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I Should Be So Lucky 9/10
I may be crazy. This is a thoroughly irrirtating "girly" pop song, but it's also a thoroughly catchy song with a chorus that manages to soar! Oh, heavens! Can it be? Do I like this song??? Why is it that whenever I put this one, I become entranced in it? The song is 100 percent radio-hit pop for 1988. There's nothing about this that isn't dated. Worst of all, it was custom-made for teenage girls. Yet, it's entirely irresistible. Maybe I only like this song, because I pretend that Kylie is singing this about me. (Well, you never know ... Australian birds can be pretty weird.)
The Loco-Motion 6.5/10
This is a song originally written by Carole King for Little Eva back in the early '60s. There was the major '60s revival back in the '80s, so it's no surprise that this crappy remake was a hit. It wasn't such a bad idea that they remake the song. I just think the production could have been a little better. I'm not against electronic dance music at all ... Might I suggest a soaring instrumental interlude? How about something along the lines of Phil Spector's wall of sound? You guys should have made this song soar instead of flounder like it does...
Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi 7/10
This is OK but melodically average. The programmed music is up to formula. The instrumentals could have been so much better ... It seems like other artists would have made a song like this a little more enjoyable. But I don't actually hate this song.
It's No Secret 7.5/10
This is much better melodically, and this song sounds pretty good to me. The production is preprogrammed, but it's not overdone to any extreme extent. The song's lyrics are about a girl finding out that her lover was cheating. Oh, who could cheat on Kylie? I axe you!!!!
Got to Be Certain 6/10
This was another Kylie hit, but it's actually worse than "It's No Secret." The production isn't horrible, but the melody is rather bland. I'm not sure why, but the producers spend more time with the wrong songs. Weird.
Turn it Around 8/10
Ah, this has a very catchy melody, but it wasn't promoted as a hit anywhere apart from Japan. But I put it to you that this song has a nice, ABBA-esque melody. And the production, while I still say it could have been a lot better, isn't bad. ... OK, I'm stretching it, but it's true. I enjoy this song.
I Miss You 6/10
This is a filler track more to an extent than any of the other songs. The introduction is just lazy. Three raps on a drum, and then the song starts? Please. The melody is simple and trite, and there aren't any good chord changes. Hum.
I'll Still Be Loving You 7/10
This has a nice, toe-tapping rhythm. The melody is OK, and there are a few good chord changes. The production is OK because it's not overkill. This is no great song of Kylie's discography, but it's pretty good for a diva pop song.
Look My Way 7/10
This is totally harmless and it has a nice beat. I'd imagine that it would fare pretty well in the club scene, where all the happy club goers of the late '80s would have danced to it without caring that it's ... well ... kind of bland. But I do like the beat. It's a cool beat and something good to snap your fingers to.
Love at First Sight 6/10
A catchier melody would have served "Love at First Sight" well ... this song is just bland and trite. Pop songs need great melodies, but SAW was only willing to work hard enough to get a small handful of radio singles out there and not enough to actually fill an album. ... Well, that's the nature of corporate music, I suppose.
Enjoy Yourself (1989)
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Hand On Your Heart 6.5/10
If Stock Aiken and Waterman were hoping for another hit like "I Should Be So Lucky," they were sorely mistaken. I almost want to wonder exactly what they were thinking with this. Although, I can imagine that this song is their first foray into techno, which was the music-of-choice in the early '90s. Keeping ahead of the times! Greet the incessant thump-thump-thump of the times! Well, the song is lacking the one primary thing that had "I Should Be So Lucky" in their favor: The infectious melody. So what good is it, then?
Wouldn't Change a Thing 7/10
Kind of a mediocre song, but in SAW's defense, this song is OK, but it doesn't work at all as an infectious pop song. The chord progressions are actually pretty good (especially for a pop song), but the melody just isn't sinfully catchy. The song production sounds almost like techno, which means these guys were catching up to the times. It's not a badly produced song although way too mainstream, and so the song is dated. But you were expecting that, right?
