Kylie has come back to the music scene with an impressive bang, thanks to singles ‘Dancing,’ ‘Stop Me from Falling‘ and ‘Raining Glitter.’ But was she able to live up to the hype that arose around her 14th studio album ‘Golden‘? Firstly, if you were fearing that this would be just a blatant country album, then you shouldn’t have to worry! On the other hand, if you were looking for an album that would be revolutionary and seemingly iconic, you may be disappointed. It seems that yet another pop legend has decided to hop onto this train of the continuous new trend, which leads distant stars to Nashville to “find their true selves” in a time where their career is at stake. Many instantly targeted, and then compared it to Lady Gaga’s country-influenced ‘Joanne‘ and Miley Cyrus’ mellow ‘Younger Now‘ in comparison with the western influences throughout the entire record. Unlike many of the albums that ‘Golden‘ was compared to, it effortlessly blended both a cohesive amount of solid pop, disco, and country.
On first listen through ‘Golden,’ opening track ‘Dancing‘ instantly puts you on track to have a good time. With its undeniably catchy chorus and Kylie’s dreamy vocals, all aspects the song had to offer layered perfectly. It made clear sense why it, instead of any other track, would be the first single. Likewise to ‘Dancing,’ ‘Stop Me from Falling,’ ‘Raining Glitter‘ and ‘Every Little Part of Me‘ were generally the only tracks in which the western and country influences were at the lowest intensity on the record. The singles, with a few other tracks, represented the true pop core that Kylie was able to portray, without adding an excess of other genres at the same time.
There are a couple of songs which had the most success in mixing the best both pop and country had to offer in one song. Some of my favorite tracks on the album, ‘Golden,’ ‘A Lifetime to Repair‘ and ‘Shelby ’68‘ all did the job of creating a signature bundle of fun pop, with the rugged western influences added to make each track even more special. I am not personally a huge fan of country, and still was pleasantly surprised with a handful of tracks on the album in how the influences were not overbearing each other. Also, the songs with the greatest country and western influences largely demonstrated the only contrast and play on production. A good chunk of the record, which was backed by just a plain old guitar or piano, failed to really offer any type of intricate or impressive production.
A general problem which is prevalent throughout the entire record is that except for the highest points of the album, much of the songs fail to stand out and then begin to blend together into a blob that doesn’t give off much lyrical or instrumental substance to the actual record. Songs which fell under this category included ‘One Last Kiss‘ and ‘Live A Little.’ Both tracks had their highs, but their lows really brought them down when song after song began to sound a bit more similar. When nearing the end of the record, the overall thoughts of the album aren’t much different from the beginning. The record puts you in a good mood, it could be classified as very “cute,” in that the substance it had shed light on Kylie’s impressive songwriting and imminent influence on the album’s outcome.
All in all, ‘Golden‘ was a very solid album. While it was not necessarily impressive or outlandish, it proved that Kylie still has a mark on the music industry with her expansive knowledge of songwriting and story telling. It comes with some dance-worthy bops, and brings about some of Kylie’s top-notch ballads. If you need an album to put you in a good mood, this would be the one to do it!
Essentials: Dancing, A Lifetime to Repair, Shelby ’68, Sincerely Yours
(7.5 / 10)