Right, time for another 16 b-sides and rare tracks ETC. A mixed bag here, probably some of my favourite so far amongst the WORST EVER. But which are which? How exciting!
06 Difficult by design – I don’t really like the attempts at harmonies in the rather lengthy intro, and it doesn’t improve much further from there, deep into generic 90s house territory. She doesn’t really get the notes properly here, or maybe it’s the rather jarring harmonies messing it up. The song isn’t that exciting and I don’t like the vocals. Bit of a disaster really.
07 Heart strings – Bang up to date now with an Aphrodite castoff. I didn’t really get the hype when this first emerged, especially given the relative disappointment people seemed to have about the album. It certainly wouldn’t feel out of place on the album, and in honesty I would happily bump Looking For An Angel for this with all said and done. It’s nice enough, and grew on me after a while, but it’s not got much of a wow factor. The chorus is disappointingly monotone, no big notes or anything. Just feels like it could have been better. But I won’t be too harsh, I do like it.
09 Tightrope – I’ve had this banging around for years after someone I knew loved it so much. You can tell it comes from my favourite Kylie period (i.e. Fever). It’s as understated as Heartstrings for the verses but springs into a rather lovely bridge. I’m not QUITE sold on the chorus, just missing a bit of a spark, but the rest makes up for it. Far from being a B-side or bonus track, if the Fever singles weren’t so strong I would easily say this was single standard.
08 Boy – I’ve given 2000’s Kylie quite a long leash with the sort of sounds she can experiment in. She’ll never suit completely offbeat pop, and I think that’s where diversions like Body Language and X fell down in places, but this just about walks the boundary line. The verses aren’t much to write home with but I rather like the pretty basic chorus. It’s stuck in my head, and the swirly backing music really suits it.
07 Love is the drug – Cover time now from the Radio 1 anniversary album a few years ago. Can’t say I really liked the original that much (or much else by Roxy Music from what I know), so this was handicapped. I like the chorusy bit (or the bit with the “oooohhh”), but the verses aren’t doing much for me. I like the sound of it really, but it’s a rather mechanical cover version probably made more in the name of promo than love.
07 Baby – Maybe I’m just sleepy, but this really isn’t perking me up. For 2000’s Kylie this is a pretty generic offering, has plenty of beeps etc and feels all very modern but there’s not much to it. I feel like it could just be some random track from a Clubbers Guide 2003 album. It’s OK but VERY B-side.
09 Lovin’ you – OK so it’s not an official studio version but I had it anyway and I love it all the same. The one I have is labelled as a 2007 remix, I dimly remember a version I had before it that didn’t have quite the PUNCH this one does. Hits the ground running with a pretty relentless beat, pretty irresistible. The chorus is tough to sing along to, the verses aren’t amazing. Actually thinking about it I’m not really sure WHY I love this so much, I just DO. The middle-8 (to the same beat) works for me, what’s the problem?
06 Sometime Samurai – Watashi no namae wa Kylie desu. Hmm well you can jap all you want to me but I’m UNMOVED by this too-cool diversion into… whatever this is supposed to be. There’s more to it as a song than there was with GBI, but with none of the bonkers appeal (not that I liked THAT much). It’s just a bit of a mess really, and not really worth the whisper-vox she struggles out.
09 BPM – This REALLY grew on me, I had it down as a rather plain-Jane mid-90s dance offcut that was a bit too dancey for any of the albums, with the typical “ooh that sounds like an interesting name for a Kylie song” title. To some extent YES it is rather a run-of-the-mill dance song, but the chorus has a lot of BEEF to it even if her vocals don’t. I could do with a really HQ version to bring out the THUMPING BASS (if there is some). Then the beat stops for a little interlude and *BAM* it SMASHES back into life, amazing.
08 Go hard or go home – So is this actually a saying? I’m still none the wiser about how this isn’t DIRTY somehow. Another Aphrodite clipping that seemed to have everyone raving. I must say it has a lot more life to it than Heart Strings, but – and feel free to accuse me of never being content – it’s a rather by-numbers effort. It’s perfectly lovely though, and as with Heart Strings there are worse tracks on the album, but if it had been on it, I doubt it would have been a favourite.
05 GBI (German Bold Italic) – Heh … so the rather infamous ditty about our Kyles taking the role of a TYPEFACE. A bit of a black sheep, I’m sure to the casual fan with only a basic Kylie timeline, it would be rather difficult to believe something like this could even HAPPEN. Obviously it never broke through as a super ichiban numbah one hit, perhaps the 6:30 runtime killed off any interest for me. FITS. LIKE. A… GLOVE?. Hmm. As oddities go, I’ve heard worse, but please don’t make me listen to it again.
02 Stay this way – Speaking of never wanting to hear this again, this causes me PHYSICAL TRAUMA when I listen to it. Jazzy (sound the alarm) and GLACIAL pace. I hate this sort of bluesy self-indulgent stuff, I’m squirming with boredom throughout. Her vocals aren’t really up to the job, but even if they were, nothing can save this EXTREME TURD.
06 Celebration – Considering Celebration always used to be one of my least favourite songs (I never got along with enforced enthusiasm, ever the Grinch). But after that rather life-threatening double-bill of songs this sounds like the best song ever. Well not really, rather a boring re-tread of a already overdone “party classic”. She doesn’t add anything to it really, but it all sounds like a reasonably acceptable song, that’s as high praise as I can give it.
09 Somewhere over the rainbow – OK another live song sneaks in from the Showgirl tour. Friend of the gays Kylie descends from a crescent moon for a really gorgeous moment (at least on DVD). It’s drowning in syrupy production, but that fits the moment, probably the second gayest moment behind Showgirl Kylie leading a gay parade at the Sydney Olympics whilst singing Dancing Queen. That money note too! *gay coma*
06 Whenever you feel like it – Oh that ascent from the worst ever Kylie song through one of my most hated ‘party’ songs to Somewhere over the rainbow has made me DIZZY. Luckily I don’t have to think too much about this bog-standard dance filler. “Keeping me up all night, making me feel alright” .. yawn, did Madonna write this? Just doesn’t seem to have a POINT to it, just a load of random phrases thrown together over what I can only assume is a default dance beat from the production package used.
06 This girl – Aaand finally. A bit of a dud to finish on, but it’s not all that bad. I guess this is from the 2nd half of the 90s, vaguely ‘real music’ feel to it (i.e. don’t need to hit all the notes, that’s for SQUARES). The tune is all over the place, but she had a fair bash at it, with a rather affected accent to her voice. In fact this sounds more like a 1st album Natalie Imbruglia B-Side than something Kylie should be attempting. But then after a few non-starting choruses it just fades out … oh well.
OK so that’s that. 33 down, 33 to go.
Keepers for the iPod: Tightrope, Boy, Lovin you, BPM, Somewhere over the rainbow.