Never Too Late 9/10
Oh, I was wondering where they put the great pop songs! "Never Too Late" is sinfully infectious! Call it a guilty pleasure, if you want to feel guilty. But the melody is catchy and Kylie's vocals are carefree. That's why this song works so well. SAW's productive instrumental arrangements makes this a relative joy out of all pop music. OK, so Kylie doesn't suck.
Nothing to Lose 6/10
This is almost catchy in an ABBA way, but SAW doesn't quite bring in the hooks. But an almost-catchy song cannot reel in the fish! So, this song is a big flop that happens to be heavily produced with a techno beat.
Tell-Tale Signs 7.5/10
I would have advised SAW to forgo having Kylie sing a corny jazz song. But I ended up welcoming this song, because I was getting sick of all that techno! "Tell Tale Signs" is strictly OK but I think SAW well overdid it with the lush production. The harps were OK, but were the cheesy background "oooohs" that neccessary? I'll answer that. NO. ... But that was kind of a neat chord they had in the fade-out at the end. Hey, SAW's not totally worthless.
Especially for You 6/10
This is a corny love song! Ew! Now, where is my vomit bucket? The melody is merely decent, which isn't enough to make up for the fact that this song is cheesy and makes me want to vomit! The guitar strums in here are bossa-nova esque, but this is clearly a Madonna-esque pop song. The "ooohs" in the background were dopey. SAW shouldn't do that. Seriously.
My Secret Heart 7/10
This is an interesting attempt to combine classical music and corny late '80s pop music although it ultimately fails. The song starts OK with some choppily played synth violins. Then Kylie begins to sing giving a fine performance, but she's not singing anything catchy. There's no type of joy to be found in the instrumentation, so the catchy melody is all we have. Where is it? Oh well, I'll give this song a "7" just for being different.
I'm Over Dreaming (Over You 7.5/10
This sees the return of the techno beat! Oddly enough, I'm almost ready for that to return. The song sounds so much like "I Will Be So Lucky" that it was probably a rip off. It was certainly lesser, but it's catchy enough to be considered a pretty decent club dance song. It's nowhere near as good as "Never Too Late," but this is pretty fun. The chorus is repeated way too much by the end.
Tears on My Pillow 8/10
Oh no!!! I also would have advised strongly against "Tears on My Pillow," which is an obvious take-off of a '50s pop ballad fully equipped with the chord progression and even the "bum-bum-bums" vocals in the background. But this isn't bad at all. I have an extreme prejudice against songs like this, because I don't like sucky music. The fact that I am not only refraining from wanting to vomit, but I'm actually enjoying this is almost making me want to respect SAW.
Heaven and Earth 6/10
This isn't a bad pop ballad with a country flavor, but the hooks are weak. (What's Kylie doing singing country, anyway? I guess she was trying to penetrate the U.S. market.) That said, the song does have some hooks but nothing that makes the melody memorable in any fashion. It's not a bad listen, but it's just one ear and out the other. It's basically worthless but not painful.
Enjoy Yourself 8.5/10
The techno beat is brought to an extreme with "Enjoy Yourself," but if you're going to listen to techno pop you'd might as well be "Enjoying Yourself." It's difficult to not enjoy this song! Sure, it's club music made for idiots who like to dance at clubs, which is obviously something I never do, but I do admit to enjoying this song quite a bit. The melody is pretty good although not good enough to warrant this song anything above a B+. Still, this is a very nice pop song!
Rhythm of Love (1990)
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Better the Devil You Know 9/10
This captures the whole spirit that diva dance music is supposed to. Say what you like about producer and songwriters Stock Aikman and Waterman (SAW), but when they put their minds to it, they can come up with a pretty good dance tune. The song is well produced without being overproduced, the beat is good and the melody is infectious. This song was such a hit worldwide except in the United States. Kylie's performance manages to be even more spirited than what may have even been warranted. Nick Cave took notice of this song, thought the lyrics were sad, and admired the way Kylie sung this. That's how Cave came to ask Kylie to duet with him on "Where the Wild Roses Grow."
Step Back in Time 8/10
When I first heard this, I thought they were saying something really dirty, but it turned out to be the words: "I want to funk." ... I thought, talk about a change of image! Well, SAW saw it appropriate to write a bit of '70s disco nostaliga with "Step Back in Time." Obviously Kylie never spent much time on the disco floor unless she snuck out of the house when she was 10. But who even cares about lyrics? This is another enjoyable dance song. It's a catchy disco song done with more techno stylings. It's not bad.
What I Do I Have to Do 6/10
This isn't so much different from anything from Kylie's previous albums. Although I paid SAW compliments in the previous two tracks, they are, at their hearts, corporate songwriters. They figure they only need one or two good songs in an album and the rest they don't have to care so much about! ... Not that this song is necessarily in bad taste. I'm almost of the persuasion that this songwriting trio genuinely thought this was a great song. The problem with it is that, while technically done well, the melody isn't catchy at all. What's a dance song without the infectiousness? STERILE!!!!!
This is a pretty good song although it hardly rises above other songs that were on the radio in 1990. The groove makes the song appropriately danceable but the melody isn't anything special. It's generally a well-structured song though the lyrics are cheap. The song repeats well too much. I was originally going to score it a B+ but it gets well old after listening to the entire four minutes of this. Brevity is wit, my friends!
Always Find the Time 5.5/10
This is another sterile dance-pop song that doesn't really offer much. There's some enjoyment to be found in that dance groove, but there's nothing in terms of an infectious melody. These SAW guys are lazy! Only one great hit???? Doesn't your No. 1 dance diva deserve better?
The World Still Turns 7/10
SAW finally gives it a rest with this first song co-written by Minogue. It's not any better or worse than the SAW songs. The melody is strictly passable. It features a cheesy sax solo, which didn't exactly hurt the song. The vocal overdubs at the end seem wrong to me. This is a so-so song.
This is another SAW song and one of the album's more significant hits. It spends the first minute and a half being kind of a tense techno song (that doesn't make a bad listen at all).When Kylie starts to sing, the song only gets better. The instrumental interlude features a 'shockingly' good electric guitar solo with a timpani adding some extra rhythm. All in all, this is a highly enjoyable dance-pop song, and it's also pretty tasteful! Wow!
One Boy Girl 5/10
Well, it's good that Kylie is a "One Boy Girl" but the song is sure awful! It starts off sounding like a Madonna clone (and not a very catchy song at that). Then, it breaks off into a rap song. That wasn't necessarily a bad idea nor was it poorly executed, but it just wasn't enjoyable to me. It's weird; this song is banal through and through, but there was that one slice of creativity. Oh well. (This is Kylie's second co-written song ... she's not much of a songwriter, evidentally.)
Things Can Only Go Better 7/10
The instrumental backing to "Things Can Only Get Better" sounds very much like "Jeopardy" by Greg Kihn. (If you listen closely enough to "Shocked," you hear the same type of backing except it's mixed much more softly.) This song is an OK dance song. The melody isn't that great but it's not bad. The techno beat gets old, but that only because this is an early '90s dance song. They all get old. Cheerio.
Count the Days 6.5/10
For Kylie's third co-written song, "Count the Days" sounds pretty much like it was supposed to be released around 1986. That's not necessarily a crime, because that means this song favors synth pop grooves to techno beats. I don't think it's a horrible song. The production is OK and Minogue gives a spirited enough performance in this happy song. It's just sterile. The hooks are non-existant!
Rhythm of Love 8/10
Oh, the last song of the album is here. Saint's be praised! "Rhythm of Love" is yet another Kylie co-penned song. ... Hey! It's not that bad, really. I like the beginning of it, which incorporates a steel drum synth in surprisingly good taste. (Trust me: Most of the time when pop musicians use steel drums, it sucks. If I were Nick Cave, this would have been another reason to want to work with her ... Plus, she's hot.) The melody is pretty catchy this time making the song, generally, a joy to listen to. Another nod to SAW, this doesn't surpass two or three of their best songs on the album, but this isn't bad either.
