Actress Taryn Manning is probably best known for her cracked out rolls in ‘8 Mile’ and ‘Hustle and Flow,’ as well as probably being one of very few women who suffers a miscarriage after falling down a few stairs in ‘Crossroads.’
Although her acting resume teeters on mildly embarrassing (yes, there’s even an Oxygen TV movie in there called ‘Banshee,’) I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely in love with both albums from her band, Boomkat. Together with her brother, Manning has made two extremely refreshing, crisp albums that are a complete contrast to her trash ball movie rolls.
Both albums, ‘Boomkatalog One’ and the newly released ‘A Million Trillion Stars’ are full of potential hits that deserve just as much airplay and success as any Flo Rida single, except that’s not going to happen. Never. Why? Because Flo Rida didn’t screw himself over by appearing in a movie role alongside Britney Spears.
The actor to musician crossover is one that is doomed for success from the second the actor utters his or her musical inklings in an Entertainment Weekly interview. As soon as those five words ‘-‘- ‘I’m working on an album’ ‘-‘- are muttered, the project is inevitably doomed.
After the news breaks, no mercy is spared. Rolling Stone will run a blurb mocking the actor’s ambitions. Joel McHale will belittle the actor on The Soup. Jokes continue to be tossed around until music finally surfaces, at which point, more jokes can be made since there is finally material to back it up.
In entertainment history, everyone from William Shatner to Farrah Fawcett to Juliette Lewis have cut records that have left the public’s ears going more WTF than ‘Gimme More.’ Even our beloved Scarlett Johansson has taken a stab at it . . . and gotten a swift kick from the public right back.
So why do record companies continue to take a gamble on these actors who think that just because they’ve succeeded in one field makes them qualified to try another with little or no experience? The album is cheap to produce and easy to make a quick buck with.
In between shooting ‘Herbie Reloaded’ and blowing lines, Universal Records stuck Lindsay Lohan in a trailer to record her debut album, ‘Speak.’ They didn’t even need to book the girl a real studio! The album was recorded in a matter of weeks and ended up debuting at number four the following holiday season. The album quickly fell from the charts though, hardly being able to fund Blohan’s habits, which led her to the Fornarina-induced state she is in today.
To be fair, there are some actors and actresses who survive the transition. Zooey Deschanel and musical partner M. Ward got together to form the duo She & Him and the product was ‘She & Him: Volume One,’ which won the hearts of critics and music snobs alike.
Similarly, Jared Leto’s ‘screamo’ band 30 Seconds to Mars has released two successful albums with a third on the way, despite a messy legal battle with Virgin Records.
Success or not, the actor to musician crossover is always an entertaining process to witness. This year, look out for albums from Gossip Girls Taylor Momson and Leighton Meester. But you’ve been warned, T and L. Tory Burch flats aren’t the best things to wear for a hike up the Billboard charts. XOXO, The MUSE.