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My Kylie Top 30: #20 – #11

Time for another helping of Kylie’s best tracks – or at least my favourites … what are yours?

20. Some kind of bliss (from Impossible Princess)

Lead single from that difficult… um… sixth album. Didn’t really go to plan, to say the least, but tried to launch her “indie” (i.e. has guitars) career with a hand from James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers. It comes out only a bit more indie than a Kym Marsh single, but it’s a nice fresh feeling spring track, with some lovely STRINGS (you know what I’m like with strings).

Happily it’s not now her lowest peaking single to date, it always deserved better than that label.

19. Turn it into love (from Kylie)

Another of the few representatives from the early years, going right back to the first album now. I didn’t really like most of the stuff during that era, seemed too many cutesy bits about boys and love and boys breaking hearts ETC ETC. But this seemed to have a lot more depth to it. I’m not crazy on the tone of voice, it’s quite high for most of it, must give her a sore throat singing it. Probably, I don’t know.

18. Magnetic Electric (from X)

I noted earlier that this sounded basically like a Dragonette song, which is NO bad thing, it’s even like a GOOD Dragonette single. Only made the cut as a bonus track from X which is a shame, I could happily have thrown a few of the tracks under the bus in favour of this. A naughty-but-nice electro slutfest, firmly on the right side of the line that Kylie seems to tightrope over when making songs like this.

17. Where the wild roses grow (from Murder Ballads)

A weird one now, and only the 2nd most unusual Kylie death behind that incident with the fork-lift truck, the disabled man and the Space Titanic… Anyway a gorgeous waltz duet with the horrifying Nick Cave. I love her deep vocals on there, that chorus is beautiful too. I suppose the death isn’t SO unexpected given its appearance on Murder Ballads, but it’s evidently news to poor Eliza Day.

16. Put yourself in my place (from Kylie Minogue)

I hate to say it but apart from a few notable moments I didn’t really get on with the KM94 album, a bit too much style over substance. I don’t mind though, it seems to please plenty of others and I always have the later albums in any case. Happily though there are exceptions to this, and this laid-back ballad really is wonderful. The space video with the … interestingly shaped spacecraft is colourful and marvellous. That “I hear that you’re in love now…” bridge still sounds great nearly 18 years (!) later.

15. Can’t get you out of my head (from Fever)

Time to get one of the biggies out of the way now, in fact THE biggie by any stretch of the imagination. I have a bit of a troubled relationship with this one, obviously at the time is was a magnificent return to form, and the Fever album – as I have said repeatedly – is mostly amazing. But something about this song leaves me a bit cold these days. The video is iconic (I try to avoid using that word unless absolutely fitting), and it secured probably most of her 00s output. I have warmed up to it again during my investigations this year, explaining its placement in the top 15, but let’s see where it ends up in a few years.

14. Especially for you (from Enjoy Yourself)

OK there aren’t a lot of random tracks in the upper echelons on my chart, but I suppose this is the one that will attract most of the criticism. I’d love to say it’s a rather crass cash-in on the Kylie & Jason mania rife at the start of the 90s, and that’s probably what it is. But somehow they managed to also make it a really sweet love song that I’ve loved for most of my life. It’s really probably my earliest Kylie song, so it has a special place in my heart in that respect.

Lest we forget this is her OTHER million seller…

13. Love at first sight (from Fever)

Back to Fever now, time for the third single to take a bow. Really perfect pop song in my opinion, especially as someone who was totally in love with a lot of early 00s pop/dance music. It has that superb video where she’s obviously having the time of her life in a strange CGI courtyard inhabited by virtual pizza delivery men.

It did strike me that this is quite a strange song to sing along to, I think it does rely quite a lot on the production, the tune is a little strange on its own somehow. But anyway, BRAVO

12. Stars (from X)

X was a funny old album wasn’t it? Some really horrific moments, but for every ‘nu-di-ty’ there was some amazing moment like this. I can see why it never got a release as a single (not least because they made a total fuckup of the whole campaign), but this has just grown and grown for me.

Can’t quite put my finger on why I love this so much, it’s got a great mix of pop sensibilities and commercial dance production, maybe that’s all I want from Kylie.

11. Red blooded woman (from Body Language)

Right, last one for now. A slutty RnB tinged followup to the spiky uncommercial Slow, and she gets back on the playlists with what people criticised for being a blatant attempt at an American crossover. Apart from vaguely Timbaland-style electro flourishes I don’t QUITE see it myself, but whatever. BOY BOY! That just has so many little hooks, and earlier this year it revealed itself to me as one of my most fondly remembered Kylie tracks. It was a surprise to me too…

You’ll never get to heaven if you’re scaredagettinHIIIIIGGGGHH!

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Album: Kylie Minogue – “Kylie Minogue” (1994)

Can you believe we are nearly halfway through already? Well to be honest I’m glad to be moving on after this and I’m feeling a bit more positive about the rest of this little voyage.