Let's Get to It (1991)
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Word is Out 9/10
This seems to be the final straight SAW composition. I'm glad to report that it's one of the better ones! The melody is catchy. The production certainly fashioned it to be a big hit on the radio, and it probably was. The good thing is the production generally keeps the song bouncy and doesn't strike me as being so dated. (Remember, I just got off reviewing a Michael Bolton album a few days ago ... this is similar pop music but not entirely dated.) This is a fun song ... Kylie's signature spirited performance doesn't seem to be here for some reason. Well, I like this song anyway. It's harmless and fun.
Give Me Just a Little More Time 7.5/10
This is a cover of an old Motown song ..................... It's makes a fine listen altogether. It strikes me as more of a filler song, but at least they did this instead of writing a sub-par song. The production and instrumentation is strictly standard. There's nothing too noticable here.
Too Much of a Good Thing 7.5/10
This one isn't bad either. Kylie helped with the songwriting here. The style of this track seems to be like a club techno-beat song, but it's quite a but more subdued rather than obnoxious. This is not necessarily a throwaway song ... there's a few neat things they do here. The goofy panning was a neat idea. There's also some weird breathing they insert here at times (.......weird breathing, hmmm...) Anyway, there's a decent hook or two in the melody. I can't seem to think this warrants a higher score.
Finer Feelings 6.5/10
Stockman and Waterman composed this track meaning they were missing their vowel! The melody is probably more advanced than the previous track, but the hooks are mostly barren. (It seems like they were about to come into a hook, but they veer off it....... oo, that sounds frustrating.) The production is fine but completely standard. (Again, I don't really feel the song is so dated ... that's a nice quality.) This is as bad as a Madonna song!!!!!! Eeek!!!!!!
If You Were With Me Now 7/10
Oh, here comes the dated vibe. This is the type of love ballad that only the late '80s and the early '90s could have produced. (Or, a really nice one by the two B's in ABBA in 1984 called "He Knows Me Too Well," which has good lyrics too.) The production isn't the most dismal in the world, but ... well it's getting there. She duets with an R&B singer named Keith Washington who is most famous for dueting with Kylie Minogue. It's difficult for me to deny that the melody doesn't have a few nice hooks, but they're weak more or less.
Let's Get To it 9.5/10
For the love of Pizza, this song sounds like something that would have been composed for Super NES, but I really like this one. The instrumentation sounds pretty cheap and minimal for a pop diva, but it's charming! It doesn't draw me in with its sweeping hooks (like "I Should Be So Lucky"). This song has undeniable hooks, but the overriding quality of it is it's sweet and charming. This is a nice, mid-tempoed song that's great to just sit back and enjoy.
Right Here, Right Now 7/10
Not too great here, unfortunately. It seems like they were fishing for another hit like "Better the Devil You Know," but the hooks just fail to deliver. An example of this song's problem is the chorus consisting of "Right Here, Right Now" and then they echo that phrase immediately after without changing the notes. That seems like a missed opportunity for a much needed hook to me!
Live and Learn 8/10
This is a similar type of song to "Let's Get to It" in that the backing music sounds like it could have been for Super NES! I find that charming! So sue me! Although it all sounds like a bastardized version of a samba. (I guess that's no crime.) The melody this time is a little worse with only a couple weak hooks in it.
No World Without You 8/10
This is surprisingly sparse, although I think probably a little too sparse. It's just Kylie singing along with an acoustic guitar that seems to strum irregularly. The melody isn't great but it's fine enough. In fact I think the instrumentation is a little bit too sparse, but at least it's a tasteful, simple song and it lends this album some diversity.
I Guess I Like It Like That 6/10
The first time I listened to this album, this is the only one I had difficulty sitting through. I want to think that this is a creative song ... and it probably is. But it just goes too far. Those orchestra hits are too familiar to the early '90s (with obvious reference to C+C Music Factory). It sounds like a weak imitation of other pop of the day and six minutes was way too long for it. On the other hand, I have the feeling they were shooting for a parody, but there's no way for me to tell for sure. It's not such a pleasant experience.
