February 8, 2001

Take Your Vitamin

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Though her iconic status hasn’t quite reached the tier of Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera, Vitamin C has nonetheless carved her own unique niche in the world of pop culture over the last year or so. While her self-titled album in 1999 introduced her to the world, it was Vitamin C’s third single on that LP, “Graduation (Friends Forever),” that caught the eye of both high school seniors as well as the Billboard charts. Be it fortitousness or clever marketing, Vitamin C (a.k.a. Colleen Fitzpatrick) has milked every ounce of professional opportunity from her “Graduation” fame, landing roles in Dracula 2000 as well as the soon-to-be-released Get Over It, which will also feature Kirsten Dunst.

But to her credit, Vitamin C hasn’t strayed from the original source of her fame, having just released her sophomore effort, More. Vitamin C’s musical background is a virtual montage of genres — including punk, pop, and dance — and all of them make appearances on the new album, making it a diverse but convoluted work.

The former Eve’s Plum punk-rocker will undoubtedly land at least a couple of solid singles on the pop charts, the most likely of which will be “I Know What Boys Like,” an infectious and catchy tune that reaches back to the simple melody and superficial lyrics that brought Vitamin C success on her first album. The track’s upbeat and refreshing tone compensates for its superficial lyrics.

Unlike the ‘bubble gum pop’ genre that’s been all the rage recently, Vitamin C holds her audience’s attention with the trance-like, electronic beats that provide the foundation for each song. Even if her lyrics leave something to be desired, the production team has harnessed Vitamin C’s sultry voice in combination with the dance beats to create a collection of funky, unique tunes that won’t be easy to imitate. That tandem is showcased on the first song, “The Itch”, which provides the album with a fast-paced kick start and sets the club-like atmosphere that permeates the rest of the CD.

Because Vitamin C seems so tied to electronic beats, her attempts to reach out and perform more serious, almost ballad-like tunes leave a lot to be desired. Although her voice can pull off songs like “Sex Has Come Between Us” or “Special,” her desire to cram a techno tinge into all the songs is somewhat disappointing.

Where Vitamin C surprisingly shines is when she lets her voice, rather than the beats, carry the music. In hidden gems like “That Was Then, This Is Now,” she is at her purest, sending out a tangible message that doesn’t have to compete with the background for attention.

If anything, Vitamin C should be applauded for persisting in music rather than giving up and heading to Hollywood. While More probably won’t receive anywhere close to the amount of popular success that its predessor did, it nonetheless allows Vitamin C to stick to her roots and create her own unique framework.

Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj