Ooh about time for another chapter in my Kylie VOYAGE, isn’t it? One thing’s for sure, 1994 can’t come soon enough, I’m finding this rather heavy going. It probably doesn’t help that Rhythm of Love appears to be one of the higher-rated early Kylie albums, so maybe my expectations were too high. All in all, I am struggling to think too highly of it. The singles I won’t deny are very good, but the rest of the album often feels like it’s not much better than Enjoy Yourself.
Before I outrage anyone further, let’s just do the track-by-track.
09 Better the Devil you know – Of course, no introductions needed here, though I don’t want to put this on a pedestal like some do. It’s very feelgood and a clear progression from the ‘brave Kylie struggles with relationships’ blah from the last few albums. K is still having problems but at least she’s getting a bit more WORLDLY (not difficult). The production is tack-tastic but well-produced enough not to get boring. A great start.
08 Step back in time – Another good one, though I suppose this isn’t any less naff than BTDYK. I wanna FUNK! It’s certainly one of my favourite old Kylie tracks but I am surprised how few of the words I know though. I like the video for it too, at least making its way into the 90s, and Kylie’s transformation from tomboy to superslut is coming on nicely.
08 What do I have to do – HITS GALORE so far, so by this point I’m thinking this album must be MILES better than the last one… let’s just keep an eye on that. Anyway another smash, again I feel like I’m not going to go as crazy about this as some of the FANZ, but it is high-quality pop. Though saying that, I don’t really feel like I’m that fussed about hearing these big singles again for a while. Not that I don’t like them, but I’m still having trouble with that SAW sound just being SO dated.
06 Secrets – What about when the hits dry up? FILLER TIME *sigh*. Feels like a step back in time (LOLZ) to the last album now, more love troubles. Perhaps I’m judging a bit too harshly because I’ve been worn down by two albums of drearily chirpy relationship woes. I’m starting to think that the SAW machine had enough time for a good selection of singles, but that was it, just a load of old toot for the rest of the albums. SHAME REALLY.
07 Always find the time – Starts to feel a bit like a “name the backing track” as there is a lot of deja vu going on here. This isn’t that bad, the bridge and chorus are decent enough, it’s just the verses sucking the life out of me. Bonus point for that rather wonderful Super Mario Land-style thing after each chorus!
06 The world still turns – GAHHH, while my ears were starting to ring from all the CEASELESS up-tempo tracks, be careful what you wish for. The problem with these sort of R’n’B styled tracks (or whatever it was aiming for), is that you are more reliant on the vocals, but poor Kyles doesn’t really have the RANGE. It does feel a little more sophisticated in some ways but there are no illusions that this is just a bit of a cheap veneer of credibility. GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN KYLIE.
08 Shocked – YAY, something good now, with an extended intro no less, THIS is more like it. I’ve always been quite fond of Shocked, but putting it under a microscope like this is making me wonder why. I know I was complaining about the uptempos a second a go, but this really does feel like the only thing that can get you through a whole album. The chorus is more interesting that the drek I’ve heard since the singles, though maybe stretching it to nearly 5 minutes was a bit of an own goal.
07 One boy girl – HA! How can I dislike a song with such an amazingly authentic rap? Whose idea was THIS? Anyway, against my better instincts I think this is pretty alright. Presumably she’s going for a more American sound here, and to some extent she succeeds, but KNOW YOUR LIMITS. I’m not even 100% convinced she’d even seen a black person before this point.
07 Things can only get better – Well a nice intro, I’m listening. Takes a while to get going, but here’s a message from Kylie about something rather indeterminant that everyone can relate to (?). She really can’t carry off notes for any length of time though can she? Rememberrrr *perforates eardrum*. Not bad, at least feels like a bit of variety, even if it doesn’t QUITE hit the mark.
06 Count the days – WHICH Madonna song does this remind me of? It’s really bugging me, I have a feeling it’s off the First Album. Anyway, not a bad thing to rip off, even if it’s 8 years late. Again feeling a little more USA-skewed, though 80s USA, which feels a bit odd, it’s like they couldn’t quite decide a sound for this albums so they just tried to cover a few popular bases. Not a BAD song, I just don’t really care much about it at all.
06 Rhythm of Love – And out we go on some sort of bastard-child of the two sounds in this album, unsurprisingly it turns out sort of middle of the road. Not as nice a closer as Enjoy Yourself was. The backing is quite funky, variety is the spice of life, but again nothing is going to save the end of this album is it?
Well I’m probably going to get slated for this review, but I’m sure even the most militant Kylie fan can concede that these first albums aren’t for everyone. I don’t HATE it by any means, it’s all quite pleasant pop music, front-loaded with some really GOOD pop music, but it’s not her first OPUS or anything. At least it’s making me keener to get to each new album, because this is one disco I DON’T need.
Keepers for the iPod – Better the Devil you know (that’s all, folks)