Lady Jaz’s Track by Track Musings on Kylie’s GOLDEN

DANCING 10/10

I truly love this song, it’s like bottled joy and deserved to be number one for 16 weeks straight. Damn millennials and their “streaming” messing up the hit parade! The double meaning in the chorus still tugs at my heartstrings.

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STOP ME FROM FALLING 10/10

We are all familiar with this smash hit by now. Kylie’s latino and country crossover is exceptionally uplifting. I can feel my serotonin levels rising when she trills “For youuuuuuuuuu” in the choruses.

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GOLDEN 10/10

I loved this when I first heard it as the opening track at her recent album showcase gig at Porchester Hall, but the album version is even better. Will Minogue break her trend of having never released a title track to an album as a single despite them usually being A+++? Justice for Aphrodite, Enjoy Yourself, Kiss Me Once & Light Years!

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A LIFETIME TO REPAIR 11/10

I’ve loved this song more than oxygen since the very second I first heard it. Just when you think it can’t get any better you get Kylie belting out the chorus like a sledgehammer to the heart. Heartbreak never felt so good!

SINCERELY YOURS 10/10

Kylie’s love letter to her fans, a truly touching moment that genuinely tugs at your heartstrings. I “love you dearly, yours sincerely” too Min!! The ad libs really make it for me, especially the “SO I PUT IT IN WRITING” at 2 min 38 secs.

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ONE LAST KISS 8/10

I imagine this is one song NOT written about the slimy lothario Joshua Sasse – can’t imagine Kylie would want him and those hair plugs that close to her ever again! A bouncy album track but not my favourite. I do really love the “so baby come to me, oh baby come to me” refrain though.

LIVE A LITTLE 8.5/10

Another positivity anthem. I enjoy the contrast between the verse and chorus but I feel this is a little throwaway. Weirdly (for me) I prefer the ballads on Golden to the more uptempo moments.

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SHELBY ’68 9/10

I’m a little conflicted about how this is in honour of Dad Ron Minogue yet features some romantic sounding lyrics. Fun fact the car sounds at the start are actually from Ron’s car and were recorded by Brendan Minogue meaning all three siblings are now officially popstars.

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RADIO ON 10/10

Completely heartfelt and moving ballad about Kylie finding salvation in music when her life has gone to pot. We’ve all been there babe. Weirdly uplifting despite the melancholic message just like all perfect pop songs.

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L.O.V.E. 9/10

Alas not a cover of the 2005 Missy Elliot featuring Ashlee Simpson single. Kylie’s harmonies are perfection on the choruses.

RAINING GLITTER 7/10

My least favourite on the album (soz Minogue). Is a very solid album track but to me just sounds like a Fever b side with a few added banjos. For a lot of people Fever is their favourite Kylie album but alas it isn’t mine! WHOOP

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MUSIC’S TOO SAD WITHOUT YOU (with Jack Savoretti) 10/10

I still don’t know who or what a Jack Savoretti is but I adore their voices together. The swirling waltz like melodies and orchestration sound gorgeous. I could imagine this playing over the end credits of a 60s British classic film starring Julie Christie & Richard Burton.

BONUS TRACKS

LOST WITHOUT YOU 11/10

One of the greatest, most broodingly epic masterpieces that Queen Minogue has ever been involved with. If you look up perfection in the dictionary you’d find her spoken word interlude. “Can I be honest with you, can I tell you the truth?” breathes Kylie at the start of the track and to me this feels like a metaphor for the album as a whole.

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EVERY LITTLE PART OF ME 9/10

One of the poppiest tracks on the album, that has a very fresh and modern sheen. I could picture this song having some fab choreography, and in all honesty is there any greater compliment in life?

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ROLLIN’ 8.5/10

Probably deserves its place as a bonus track. Works well with the rest of the album, but isn’t a standout to me.

LOW BLOW 8/10

Perfectly enjoyable saloon bop, but the lyric “swinging your lasso at my rodeo” is not gonna convince those skeptical about her new sound to hop on the Kylie train.

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What are your thoughts thus far on Kylie’s country opus?

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A Midnight Date With Kylie Minogue

Ever since HMV announced the competition to win one of 300 places at the midnight launch of Kylie’s 13th studio album GOLDEN I had a strong feeling that I WOULD be attending that wasn’t even slightly dampened by failing to be picked in either the original draw or the subsequent re-draw. When there’s a will there’s a way. I’m certain the HMV customer service team were delighted by my daily correspondence on this matter. With 5 days to go I’d been informed that all tickets had been allocated and that there would be no further draw for tickets, or as I call it – a technicality.

The day of the event arrived and weirdly I’d still not received a notification that I’d been allocated a GOLDEN ticket. Working just a few minutes stroll from the venue I decided to pop along during my lunchbreak and see if I could work my charm. I managed to procure an impromptu meeting with Simon, HMV’s Head of Events who informed me, alas, that there was nothing he could do as the event was already oversubscribed so they would not be running a reserve list. I enjoyed his advice that I snap up a cassette if possible, as this was the most limited of all the formats. “Babe, I have a delivery for every single format pending since the dot of midnight they went on pre-order!”. I thanked Simon for his help, and trotted back to my office with only a very faint feeling that I should doubt my proven Kylie Karma.

Despite all of this I still felt in my heart that Cinderella would be going to ball. Back at work I saw a notification pop up on my phone from my friend Danny (a competition winner) “Dear. Spoke to HMV again. You can come with me”; “ARE YOU JOKING??????!?!?!?!?!?!?” was my highly restrained response. It turns out that darling Danny had won twice (under two e-mail addresses) and had spent the past week trying to convince them to transfer one to me to no avail. He tried one last time that day by speaking to a lovely chap at the store who informed him that as long as I entered the venue with Danny I could attend. All seemed too good to be true, so I called the store myself to speak to my saviour Jason, and he confirmed that all was legit and that within a mere matter of hours I would indeed be in the presence of royalty.

This lack of notice was probably a good thing for the stability of my mental health as it meant I didn’t have time to get too worked up beforehand. I headed home from work to select an outfit and plumped for a vintage ‘Kylie Says Relax’ t shirt from her 2006 Showgirl Homecoming Tour with a leather jacket. I caught up on my soaps then popped back on the bus to join my friends. There were many familiar faces in the queue so it was delightful to catch up with so many people. Another Danny who I ALWAYS go and see Kylie with had also won a ticket so I joined the queue with him and many others joined our group as we waited for the clock to strike midnight.

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Minogue herself arrived at about 11.45pm to a sea of paps, some of whom ran in the building after her and had to be dragged out by security. Despite being very near the front of the queue I’m not much taller than Kylie herself so this was all I saw of the scuffle.

At about 12.30 we were ushered into the store to select our product for signing. Despite having every single format on preorder from Kylie.com I panic bought another picture disc as decided this would look best signed, and I had no intention of playing it anyway. So if anyone wants a picture disc (unsigned) holler! We joined another queue where we were issued with GOLDEN wristbands and given an as-invented-by-Romy-&-Michele Post It with our name spelt correctly on.

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We were then ushered to the fourth floor where we joined another queue that had a stage at the far end with a GOLDEN tinsel backdrop. “It’s ACTUALLY KYLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I proclaimed to my group.  Whilst queuing I saw my buddy Simon from earlier who had changed into a snazzy pink suit. Looking at me with a mix of disbelief and confusion he said to me “You made it in then?”. “Why of course!” was my response as I beamed a big smile at him. The queue moved along quite swiftly and I suddenly felt like I was having an out of body experience, my legs felt like jelly and I kept thinking I was going to drop my record.Before I knew it I was at the front and handed my phone over to the attendant who started snapping away.

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“Hello Kylie!” I cheerfully exclaimed “I so enjoyed your Spotify gig the gig the other week”. “Why thank you!” replied the Queen of the Universe “I enjoyed it too!”. “Nice choice Jasmin!” she said as she took my picture disc from me, GOLDEN pen in one hand.

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“Kylie” I said. “Can I ask you an odd question?”. “I THINK so” giggled back my idol. “Well. This has bothered me for 30 years now. WHAT were you wearing on your bottom half on your debut album cover?”  “Oh gosh” she replied. “I really don’t remember”. “Did you accessorise your hair hat with jeans or was that a black dress?” I embellished. “It was a long time again” replied Minogue “I’m really sorry I just don’t remember” “Oh well, if you remember please Tweet the answer! I’m so excited about this new album” and with that our moment was over. It may have been fleeting but meant the world to me.

