Kylie Minogue – B-Sides & Rarities Part IV

Right, last batch of Kylie offcuts now, it’s been a mission but we are here finally…

09 Time bomb – Let’s kick off with her (at the moment) latest single. Hopelessly mismanaged as we are used to from Kylie HQ now, appearing suddenly and not quite delivering on its element of surprise in the UK, where it floundered at #31. It’s a pretty dumb but infectious dance-pop track that makes me excited at the prospect of future Kylie music, whatever the fuck that will end up being. A bit anonymous but I really love this in the car.

07 Good like that – Mid-00s I’m guessing now, probably in the midst of her writing-for-Atomic-Kitten phase. It’s not even as good as Feels So Good, for the record, so that gives the sort of level of apathy I’m feeling. She makes an attempt at a decent chorus but it doesn’t quite happen, nice try though.

06 Glad to be alive – What the hell? I’d like to be as easy to please as our Kylie, who is happy to be alive thanks to her BRAND NEW HAT. If people try to hold you back, just buy another hat! It’s so simple really. I suppose in the same vein is makes Better Than Today look like a quantum leap ahead lyrically, but this song does NOT make me glad to be alive.

06 Cover me with kisses – HATE that intro, rather try-hard to say the LEAST. That gets things off on the wrong foot, and I’m not really enjoying this groovy-baby-yeah schtick that makes up approximately 99% of this track. Just NOT my thing.

07 Closer – This must be a LGTI-era dance track surely? Has the familiar sounds that I quite like, all said and done. But they just seem to have forgotten to actually write a SONG. Sure, you get a few words during the middle segment but there’s not much to it and it finishes just how it started (and stayed as throughout the middle).

09 The Winner Takes It All – Did this totally pass me by? A Dannii/Kylie duet? I have no idea why this came about, and it is really quite a standard rendition of the classic, but just having those two girls singing an amazing song like this automatically makes it pretty unsinkable. The OTT melodramatic production only helps the cause.

09 Where the wild roses grow – Another odd single, somehow a lost track but I reckon quite well known. A gorgeous waltzy ballad about monsterfaced Nick Cave dashing Kylie’s pretty brains out with a rock. I think it’s a perfect duet that just could only have happened during Indie Kylie. God knows she needed the hits back then anyway. I love her deep voice on this, GAWJUS.

07 We know the meaning of love – God, doing this in one sitting was a MISSION. I guess this is RoL-era, it’s not bad, I could have settled for it slipping into the album at a push but it wouldn’t be a lot more than filler.

07 Say the word (I’ll be there) – Quite a sweet little ballad, builds up nicely in the verses but I can’t help but think the chorus is a bit wishywashy. The verses really do save it, but it all just feels like a bit of a missed opportunity.

07 Rippin up the disco – Look at me! I’m a Kylie track, look at my exciting-sounding title and edgy modern dance pop sound! Luckily she’s since realised that she’s not Luciana or whatever she was trying to be, and played things a little more nicely since. If I’d just heard this on its own, back in 2007 or whenever, I’d probably have thought it was alright, even though the vox are virtually non-existent.

07 Paper Dolls – Taking it down to ballad town, it’s a little weak but the chorus is quite sweet. In the best kind of way, it reminds me of What If I’m Right by Sandi Thom, probably not what she was looking for, and in fairness it’s just what it reminds me of, I don’t think musically anyone would link the two. It’s nice enough, but not particularly memorable.

07 Ocean Blue – A rather stripped down acoustic ballad now, it’s quite nice really (I seem to be saying that a lot, or my string of 7/10s seem to do the talking). It just doesn’t have a lot of impact really, and just WEARS ME DOWN like the tides, and doesn’t change a lot over the duration (like the TIDES).

08 No better love – Not QUITE into this, but the rather giddy swirling electronic noises in the bridge really give a little OOMPH to what is essentially a rather by-numbers Kylie song about doing the naughty, complete with the usual UHHHH sexual sigh noises. Can’t someone just give this woman a baby?

08 Mighty Rivers – I gather this was an Aphrodite leftover or bonus track or whatever. It doesn’t really SOUND 2010 but it doesn’t really need to. I like the production, it’s all got a little more to it than Heartstrings or GHOGH if I’m honest with myself. All feels a bit ‘Cahill remix’ but that’s not a terrible thing. The chorus doesn’t quite have the impact that the title does, which is always a shame, but it’s alright.

08 In Denial – A duet with the Pet Shop Boys now, rather a strange one, and feels like it’s taking itself a little TOO SERIOUSLY. They could have made a great pop song, but instead it’s all cool and po-faced. I mean Kylie singing all about “queens and fairies and muscle Marys” is all well and good, but what is it all FOR? This should have been an amazing pop song if they’d just decided to make music instead of a statement.

06 Lhuna – A Coldplay collab now, (don’t worry I’m nearly done). Not that I was expecting any sort of dancepop epiphany to explode here, but I thought at least it would be a good mix, and the result might at least approach the better moments for either act. But no, po-faced pop again, I don’t know who or what Lhuna is, but frankly after this DIRGE I’m not in the mind to find out. Why couldn’t they have thought outside the box like they did with the Rihanna duet?

10 I believe in you – FUCKING FINALLY, totally worth the wait too. I really think this is an incredible song and really shows what a fucking waste it was not having a Scissor Sisters-produced album instead of the pig-sty called X. From the synthy violin intro to that amazing bassline, through the spare verses and SOARING chorus, this just doesn’t let up until you are totally obliterated by its TRANSCENDENT FABULOSITY. This was my favourite song of 2004 (not really a hot contest but still), and it’s still holding up pretty fucking well. I. Believe. In. You. I. Believe. in.

So that’s THAT! What a drag all those lost tracks were… I mean I have discovered a few decent ones along the way but by and large there weren’t any HUGE AMAZING 11/10 moments aside from the one(s) I knew already. It does leave me rather relieved that it’s all over now though, which isn’t quite the desired effect.

Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed my Kylie Voyage, particularly the latter decade’s output (to varying degrees). Though I did come to the rather sad conclusion that while she’s had some amazing singles, and the occasional fantastic album, I’m feeling like little more than a casual fan at the moment. I want to like her so much, as I’m sure most of us do. But in my case I’m finding it very difficult to love her unconditionally. But HERE’S to the good times all the same.

Keepers for the iPod: Time Bomb, Magnetic Electric, I talk too much, Giving you up, The winner takes it all, Where the wild roses grow, I believe in you.

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