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Kylie Minogue - Golden (Album Review)

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 Written by Olivia Tambini

Since the release of her debut album in 1988, the world has seen many iterations of Kylie Minogue. From pop princess to showgirl to disco queen, the Australian star has now revealed her latest reincarnation, as a country chanteuse, on ‘Golden’.

Hailed as one of her most “personal albums to date”, ‘Golden’ sees Kylie teaming up with a veritable army of collaborators, contributors, and producers, including country songwriters Steve McEwan, Jesse Frasure and Lindsay Rimes, along with singer-songwriter Jack Savoretti.

The first track, Dancing, effectively sets the mood for the entire album, with intricate finger picked guitars that give way to a sublimely hooky pop chorus. The overall effect, though, is inexplicably undercut by a combination of aggressive dance beats and vocal samples.

The Avicii-style Americana-meets-EDM theme reappears on Sincerely Yours and Live A Little, and it’s a combination that was jarring even when it was relatively popular in the early 2010s.

That being said, the blend of electronica and country is actually quite effective on tracks like Lost Without You, where Stranger Things-inspired ‘80s synths add an almost hauntological feeling of nostalgia to the standard pop structure of the song.

Despite the often cheesy instrumentation (say hi to plenty of banjos), ‘Golden’ features moments of real confessional songwriting, particularly on Lifetime To Repair when Kylie sings: “If I get hurt again I’ll need a lifetime to repair.” Similarly revealing is Radio On, where lush cello drones surround acoustic guitars and an almost uncomfortably close vocal from Kylie as she tells us: “I really need a love song to rescue me / I really need a love song I believe.”

These moments of vulnerability are deeply revealing of a woman coming to terms with broken relationships, self discovery, and ultimately her own mortality. On Live A Little she sings “scared of running out of time / I wanna do all those little things.” Less effective in this respect are Shelby 68 and One Last Kiss, which feel like country music pastiches, with the urgency of the lyrics undermined somewhat by Kylie’s affected Dolly Parton-esque accent and references to rodeos.

Perhaps the most recognisably Kylie Minogue song on the album is Raining Glitter, which is more than a little reminiscent of her millennial hit Spinning Around. It is in this disco-inspired soundscape that Kylie really shines, reminding us why she is still completely relevant. While her foray into the world of country surprised many, Kylie is simply following a long tradition of established artists by releasing her ‘Nashville album’, where even Australian pop stars can proclaim they are going back to their roots...in the US deep south.

Questionable Americana references aside it seems that, while shielded under the veil of this new persona, Kylie is able to show more fragility than ever before, joining plenty of others who have used glitzy facades to protect themselves from the emotional fallout of baring all in their music. Overall, ‘Golden’ is a capable and defiant offering from the princess of pop, in which self discovery and power in vulnerability reign supreme. It’s only marred by heavy handed production choices and clichéd country rhetoric.

Kylie Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue September 18 2018 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Metro Radio Arena
Thu September 20 2018 - NOTTINGHAM Motorpoint Arena
Fri September 21 2018 - BIRMINGHAM Genting Arena
Sat September 22 2018 - BOURNEMOUTH BIC
Mon September 24 2018 - CARDIFF Motorpoint Arena
Wed September 26 2018 - LONDON O2 Arena
Thu September 27 2018 - LONDON O2 Arena
Fri September 28 2018 - LONDON O2 Arena
Sun September 30 2018 - GLASGOW SSE Hydro
Mon October 01 2018 - MANCHESTER Arena
Wed October 03 2018 - LIVERPOOL Echo Arena
Thu October 04 2018 - LEEDS first direct Arena
Sun October 07 2018 - DUBLIN 3Arena
Mon October 08 2018 - BELFAST SSE Arena Belfast

Click here to compare & buy Kylie Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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