On the way out the HMV social media team asked to take a pic of Danny, Laura & myself with our signed vinyls as we looked “fab” and we happily obliged. And that was that. I’m delighted to report that Kylie did not turn into a pumpkin at midnight and would implore you all to check out her FAB new album GOLDEN available from all reputable outlets now.

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So the key takeaways are thus….

a) Daniel Langrish-Beard is an ABSOLUTE LIVING LEGEND

b) The power of manifestation. There’s never been a thing on this planet that I’ve not been able to make happen if I’ve really set my mind to it whether it’s moving to New York on a whim or attending a ticketed Kylie Minogue competition that I’ve not even won. It’s all in mind! I wonder what I’ll work on next?!

Kylie x Spotify

The excitement started last Sunday morning. I’d woken up early for another day of essay writing when my phone pinged; my friend Rob had sent me a screenshot of his phone indicating that he’d won a competition to attend a mysterious exclusive and intimate Kylie Minogue Spotify gig. “RSVP IMMEDIATELY” was my highly chilled out response. This all seemed far too good to be true, and I felt the same way until I firmly had a wristband attached to my arm on Wednesday afternoon. The collection point was at a private members club in Soho so I was easily able to stroll along during my lunchbreak and interrogate the Spotify crew as to what we should expect the following day. I managed to conclude that she would be singing a mix of songs from her new album Golden and a selection of classics and some “surprises”, the venue was tiny with a capacity of just 400 guests. I was also thrilled to discovered there there was going to be a free bar as Spotify wanted us to “have a good time”. As I apparently have no filter system for good measure my mouth managed to blurt out that “I don’t even do streaming. I’m very loyal to my iPod Classic”. Whoops. I accepted a complementary drink from their choice of four juice options (pineapple) and trotted back to work safe in the knowledge that as long as nobody chopped my arm off to make off with my precious contraband I was definitely going to see my idol live the following day.

The concert day arrived and my boss thankfully agreed that something “spectacular” had indeed occurred and he was cool with me leaving the office early. I popped onto the 36 (westbound) bus and was soon at Porchester Hall where I joined the queue as the 6th person in line. Being not much taller than La Minogue herself I was DETERMINED to get an excellent view and luckily the other fans who had had the same idea were absolutely delightful and we merrily chatted away as the countdown began. Doors were due to open at 7pm with Kylie Ann on stage at 8pm. My friend Danny had also won tickets so he and my friend Kate (+ unborn child) as well as Rob joined me in the queue as we continued our wait. Me and my big mouth had obviously made an impression the previous day as the guy I’d met from Spotify was walking along the queue to check if anyone need to collect a wristband & said to me “I know you don’t need one. I remember you from yesterday.”

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7pm came along and we began to shuffle into the venue. I was in such a rush to get to the front of the stage I bypassed the free drinks and accessory table; but it was worth it as I found myself right against the front barrier. That’s correct. FRONT ROW. In a tiny venue. As soon as my spot was secured I knew I was in for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Danny kindly offered to take our freebie tokens and collect us some drinks from the bar (wine for the non-preggos, Coke for the preggo) and also managed to visit the accessories table selecting me a gold sequinned hat reminiscent of the Enjoy Yourself era. I was delighted to be informed that combined with my giant hoop earrings I looked very “Mel & Kim”.

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There was some mild concern amongst my party that a banjo and acoustic guitars were laid out on the stage, but these fears were soon laid to rest when Kylie set off glitter canons during her opening track which was the title track of her absolutely fabulous sounding new album ‘Golden’ (available from all major retailers on the 6th April!). Kylie was on absolutely stomping form. I dread to think how many times I’ve seen her live during my decades of super fandom but she looked happier and more relaxed than I can ever remember seeing her before. She is clearly delighted with her new material and it shows. Her stage set up was reminiscent of the Anti Tour with backing singers and a live band and not a dancer in sight. My highlights of the gig were as follows:

