There’s no denying that I’m a massive Kylie fan. My first overseas trip was to attend her ‘Showgirl Homecoming’ tour in the UK (which I spent at least half of in happy tears); a moment I will never forget.
Many of us have these kinds of moments from throughout Kylie’s extensive career and it’s why she remains popular the world over.
Her first full set of original material since 2014, ‘Golden’ feels like an important milestone in her career.
In what is being described as her ‘Joanne’ moment, Kylie has ditched the straight up dance-infused pop for something a bit more county and blues.
We got a taste of this more mature and classic feel with ‘The Abbey Road Sessions’, where the quality of Kylie’s voice was showcased and hinted at her desire to do something a bit less synthetic.
While some songs on ‘Golden’ have just a bit too much twang, the overall sound is one that feels relevant and authentically Kylie. It hits the mark beautifully.
Lead single ‘Dancing’ (which, for the record, deserved a number one chart placing) is easily the song of 2018 so far and remains my favourite on this album. The chorus beckons you to sing or dance along and its lyrical play with words is nothing short of brilliant.
It may never have been confirmed what it was really about but I agree with Kylie’s sentiment that “when I go out, I want to go out dancing.”
Title track ‘Golden’ is a really interesting moment for its global feel. What I would almost describe as a nod to the
‘Impossible Princess’ era, it has a really exotic sound. The sonic layers are complex and for me alludes to the fact our Kylie hits the big 5-0 this year – it’s a bit of a throwback, but in a good way.
She has had an amazing career with a really diverse back catalogue and that complexity is a great way to mark this point in time. I dare you to listen to it a few times and not hear something new with each listen.
Through a lot of press interviews, Kylie has said that ‘Golden’ is meant to be her most personal record to date.
She’s co-written every song and spent time in songwriting heaven (Nashville), but somehow you feel like you are still kept at an arms length. Subjects just don’t go to that super-deep level on each song.
Lyrically there are some quite introspective lines in songs like ‘Sincerely Yours’ and I think when you realise that Kylie has tried to balance being personal with a sound her fans want to hear, that arms length makes sense. It’s also a golden rule of show business – keep them wanting more!
In the moments where Kylie’s voice shines through (‘Radio On’ is a prime example of this) you can hear how connected she is to the songs and with her voice.
I was reading Jake Shears’ recent memoir and he spoke about what it was like to work with Kylie. The feeling I took away from his story is that even in the most club friendly songs, she brings her true voice to the table.
‘Radio On’ really touched me and I connected to the delivery here. It’s her true voice and unfiltered, you can hear just how strong it is.
Album closer on the standard edition, ‘Music’s Too Sad Without You’, is a sweeping ode to that moment where sadness can just consume you when you lose someone. The arrangements are lush and full, Jack & Kylie’s voices complement each other nicely and is a great way to finish.
I was reading some comments on this song that it’s a bit bland but I don’t get that feel. It feels melancholic and sorrowful – I love it.
For those fans who splurged on a deluxe version of the album, we are treated to four additional songs.
My pick of the bunch is ‘Lost Without You’ (not a cover of the Delta Goodrem song), which is more like the Kylie we’re used to hearing from.
The other songs are enjoyable, but not groundbreaking, so it makes sense that they’re effectively bonus tracks.
I think this may be a ‘Golden’ turning point for Kylie as an artist.
While she has always had singles chart highly, I feel like this piece of work is best served as a whole package rather than in small bites.
A shift to being an album artist isn’t a bad thing – for me it’s a testament to the high standard of her work.
I know some fans aren’t happy with the shift to a more organic feel, but I think ‘Golden’ is successful and I can’t wait for an Australian tour announcement as I think these songs will sound incredible live.
VERDICT : 5/5.
MUST LISTEN : Dancing, Golden, Radio On, Raining Glitter, Music’s Too Sad Without You.