REVIEW OF REVIEWS KYLIE MINOGUE - ‘GOLDEN’
MELBOURNE HERALD SUN NO one can say Kylie Minogue has not fully committed to making a country-tinged pop album. And no one can say Golden is just your regular Kylie Minogue album. The first single Dancing may have been the latest victim of streaming strangling the pop chart for artists from the CD era. But it was the ideal introduction to Kylie’s Golden year — pop music taking a Nashville detour and dipped in glitter and sawdust. With country in vogue Dancing got Minogue back on pop radio, despite her last few albums featuring pop singles (Get Outta My Way, Into the Blue) far better than many recent radio hits by Katy Perry, Rita Ora or Selena Gomez, but that’s none of our business. After 14 albums and 31 years, it’s the perfect time for Minogue to change things up. And it’s not that different — her take on country is more disco Dolly Parton than Alison Krauss or Johnny Cash. Album highlight A Lifetime to Repair is the best example of cowboy style Kylie — all banjo pluckin’, mother-duckin’ heartbreak guiding y’all into a banging fiddle’n’beats hoedown showdown chorus. Lyrically it’s peak Minogue — personal but still with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
GUARDIAN Throughout the singer’s long career, fans have never needed to mine Kylie’s output beyond the topsoil to find a vein of humour, or a gem or two indicating that her best work is being produced to arch and knowing standards. For every Locomotion, there has been a Can’t Get You Out of My Head (club-pop hammer blow of genius). This latest Minogue incarnation – shall we call her Dixie Minogue? Kylie Miner’s Daughter? – is, thankfully, no exception, as Kylie’s playfulness wins out tonight over what could be a high-fructose corn-fest. You may have picked up on Dancing, Kylie’s recent single, on its acoustic guitar and its video, in which Kylie line-dances with death. Fans, friends, Kylie’s record company and reviewers are gathered here in the plush surrounds of this fabled cabaret club for an intimate set that doubles as the launch of the singer’s 14th album, a massive pivot to country music. It is at once unexpected, eye-rollingly cheesy and perfectly understandable, given the circumstances. Any number of artists would say that the safest place for a broken heart is in the studio. Others would attest that heartbreak’s natural home is Nashville, the county seat of country music.
METROUK Golden’s sound is subtle rather than try-hard or overblown, and, in contrast to her massive pop hits, there’s also an intimate authenticity to its songs – she co-wrote every song here, something she has not done since the 1997 album Impossible Princess. Title track Golden mixes slinky spaghetti western with Balearic club pop, building towards a massive, melodic chorus. A Lifetime To Repair, featuring honest lyrics about being ‘broken-hearted way too soon’, rollicks along with a fast-paced, bittersweet lick. Sincerely Yours is an addictive sugar rush with a slick belter of a pop chorus. Shelby ’68 mixes swoony Americana pop and a dreamy narrative about the appeal of bad boys in a way that recalls moments from Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift. Live A Little isa snappy, happy ode to moving on and moving up, while Raining Glitter isa disco-country thumper about the glorious, redemptive power of the dancefloor. While Golden’s tracks are not likely to dominate the charts, there is plenty of cute, classy and unusually personal pop for fans to love. Kylie Minogue in 2018 – less impossible princess, more indomitable cowgirl.
IRISH TIMES Country music is officially having a pop culture moment. These days every other starlet from Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus to Kacey Musgraves and even Drag Race’s own Trixie Mattel are donning stetsons and saddling up. The cynical out there may judge the glitz and guitars of Minogue’s 14th album as hitching her wagon to this winking star, but Kylie and country are not such an odd fit. Her obsession with the melancholy ache of being alone – that rich pop pathos that makes her so relatable – is still in place but, since her last album, Kiss Me Once, there has been a cautious shift in her songwriting, a reflection on what life would be like minus the bruising rough and tumble of love. Now, on Golden, a new layer of toughness has formed with tracks such as Stop Me From Falling, which acts as a whooping warning siren about the dangers of idealising relationships; and the heartbreaking A Lifetime to Repair, with its foot-stomping beat and skylarking chorus, which mask the searing pain of its raw lyrics – it’s the adult full stop of realisation to the girlish forgiveness of Better the Devil You Know.