Kylie Minogue (1994)
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Confide in Me 10/10
Ooo! The song starts up and it's like art-Kylie! (That wasn't one of her personalities, was it?) The beginning is very atmospheric and rather tasteful ... with a twinkly piano, violins and synthesizers slowly fade in and out ........ nothing like we would have heard on those SAW albums. The violins begin to organize themselves. Naturally, she doesn't abandon her fanbase, because the trusty programmed drum beat pipes up. Fortunately, what Kylie sings isn't unhooky. Usually the song trudges along without much instrumental interuptions, but there's the occasional orchestral build-up that gives it good character. The instrumental interlude with the violin solo seems like the weak spot because of the synthesizers we're hearing in the lower register. Well, I like this. It seems like Madonna tried to do songs like this before, but it wasn't nearly this enjoyable.
Really bland here, which disappoints me! OH NO! THIS ALMOST AS SERIOUS, BLOATED AND BORING AS MADONNA!!!! I'm now going to close my ears and pretend this doesn't exist. ... There's no hooks in the melody at all. The instrumentation is bland as well. It's adult contemporary sludge. How do they get away with it?
If I Was Your Lover 8.5/10
I like this pretty well, though. Its running length is kept comfortably under five minutes. The adult contemporary beat is a little too usual (but ... remember the fan base!). There are some pretty OK chord progressions at times here, and the melody is alright.
Where's the Feeling? 7/10
Where's the songs with reasonable time lengths? It could have been worse, but ... this is a real difficult thing to sit through sometimes. The melody isn't the best, but at least she throws in a few instrumentals to keep my ear engaged. The synth and drum rhythms change around every once in awhile, and there's even a nice jazzy piano introduced mid-way though (but, for some reason, it doesn't play long enough). It's not a bad effort, but it seems like there could have been a lot more to make it more rewarding.
Put Yourself in My Place 6.5/10
This song is off and on. I don't find the melody hooky at all, and the instrumentation is too usual. I love that a lot of these songs have interesting uses of instrumentation, but if there aren't going to be any hooks, then what else can there be? Granted, I don't find it offensive, but I'm also not getting much out of it. You need a melody!! A MELODY!!!!!
Dangerous Game 8/10
This is a quiet ballad. I love the instrumentation; it's a lot more graceful than the SAW albums. The advanced strings, especially are nice. The melody, however, is an almost generic affair except with the occasional flare of creativity. This song threatens to turn into a Whitney Houston song at times, but it doesn't quite seem to get there. (I think that's a good thing by the way.) The creativity in the instrumentation saved what would have been a boringly average pop ballad.
Automatic Love 8/10
This is the only song Minogue co-wrote. OK, she was one in four credited songwriters, but ... let's humor her! This is one of the album's nicer songs. Even though I'd describe this song as quiet, some of it seems a little excessive, such as that moment where Kylie sings a sustained note for an ungodly period of time. But the soft-rock chorus of "Automatic Love" turned out rather nice, though. The hooks aren't exceptional here, but the melody works fine. The ending is surprisingly tasteful as it turns into a twinkly orchestral passion.
Where Has the Love Gone? 8/10
These trancey overextended songs sure are a tough pill to swallow sometimes. The whole point of them is to get you in a trance and then, hopefully, throw in some interesting pieces of instrumentation or sound effects to make the experience exciting. But if it completely fails to get you in a trance, then it's a real chore to sit through. Fortunately, this one actually works. The instrumentals are a little too stationary for taste. It has awhile to go before I can award it a nicer score.
I'm sure Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe from The Pet Shop Boys are nice guys, but was he anybody in 1994? At any rate, his song sure is boring ......... It wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll overstays its welcome and it does absolutely nothing. Kylie just chants the same old things over and over amidst a drum loop. Yawn. It doesn't even work in the atmospheric/hypnotic sense.
Time Will Pass You By 7/10
OK it's better here, thank goodness. The song begins with a synth sequence that manages to catch my ear. The instrumentation is OK as well, although Minogue does get carried away with that 'clapping' drum. The hooks in the song are fine, but the chorus is a little dull. (The song carries on for about a minute too long.)
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