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Hello Kitty is the fourth studio album by American singer and rapper Kitty, independently released on May 17, 2017 by Kittaveli. The album was primarily produced by Kitty, Life Sim and Ayesha Erotica, with additional contributions from Good Intent, Robokid, Crapface, Sophie, Danny L Harle, easyFun and Kitty's husband and fellow musician, Sam Ray. Musically, Hello Kitty features a bubblegum pop sound consisting of gritty upbeat pop cuts and, as the album progresses, toned-down synth-pop ballads inspired by bedroom music.

The first singles from the album, "Hello Kitty" and "Platform Shoes", were released in November 2018, followed by "Mine" and "Candy" in 2019. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming Kitty's fourth consecutive chart-topping album in the United States.

Background and recording[]

Kitty announced she had begun working on a follow up material to 2018's Miami in November 2018, when interviewed by Zane Lowe on Beats 1. In February 2018, Kitty revealed that the album was totally complete, and that she was aiming to release it in a few months' time.

The album was written by Kitty alongside a short list of co-collaborators. She showed an especial affinity to affiliates of the PC Music collective, such as Sophie and Danny L Harle, who produced a large bulk of the record alongside the songstress.

The first sessions for the album, however, majorly had the help of Ayesha Erotica, an emerging singer and producer who Kitty allegedly discovered through "SoundCloud playlists". Ayesha is featured on "BFF" and co-wrote on "Candy", "Alone" and others.

Composition[]

The album was described by Mojo as encompassing "forward thinking [lyrics] and lush production" and noted that many songs are simpler and sweeter than the music she recorded on previous albums. The Observer described the record as "surprising" and a bag of "a lot of really different sounding songs".

Hello Kitty has been characterized as having a strong dance-pop, avant pop and bubblegum pop direction, as well as embodying sleek influences from bubblegum bass, electronica and synth-pop.

The lyrics were noted for addressing one-night-stand lovers, partying recklessly and both failed and successful relationships, seen through a "fun, no-strings-attached standpoint". The album gets a more serious tone on its closing songs, notably "Swimming Pool", "Gear-a-Heart" and "U", which have been described as "synth-washed" love songs.

Release and promotion[]

The album's cover art and title were announced by Kitty on April 5, 2019, three weeks after she announced its release date on social media. The cover art was designed by Kitty herself. Influenced by the Y2K Aesthetic movement and cyberculture, the physical version of the album, sold exclusively through her website, is packed as seen on her self-designed digital standard artwork.

The packaging consists of a pink, glitter-foiled acrylic jewel case that strongly resembles the Sony Lumina Recordable minidisc, taken as a reference to the Y2K Aesthetic movement that inspired the album. On the other hand, the deluxe digital version of the album features a self-photographed portrait for its artwork.

The album was Kitty's first independent release under her own imprint, Kittaveli, which she uses as a vehicle to unleash her own music. Three versions have been released for the album: the standard edition, the deluxe edition with four bonus tracks, and a Bandcamp limited version featuring a bonus track titled "We Can Do It" plus two remixes produced by Kitty herself, under her DJ alias Kittaveli.

Singles[]

"Hello Kitty" and "Platform Shoes" were released as the album's first singles on November 29, 2018, premiering as Zane Lowe's World Record on Beats 1. "Mine" followed as the third single on February 14, 2019. The fourth and final single, "Candy", was released on May 3.

Promotional singles[]

"Vacation Bible School" was released as the album's first promotional single on March 1, 2019. "Good Thing Going On", a collaboration with Sophie, and "Break", a duet with Ivy, followed on March 22. "Gear-a-Heart" was made available alongside the album's announcement and pre-order placement on April 5, 2019. The fourth and final promotional single from the album, "Swimming Pool", was premiered by Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 as the "Hottest Record in the World" on May 9.

