The Princess-of-Pop, the Goddess of Love, continues a musical evolution that has matured and blossomed into something now Golden. On her new album KYLIE MINOGUE proves she’s more than glitter!
Imagine my utter dismay! When I opened up my music library and realized that some of my most prized albums had gone missing! Nearly 2 decades of carefully curated digital downloads had just been erased from my hard-drive and most were never backed up, even by my back-ups! Where had my collection of Kylie Minogue music gone and why only her? Why Kylie?
I had recently purchased her latest album Golden and had been reveling in the latest single “Dancing”, and it was only after the full-length album became available I realized a massive collection of singles, remixes and live albums disappeared. Pourquoi Kylie? Je ne sais pas pourquoi! Yes…even the remixes to that late 80s hit went bye-bye!
Fortunately Golden the newest album had survived “the purge”, so before I drove myself insane trying to recover all of the hits that defined Minogue’s international appeal as a pop idol turned icon, I dived deep in Golden. After 2014’s Kiss Me Once which was the first album penned after a newly polished management deal that would reconnect Kylie with her stateside relevance; the expectation of which was extremely anticipated, especially since Kiss Me Once would include collaborations with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Sia.
The hopes that Kiss Me Once would recapture the popular and critical success of 2001’s Fever which raised her profile with the international hit dance track “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” and made her a mainstream sensation, fizzled out. Like the title album suggests Kiss Me Once would be the only album released by Roc Nation, which is headed by rapper/businessman Jay-Z. The label and Minogue parted ways citing “artistic differences”, but that didn’t stop Kylie from taking on a tour to promote the album.
She would follow-up Kiss Me Once with several hit dance tracks including collaborations with the legendary Giorgio Moroder and Garibay, before getting back into the studio. The artists which has always proven her mettle on the live stage performed a setlist of holiday hits for a Christmas special accompanied by a pair of albums celebrating the season. Her die-hard fans wouldn’t have too long to wait before Minogue would deliver on a brand new album, though perhaps they couldn’t have imagined the direction she would take.
Like her contemporaries who have enjoyed as endurable a career and a following that has been as faithful, Minogue has the luxury of exploring her creative freedom. Having dominated the Euro-pop charts and transcended musical expectations evolving dance and electronica from a clubland experiment to a radio-friendly profitability, it would have been easy for Kylie to keep to her box, but perhaps challenging that particular dictum may have lead her to the profuse diversity apparently dominant on Golden.
Diving back into writing Minogue came stateside to pen the music that would shape her latest effort. On Golden Minogue retreated to Nashville, Tennessee to co-write each track; the first time since Minogue’s 1997 release Impossible Princess that the artist has dug so deep into her musical narrative. Golden blends pop and dance music with country music sensibilities and production, as is clearly evident in the setlist’s debut single “Dancing”. The very catchy track captures the exuberance that fans have come to expect from Kylie, with an earthier production value.
Golden was also recorded in London and Los Angeles and brought Minogue together with a series of brand new producers, most of which have established their notoriety outside of the realm of dance. For the faithful, Minogue hasn’t steered too far off course; the roots of Golden were based heavily in synth-pop which is the style of music most often associated with Kylie, but on the suggestion of her label’s A&R representative who thought mixing country music into the mix might prove interesting, to which Kylie responded favorably.
Recording in Nashville, Tennessee also proved an extremely nourishing experience for Minogue, who believes it was particularly “cathartic” for her and allowed the sound of the sounds to feel more “authentic”. For a pop album in 2018 Golden is a refreshing mix and fusion. The follow-up track “Stop Me From Falling” also revels in the touch of country but still flourishes from Minogue’s dance base. Overall Golden has a uniquely divined narrative that is purely affirming and delivers sincerely from the heart.
For Kylie, an artist that has often been heralded for her dance revolution, it’s refreshing that she’s able to surprise her audience. Most recently Kylie has explored a more daring direction and still emerged viable. Since her introduction onto the pop scene with Stock, Aitken & Waterman and evolution through to contemporary dance music, Minogue has always been an innovator, certainly on a par with Madonna; both performers have collaborated with Stuart Price who produced the most prolific dance albums of each of their careers respectfully.
So perhaps it is not surprising that upon downloading Golden into my collection the new album’s introduction obliterated everything else in my Kylie collection. I’ve since been able to recover most (if not all of my collection) but it gave me some time to digest Golden and enjoy it on its own merits…dive into this new direction for Kylie Minogue who keeps on innovating and proving the diverse influence pop music has all across genres. Music after all has the universal ability to pull us all together, much like Minogue has done throughout her illustrious career.