Kylie Minogue goes country on Golden
Kylie Minogue might not be the chart reigning force she once was, but that sure does not stop her from doing what she does best. The Australian pop icon released her most recent full length album, Kiss Me Once, back in 2014. About time she graces us with another one! Minogue came back in January with the single ‘Dancing’, which showed off a new direction that sets the tone for Golden, the album she just released. With a smart mix of pop and dance with country influences, she manages to reinvent herself without moving too far from her brand sound.
Kylie Minogue went to Nashville to create Golden. As she co-wrote every single track and co-produced the album, it is the record she had the most creative control over since 1997’s Impossible Princess. When you hear Nashville and country, don’t expect Kylie to go all Joanne or Rainbow on herself. If anything, she stayed true to the pop and dance fusion that her fans seem to love and flavoured it with a country twist. This becomes apparent on the singles ‘Dancing’, ‘Stop Me From Falling’ and ‘Raining Glitter’, but also on deliciously infectious tunes like ‘Live A Little’ and ‘One Last Kiss’, where the catchy guitar runs through the production like a vein.
Minogue proves that more personal tunes can easily be upbeat as well. ‘A Lifetime To Repair’ is all about the struggle to open up again after you got your heart broken, delivered in a soaring chorus. The stripped back ‘Shelby ’68’ takes the pace down a bit, but the romantic little tune has one of the most memorable choruses on the whole record. Title track ‘Golden’ has a sample going on that seems to echo the Once Upon A Time In The West theme. It is a clever way to make this track even more catchy and it totally works in the context of the album. The standard version of the album closes with another highlight; the duet ‘Music’s Too Sad Without You’ with Jack Savoretti. It is an atmospheric ballad with bittersweet lyrics looking back on a relationship that ended. This sounds like an instant classic!
In comparison to earlier Kylie Minogue records, Golden might be slightly more toned down and ballad heavy, but perfect pop tunes like ‘Lost Without You’ should definitely keep her fans that love records like X and Aphrodite hooked too. Golden might not necessarily bring Kylie back to the top of the charts, but she is in a position in her career where she does not need to prove anything anymore. She experimented with her sound, clearly had fun recording this album which she was very much involved in and it is a huge step up from predecessor Kiss Me Once!