Live performances[]

Kitty performed "Hello Kitty" for the first time on live television on Conan, on December 12. On January 30, 2019, she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform "Hello Kitty" and "Platform Shoes". A day later, she performed the former on Ellen. Kitty was guest invited by Fabiana Milazzo for a performance of "Mine" during the brand's fashion show on the N47 season of São Paulo Fashion Week on April 23, making it her first time in Brazil.

On May 22, Kitty appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for the first performance of "Swimming Pool". She reprised the performance on Later... With Jools Holland on July 2, a day before the song's music video starring Kitty and frequent collaborator Doja Cat came out.

Hello Kitty wasn't supported by a major tour. Instead, Kitty relied on major festival gigs throughout the summer, a large bulk of them taking place in Western Europe. This included headlining shows on BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in England, Copacabana Festival in France and Open'er Festival in Poland.

Critical reception[]

Hello Kitty was met with generally positive reviews upon release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 64.

Commercial performance[]

In the United States, Hello Kitty debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 with 207,000 album-equivalent units, of which 119,000 were pure album sales, making it Kitty's fourth US number one album. Kitty became the third female artist in Billboard's history to have her first four albums to go number-one alongside Janet Jackson and Britney Spears. In its second week, the album dropped to number two with 81,000 units. As of September 2019, it is certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of over five hundred thousand copies in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number one with 52,762 copies, becoming her best first week sales in the country. Hello Kitty became Lana Del Rey's fourth number one album in the UK, and has been certified gold as of September 2019 for shipments of over a hundred thousand copies in the country.

Tracklist[]

Hello Kitty  Standard edition

No. Title Length
1. "I'm High"    
2. "Hello Kitty"    
3. "Mine"    
4. "Last Call" (featuring Liz)  
5. "Vacation Bible School"    
6. "BFF" (featuring Ayesha Erotica)  
7. "Candy" (featuring Britney Spears)  
8. "Alone"    
9. "Small Girl, Big World"    
10. "Ponytail" (featuring Danny L Harle)  
11. "Lipgloss and Cherry Pop"    
12. "Swimming Pool"    
13. "Gear-a-Heart"    
14. "Platform Shoes"    
15. "U"    

Hello Kitty  Deluxe edition

No. Title Length
16. "Precious Metal"    
17. "Break" (featuring Ivy)  
18. "Good Thing Going On" (featuring Sophie)  
19. "Ghost"    

Hello Kitty  Bandcamp bonus tracks

No. Title Length
20. "We Can Do It"    
21. "Hello Kitty" (Kittaveli Nightcore Remix)  
22. "Mine" (Kittaveli Nightcore Remix)  
  • "Vacation Bible School" and "Good Thing Going On" are stylized in all lowercase. "We Can Do It" is stylized as "We Can Do It!".

Charts[]

Chart (2019) Peak position
Australian Albums (ARIA) 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) 3
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) 2
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) 3
Canadian Albums (Billboard) 1
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI) 7
Danish Albums (Hitlisten) 9
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) 11
Estonian Albums (Eesti Ekspress) 15
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) 10
French Albums (SNEP) 1
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) 1
Greek Albums (IFPI) 3
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ) 17
Irish Albums (IRMA) 2
Italian Albums (FIMI) 6
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) 5
Polish Albums (ZPAV) 21
Portuguese Albums (AFP) 34
Scottish Albums (OCC) 1
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE) 25
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) 2
UK Albums (OCC) 1
US Billboard 200 1
US Independent Albums  1

Certifications[]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) Gold 35,000
Austria (IFPI Austria) Platinum 15,000
Belgium (BEA) Gold 10,000
Canada (Music Canada) Platinum 80,000
Denmark (IFPI Denmark) Platinum 20,000
France (SNEP) Gold 50,000
Germany (BVMI) Gold 100,000
Netherlands (NVPI) Gold 20,000
Norway (IFPI Norway) Gold 15,000
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 207,359[a]
United States (RIAA) Gold 167.104[b]
  • ^[a] Reported US sales as of May 25, 2019.
  • ^[b] Reported UK sales as of September 14, 2019.
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