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  • An impromptu acapella rendition of the 1988 classic ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi’. Rob and I had been joking outside that we hoped she’d sing it but not in our wildest dreams did we anticipate that might become reality.
  • The new songs. It comes as no surprise that I’m usually more thrilled than most when Minogue releases a new album, but after this concert I am even more excited than usual thanks to the strength of the new material that was debuted at the gig. Key tracks for me on first listening were ‘Sincerely Yours’ (a love letter to her fans no less), ‘Radio On’ and ‘A Lifetime To Repair’. Fun fact: I really had to restrain my emotions to stop myself from bursting into hysterical tears during the performance of this one. This is the first time since Impossible Princess 20 years ago that Kylie has co-written every single track on an album, and god does it show from what we’ve heard thus far!
  • Amusing myself by carrying out the original PWL choreo (as learnt from her ‘Kylie On The Go: Live In Japan’ TV special as she performed the Abbey Road ballad version of the 1989 number one hit single ‘Hand On Your Heart’.
  • Kylie being close enough that we made eye contact several times, the accumulation of which was her laughing when I did a cheesy #No1 finger signal during her performance of underrated banger ‘The One’.
  • During my favourite line of the aforementioned classic single (Close to touch like Michelangelo) she actually made her pal touch fingertips with her reminiscent of the scene painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. My highbrow goddess!

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Another special mention needs to go to Queen Kylie herself for being kind enough to pose for this selfie with myself and Rob. My only criticism is that my glasses clearly need a wipe!

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Thanks so much to Spotify and Queen Kylie Minogue herself for a truly Premium experience!

SETLIST

  • Golden
  • One Last Kiss
  • Raining Glitter
  • Breathe
  • Wow
  • Shelby ’68
  • Radio On
  • Islands In The Stream
  • The One
  • A Lifetime To Repair
  • Hand On Your Heart
  • All The Lovers
  • Stop Me From Falling
  • Sincerely Yours
  • Dancing

Ten Years of Confessions On A Dancefloor

Even thinking about ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ takes me back to a magical time in my life. 24 years of age and living my own version of ‘The Simple Life: Interns’ in NYC this album just fitted with my mindset at that time; even my MySpace page in a cringe-worthy fashion featured lyrics from “I Love New York” (presented without irony). My only real concerns were clubbing and making the most of the beautiful city I was blessed to call home; thinking back it’s hard to recognise that carefree person as it seems far removed from the person I am a decade later.

This was (for me) before the time of MP3s and iTunes and the morning of release I did my favo(u)rite trick as the PA to a prominent architect of announcing in an authoritative tone that I was going out on “errands”. Very rarely were there actual work related errands to be found and not once did anyone question me. My office was based in Soho and it was my mission to get my hands on a copy of this yet to be heard album and as soon as possible. This turned out to be a trickier task that planned as I marched the crisp streets of downtown Manhattan; none of the independent record stores in Soho or Greenwich or the West Village had received their deliveries yet. Eventually I reached the now defunct Union Square branch of Tower Records and handed over what was a sizeable chunk of my disposable income for Madge’s latest work of art. With a shaky hand I placed the disc into my Sony Discman and as I marched back downtown I instantly fell in love with Madonna’s return to disco music. THIS was what I’d been looking for. By this point I’d lived in my favourite city in the world for ten months and fallen in love with the likes of Le Tigre but finally I had a whole record that understood how I felt.

The buildup to its release had been intense; with no leaks the only indication of how the album would sound came from the lead single ‘Hung Up’ which seemed to send the clubs that I frequented wild. ‘Hung Up’ almost clashed with Halloween and I have brilliant memories of accidentally stumbling across a Madonna night at the Pyramid night club after the Motherfucker Party I had planned to attend had been shut down by police. I remember dancing on the stage whilst dressed as the bride of Dracula and tossing my bouquet over and over into the crowd as the Abba sample pulsated around the legendary club.

My most favourite place to go out dancing in the whole of New York was the weekly Saturday night dance party held at Luke+Leroys known as Misshapes. I was such a frequent attendee that I could swan in straight past the heaving crowds with the doorbitch Tomas just saying “hello English” as each week my head swelled bigger and bigger. The Saturday prior to the release of ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ I had two of my best friends visiting from the UK; and I had planned to take them to visit. However the night before had turned messy and when faced with the choice of another night out or staying in and eating chinese food and watching a horror film starring Freddy Krueger as a killer clothes press (you couldn’t make this up) we plumped for the latter.  I was dead to the world at 1am when the text messages started rolling in. “WHERE ARE YOU JAZ?”. “MADONNA IS DJING AT MISSHAPES”…. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the disappointment though at least in this pre-selfie simpler time I probably wouldn’t have had any evidence to show for it even if I had have hauled my arse off the sofa.

There is not a dud on this album, and the Stuart Price format of a continuously segued album with each track running into the next seemed perfect for the time. I listened to it on repeat on my portable CD player; in this day and age I only seem to listen to it on shuffle on my iPod which just is not the same *makes mental note to listen to it properly tomorrow*.