So on to Kylie’s 1994 Deconstruction debut, and I imagine this will be an unpopular opinion but I felt rather disappointed with the album. Obviously I need to take it in context, this album is over 15 years old now and things change a lot in that sort of time. I can recognise parts that feel exactly like the sort of thing you’d expect to hear in 1994, but as a whole the album outstays its welcome, with ridiculously extended versions of what could have been quite a tight little album. Anyway, let’s get to it… (lolz).

10 Confide in me: OK so I do complain about the length of some of these tracks, but this has to be an exception. To be honest they could have had a 15 minute version of this and it wouldn’t stop it being a towering colossus of prime Kyles. As you may know, I have a penchant for strings, and there is certainly no shortage of them here used for maximum drama. Kylie is sounding amazing, I can only imagine what people must have thought when this came out two years after the previous single (the abysmal Celebration). The video is brilliant and still looks just as fresh as it ever did. Her vocals are at their operatic best, I just think this is one of the moments of magic that Kylie loons should always be proud of.

08 Surrender: How to follow that? Well thankfully with something a little more trimmed down but nonetheless rather good. While I made the accusation of Madonna-chasing with parts of Rhythm of love, I think maybe it’s going on again but happily the result is very good, landing somewhere between Erotica and Bedtime Stories. The lyrical content is rather empty but musically it’s rather sexy so I’ll turn a blind eye this time.

07 If I was your lover: I nearly risked a red card from the K-Loons for doing the Bedtime Stories comparison, but of course I’m not implying anything untoward, considering both albums came out about the same time. My point is that the sound feels the same, which in my mind isn’t a great thing as I never really liked Bedtime Stories in the first place. No great depth to the lyrics again, unrequited love is a well-travelled path with Kylie but not usually so sexually charged. It does sound good though even if it doesn’t quite make an impact on me.

07 Where is the feeling: Considering the calibre of the other singles, I had expected a little more to this but I’m not getting a lot out of it. Very 90s (obviously), but puts me more in the mind of M-People, which isn’t really what I’m looking for. Not too hot on the vocals, sounds a bit strained but I think maybe some harmonies could have improved things there. What is certainly DOESN’T need is to be 7 minutes long, I just felt utterly bored of it by the halfway point. No surprising really that I don’t remember this as a single.

10 Put yourself in my place: And on to the other stone-cold classic of this album, I really love this one. The video is fabulous, certainly one of the things I remember vividly from my pre-teens. I love the rather chilled-out, or more worn-out feel of this, just this sort of exhausted sadness that comes from the situation she’s singing about. I really love that “I hear that you’re in love now, baby don’t know what to say”. Great chorus, I just relish every moment. why the fuck is this the shortest song on the album?

07 Dangerous game: A bit of a plodder now, not really into this one. She does sound good on it, but there’s some spark missing in this that was in the previous track. She has a good moment with that big note in the middle but even that feels a little shaky. I just feel like this song would have belonged better on Let’s Get To It, which isn’t a particularly good thing.

07 Automatic love: Another rather sparse song lyrically, a few short verses and the rather repetitive chorus takes over. Not that it’s a bad thing, some rather clunky computer language makes me raise an eyebrow. Almost makes you wish she was just singing bluntly about sex for a change. This just doesn’t really do anything for me, feels a bit empty. The music again saves the day slightly, nice production, I like the use of strings as usual, but as a whole it doesn’t leave a lasting impression.

06 Where has the love gone: Really trying my patience now, nearly 8 minutes is really pushing it. A more dancey offering, I actually like the delivery of the verses, very coolly done, but then there are 5 minutes left. I don’t like the oooohhh la-ha-haaaa bits, and I just find the rest of the song a bit of a struggle. If this was a remix then that would be something, you expect a certain drawn-out quality to those, but it really kills my interest in the flow of an album.

04 Falling: This extends my feelings for the previous track, this time pretty much stripping away the song entirely, giving the backing singer most of the work. I find this a really odd non-song, just like the sort of anonymous thing you might hear in a wine-bar or something. If this is what constitutes a Pet Shop Boys collaboration then I’d rather take my chances with SAW. Where is the feeling??

07 Time will pass you by: For the end, finally she pulls a song out of the bag, which sounds like the best thing in the world after the last two tracks. Actually that opening sounds a LOT like Movin’ on up doesn’t it? A bit of an odd track to have on this album, seems a lot more poppy and ‘uncool’ than the rest, but it’s a bit of life at least. Very upbeat and nice to have a bit of fluff in there somewhere. I’ve read that this was mooted as a single but was usurped by where the Wild Roses Grow, I can’t imagine two more different songs, but I think they made the right choice.

OK so that’s that. I’m sure some unpopular opinions in there as I get the impression this a bit of a sacred cow. Not that I don’t think it’s a huge improvement and change on her previous output. If all I knew of Kylie were the first albums, I doubt I could have imagined a song as amazing as Confide In Me following a few years after the Greatest Hits.

But I think in going in a cooler direction, with this album they threw the baby out with the bath-water, with some of those tracks just being too drawn out. As I’ve said there are obvious highlights that throw this album into stark contrast, and if anything I am grateful for those.

Keepers for the iPod: Confide in me, Put yourself in my place, Surrender

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