a better first impression and should this be a sign of the future, expect to be hearing the name Kat Von D for years to come.

by Edward Laing