It’s not even my favourite Madonna album; without a doubt that accolade goes to ‘Like A Prayer’; but whenever I listen to this one it transports me back in time. Is there any better place to be than 24 and living out all of your dreams? I’ll forever be grateful to Madge for providing me with my own time machine!

A lookback at Kylie Minogue’s Anti Tour

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Three years ago this week St Kylie of Minogue really got into full swing with her #K25 celebration of her first quarter century in the music business by embarking upon the ‘Anti Tour’. With the Anti Tour Kylie trod where none of her peers would dare to by doing a handful of dates (in both Australia and the UK) in which she sang rarieties; b sides, album tracks and unreleased demos. Anyone who’s been to see Kylie live will be aware that these are not typically understated affairs, but Ms Minogue stripped all of this back to perform theatre venues with just a backing band and none of her usual embellishments. Except perhaps a small glitter canon. And few tiny lasers.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at her one London date at the Hammersmith Apollo and it truly was a unforgettable evening. As (despite rumours to the contrary) it has never received a DVD release all that survives of the evening beyond my memories are a selection of YouTube clips and my much prized souvenir t shirt. As tricky as it is to sift through such a one of a kind performance I’ve tried to pick some of my absolute highlights below:

MADE IN HEAVEN 

In the 25 years of Kylie fandom I’d experienced prior to this moment ‘Made In Heaven’ was the number one track I was desperate to see live. The only previous memory I have of the b side to number 2 hit single ‘Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi’ being performed live was at the 1988 Royal Variety Performance, and I’d nearly worn my taped-off-the-telly video cassette out I’d rewatched it so many times. Back in the heady days of the late 1980s my only way of listening to the audio was via my 7″ inch record; I was unable to listen to it via my Fisher Price cassette player as Queen Minogue had failed to include it on her 2 million selling debut album. Perhaps this omission has helped it to reach godlike status in my mind but whatever the reason this was an absolute highlight.

ONE BOY GIRL

KYLIE! RAPS! This was my immediate thought when I first listened to Kylie’s 3rd album release ‘Rhythm of Love’ back in 1990. Rapping had previously been the exclusive domain of the People’s Minogue younger sister Dannii. Perhaps I was too young to know better but I genuinely thought her rap skills were second to none. Well except perhaps Betty Boo that is. The One Boy Girl rap has long since been an in joke amongst Kylie fans and thought of her performing this live seemed preposterous. But then the Anti Tour came along and blew all of our preconceptions out of the window: “Hey yo Kylie, wats up wit that one boy girl thing”. Classic!

YOU’RE THE ONE

An unused track from her 1998 classic ‘Impossible Princess’ album ‘You’re The One’ has never been commercially released and only exists in a very low quality scratchy leaked demo version. The fact that Kylie even acknowledged that her fans have enjoyed it over the years speaks volumes about her relationship with her fanbase and when she chose to sing this live it was such a special moment.

TOO MUCH

The only track from La Minogue’s 2010 album ‘Aphrodite’ not to be performed live on her epic Aphrodite: Les Folies World Tour. Co-penned by Minogue herself with Calvin Harris and Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters it’s madness to me that this amazing song was overlooked as single choice. Classic Kylie. However it’s fun to see such a stripped down fun version. In terms of spectacle Aphrodite: Les Foiles set the benchmark for touring productions, I can’t imagine any of her peers ending a concert with a human water fountain; and the contrast between this performance style and the Anti Tour demonstrates Kylie’s versatility and comfort on stage.

ENJOY YOURSELF

The title track from Kylie’s 1989 sophomore album is in my top five Minogue tracks of all time. Never has the feeling a song gives you been so perfectly summed up by it’s title, pure joy from start to finish. However my 8 year old self could never understand why she sings ‘enjoy it’ on the chorus when the song is called ‘Enjoy Yourself’, and 26 years later I’m still confused. The perfect song to end the gig with this underrated classic is a pure adrenaline shot and I always blast it if I’m feeling blue. The reaction she got from the audience was so great that she even resurrected it for last year’s Kiss Me Once Tour. I defy anyone to listen to this song and not have a smile on their face.

My original review of the Anti Tour can be found here: http://www.virginmedia.com/music/features/kylie-minogue-anti-tour-review.php

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What were your highlights? Comment below!