Record Label: BGM
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
Golden, released on April 6, is Kylie Minogue’s 14th studio album. Most of it was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, and the country influence is clearly present. The story of a pop-star “going country” is nothing new, and even if Minogue aimed for a more laid-back cowboy sound, the album inevitably sounded over-produced and far too polished to capture any sort of rustic vibe.
“Dancing” starts off the album with lukewarm, synthetic pop. The “country” sound only comes in through the song as subtle ornamentations on the beat from an acoustic guitar. There were moments in songs like “Radio On” and “Shelby ‘68” that made for some genuinely enjoyable pop but felt so far removed from sounding like country that they were ill-fitting for this album. But then again, the album as a whole doesn’t really fit into the “country sound” it so desperately is trying to go for.
Golden embraces its own tired cliche with the title track. It autotunes Minogue’s voice in the melody of Ennio Morricone’s well-known theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly before devolving into a pop song that sounds like it was written by Bruno Mars.
In short, Golden brings nothing new to the canon of pop music, country music, or the frustrating hybrid genre country-pop. To quote Jenna Maroney from Tina Fey’s hit NBC show 30 Rock, “‘Going country’ is a legitimate career move… and the best way to get heat in this industry.” Perhaps Minogue took a leaf out of Maroney’s book.