Turn That Noise Down - Kylie Minogue

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1990 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Susan dances to the Rhythm of Love...

Kylie really is the perennial pop princess, isn’t she? With a new album making tsunami sized waves in this week’s charts, it’s difficult to comprehend that, 30 years ago, she was already into her first “image re-invention”. Although it would still be 4 years until her wonderful, if controversial, Confide in Me in 1994, and a full decade until those gold hotpants in 2000’s Spinning Around, the album Rhythm of Love saw her, with the permission of PWL of course, jettison the disposable bubblegum pop of her early music career (at the same time as jettisoning her relationship with Jason Donovan when she fell for INXS’ Michael Hutchence) and head in a dance/clubland direction with a similar grown-up-ness, both in subject, composition and production of the songs as she started to take on more creative control.

There were four massively commercial hit singles from Rhythm of Love, "Better the Devil You Know", "Step Back in Time", "What Do I Have to Do", and "Shocked", all of which filled dancefloors around the world, but there are still some absolute bangers (technical term – Ed) in the rest of the album which are probably better evidence of her shift in direction. Secrets is very 70s disco, Always Find the Time is pure dancefloor chug and both are very reminiscent of, the apparently very influential at the time, Madonna’s sound. The World Still Turns has a mellower sound, complete with ubiquitous latin-brass interlude, but it serves to showcase her voice a lot better as it doesn’t overload it with instruments. One Boy Girl, by contrast, is total funk with a thumping bass and twangy guitars barely hidden by the synth, although the rap is maybe a little ill-advised. The funky guitar continues with Things Can Only Get Better which is probably my favourite track on the album [no it’s not anything to do with that other song of the same title by D:Ream – Ed]. The funk is dialled back down for the more light-poppy sounding Count the Days, and the title track rounds out the album with another laid back latin beat.

So, Rhythm of Love is very much a gateway album, both for Kylie and her fans, in many ways; very upbeat and danceable throughout, with tantalising hints of what’s to come while not being such a shocking departure for the fanbase she had already built up.

Talking of shocked…

Image - Amazon

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