Christmas albums aside, it’s been 4 years since Kylie’s last album proper, Kiss Me Once. At the time of release, she was a coach on The Voice, had worked with the likes of Pharrell and Sia on the album and it felt like it was destined to be another hit album. Unfortunately, it never really set the world on fire. The album lacked cohesion and felt very much like Kylie, her label and her new management company, Roc Nation, either all wanted different things or simply couldn’t decide what kind of sound Kylie should have in 2014. Kiss Me Once underperformed and only had one minor hit with Into The Blue.
Now, Kylie has gone country – or at least that seems to be the slogan that has taken hold. The reality is, that a trip to Nashville to work with country songwriters including Nathan Chapman (Taylor Swift/Lady Antebellum) and Steve McEwan (Carrie Underwood/Tim McGraw) have certainly added a country flavour to what is quintessentially another Kylie pop album. It’s got everything fans love about Kylie but with added banjo.
The album kicks off with Dancing’s acoustic guitar, which leads on to hand claps and clicks in the bridge – so far so countrylite. Then the chorus kicks in and it’s just pure joyous pop, something that Kylie seems to have a seamless knack for. She has co-written every track on the album and her sense of humour and knowing shine through on this track with the chorus having double meaning; going out and mortality. It’s clever, sounds fresh and is everything you’d want from a Kylie song.
Following from Dancing are a raft of similar sounding country-pop songs including the rousing title track Golden, a song that celebrates being the age you are, embracing it and shining golden. It even seems to pay homage to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme with Kylie ‘ooing’ a melody similar to the famous whistle. It’s followed by arguably the most country influenced track of the album A Lifetime to Repair, which has a huge singalong chorus that will get any hoedown going. With an unusual countdown ‘6..5..4..3..too many times’ into the chorus, it is another song that brings Kylie’s tongue in cheek humour, lyrically.
Just when you think every song is going to follow the country format, along comes Sincerely Yours, a sumptuous midtempo track Kylie has written for her fans as a thank you for their continued support. It’s a track that wouldn’t seem out of place on previous albums Fever or Aphrodite. There’s more classic Kylie in Raining Glitter, which despite featuring acoustic guitar, is a disco infused, hands in the air celebration with an infectious whoop! to boot.
As the album proceeds, it’s hard to pick the next single as nearly every track seems single worthy. From the 80s tinged chorus of Live a Little or the anthemic One Last Kiss, the country vibe is still carrying through and the tempo is definitely turned up. The pace does slow down for the road track Radio On and her Jack Savoretti duet Music’s Too Sad Without You. The latter feels like a sister track to Where The Wild Roses Grow and both deal with relationship problems and break ups, a theme that fans expected to feature heavy on the album. However it’s not really a heartbreak album, quite the opposite really, Kylie is feeling fantastic and embracing that she’s about to turn 50 and is single. She encourages listeners to come along for the ride and look at the positive side of life whatever age or situation. It’s a refreshing approach.
With a tour scheduled for September and countless single opportunities, it looks like it’s going to be a Golden year for Kylie!
Track list: 1. Dancing 2. Stop Me From Falling 3. Golden 4. A Lifetime to Repair 5. Sincerely Yours 6. One Last Kiss 7. Live a Little 8. Shelby ’68 9. Radio On 10. Love 11. Raining Glitter 12. Music’s Too Sad Without You Record label: BMG Release date: 6th April 2018