Kim Wilde - Never Say Never

2006-10-12 11:04
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you: it’s a new Kim Wilde album. Remember her? If the answer’s yes, you’re probably feeling a bit old right now. She scored her biggest hit in 1981 when she was only 20 years old with “Kids in America”, sales no doubt boosted by her blonde bombshell image and terrifyingly huge ‘80s hair.

Then followed a nine-album career featuring nothing much more than the occasional minor hit, but always supported by a solid fan base that remained loyal throughout. This must be because there’s something endearing about Wilde. In her regular appearances on British variety TV shows and in her own award winning gardening series, she always comes across as eminently likable, and that definitely counts for something.

But it’s all about the music, and here, with her tenth offering, Wilde is not going to disappoint her fans, and, given the baffling obsession with all things ‘80s, she might even win herself a few new ones. This is because she’s stuck to what she knows best, namely, singing “Kids in America”. Yes, the song reappears on Never Say Never. It’s an unnecessary reworking, and she may as well have just reused the original, as the new version is very similar to the old.

Six of the 14 tracks here are reworkings of previous releases, including a rocked-up version of “You Came”, a Eurodance-influenced “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (featuring Nena of “99 Red Balloons” fame) and a Paul Oakenfold remix of “Cambodia”, which, much like everything else Paul Oakenfold touches, is contemptible rubbish.

The new songs slot in so comfortably with Wilde’s older material that you’ll have to read the liner notes to tell them apart. It’s the new wave, post-punk pop from the ‘80s all over again, and if you like that sort of thing, you’ve come to the right place. If not, you have been warned. But fans will think that by rights, this album should do for her career what “Pulp Fiction” did for John Travolta’s.

- Chris McEvoy
Kim Wilde: Hot, sultry pop siren of the eighties. And nineties. And naughties. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you: it’s a new Kim Wilde album.

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