Thursday 12 April 2018

Kylie Minogue - Golden

Kylie Minogue - Golden

Gaga. Timberlake. Miley Cyrus. And now Kylie. More and more artists are looking to country music for their new sound. For authenticity. For maturity.

But why?  'Golden' is Kylie's fourteenth album after thirty years in the industry and with it she promises country and camp. But is listening to Dolly Parton some sort of rite of passage?

There's plenty of good music here that thankfully avoids the twangy guitars, jaunty melodies and other trappings of the genre. Acoustic ballads like Radio On or the duet with Jack Savoretti Music's Too Sad Without You certainly offer a more raw side to the bubblegum popstar, while Lost Without You soars with a rush of synths and a spoken word middle eight. Even the slightly saccharine Sincerely Yours is enjoyable for its yearning chorus lines.

But no, much of the album is a monotonous hoedown. It's like listening to Avicii's Wake Me Up on repeat, Kylie singing of dancing, broken hearts and old cars in her squeaky, girlish vocal over banjos and fiddles and synth beats. If you can swallow all that country, though, there are some fun choruses. That's especially true with Live A Little, its fingerpicked verses and sing-along build up eventually lurching into a fizzing pop chorus. And later there's the throbbing, pounding four-to-the-floor of Every Little Part Of Me.

There are moments when the dance and country elements do coalesce. The title track, for instance, has a nod to Morricone over a darker, wistful guitar line and driving handclaps. "Burn like the stars, stay golden," she sings in the chorus, the perfect metaphor for a maturing artist with a sparkling career.

Best of all, though, is Raining Glitter. Its guitar arpeggios are like fairy dust, underpinned by funk bass. This is pop perfection, perhaps her best song since Love At First Sight. And its not hard to imagine this song ending a future live performance, confetti cascading over the crowd. With a name like Raining Glitter, it's clear that even while her style matures and develops, she still has her fans at heart.


Gizzle's Choice:
* Live A Little
* Raining Glitter
* Lost Without You

Listen: 'Golden' is out now.