Wipe Off The Dust: Kylie Minogue's Soul Venture

Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Kylie Minogue" and "Soul" usually don't jump into the same sentence together. Especially since Miss Minogue started her career by chewing long and hard on that Stock, Aiken and Waterman bubblegum. But by 1991, that gum went stale and Kylie was tired of chewing the wad as she shifted into a more "urban" sound with the release of 1991's Let's Get To It which was laced with House and R&B notes. While it was critically panned, I find the album to be the best from her SAW years with tracks such as "Finer Feelings" and "Word Is Out" taking on a sleek and sexier edge that let Kylie grow out of her frilly red skirt of "Locomotion" and "I Should Be So Lucky" years. In 1993, Kylie Minogue signed with the DeConstruction record label and went into an image overhaul, and it began first with the music as the pop diva recruited Brothers In Rhythm, Jimmy Harry and the Pet Shop Boys to help in the production of her fifth album release. Kylie's eponymous release saw the light of day in September of 1994, and with it fans were introduced the next phase of Kylie's ever evolving musical career. Decked out in a sleek pants suit, bespectacled and donning a slight smirk, Kylie Minogue exuded her change of pace on the album cover and inside the jewel case were tunes that have withstood as some of Kylie's best. Personally, this is my favorite Kylie Minogue album, as each song is unique and stellar in its own way. For those who don't believe that Kylie can go beyond sugary pop pips n' squeaks will be pleasantly surprised, thus I love bringing this album up as an example to those doubters. Kylie can be all about the soul n' funk and she proves it here. To explore further...

Confide In Me: Brooding and a complete 180 for Kylie when it was the first single dropped from the album. Truly a massive production that just leaps and bounds into boldness. Rich strings meld with a skittish hip-hop beat, and Kylie, in a stoic drawl, sucks you into its bizarre nature. One track that you have to hear to believe.


Where Is The Feeling?: Kylie's third single proved to be one song that could be bended and shaped in many ways and still sound amazingly good. The album's version possessed a richer funk n' brass quality, one that recalled back the funk-disco era. On the remixes, deep House and techno set in to create a more sinister and sexy number. The Brothers In Rhythm Dolphin Mix, which is used for the video version, just seems to swell all around you.


Put Yourself In My Place: My favorite song of the bunch, and possibly my favorite Kylie track that she has ever recorded. The phrasing is perfect in this, not to mention its got a bit of an R&B edge to it without being too overly obvious. Kylie may not have the best voice, but she knows how to really charm her way through a smooth mid-tempo ballad like this. Live versions of this are exceptional, but the original remains the best version...and for my Audio guys out there, this video is quite the peek-a-boo-I-see-you fest.


Dangerous Game: In a bold turn, Kylie takes on a powerhouse ballad complete with orchestral elements and diva-esque vocal patterns. While Kylie is never touted as a powerhouse vocal diva a la Whitney, Mariah, Celine et al, most will be surprised at her turn in this track, which is admirable especially since she does belt it out grandly. In a way, this song almost seems movie theme ready, yet, the gorgeousness of the track make it one of the shining rarities in Kylie's music box. Below is a live cut of the track and yes, its still engaging.


Automatic Love: Moody and sensual, "Automatic Love" is a fan favorite of sorts and one song that probably should have gotten a single release (yet for some odd reason, this album stopped at three singles, even though this album is brimming with single opportunities!). What is special about this how this song grows as it progresses, and how the mix of guitars, shuffling beats, thumps and detached piano bring out the best of its structure. Sorely overlooked.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great post! You know I'm a huge Kylie fan but this is my least favourite album of hers. There's a couple of great tracks but a lot of filler. PS. Have you heard the album's amazing Japanese bonus track "Love Is Waiting"? Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know how I feel about this album, it is her crowning achievement, start to finish. Excellent piece.-QH

    ReplyDelete

Before you comment remember...
1. Don't be rude!
2. Stay on topic of the post. If you don't stay on topic, either state "off-topic" or your comment will be deleted.
3. If you want to ask an off-topic question and don't see the proper post for it, please e-mail me about it.
4. Don't spam or promote your blog or service. Please e-mail me if you'd like an add to my blog list or need for me to update your blog's URL. If your blog is similar in subject to mine, you will be added to the list.
5. If you have any technical problems with the blog, please e-mail me.

When in doubt, e-mail me at jennifer@audiodivablog.com

Thank you :)