Sunday, 25 January 2015

Step Back In Time

As a teaser to my forthcoming article on PWL’s long-awaited Kylie album reissues next month, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at her second album, Enjoy Yourself, one of my own personal favourites of the soon to be released special editions, and reproduce a feature written about the original album by Chrissie Camp for Kylie’s official 1991 annual…

With her second album Enjoy Yourself, Kylie had something to prove. She was determined to show she was serious - very serious - about her music. The results speak for themselves. Enjoy Yourself debuted at number two on the UK charts, hitting the top spot the following week. Within six weeks of release, the album had sold more than one million copies in the UK alone. The success of Enjoy Yourself was even more heartening to Kylie considering she had faced the daunting task of following-up the phenomenal Kylie album.

Every performer will tell you the pressures and expectations of topping a successful record are enormous. There’s the dilemma of keeping to the style that fans have grown to love, while at the same time allowing the artist to mature. In Kylie’s case, she was nearly eighteen months older when she recorded Enjoy Yourself and she wanted that to show.

The resulting album is more mature and more ambitious than her debut. It has more diversity and touches on everything from soul to 1940s big band tunes. The songs showcase how Kylie’s vocals and her confidence sparkles off the record. With more experience under her belt, she felt confident she could play a greater part in shaping the record and so this time had more input into the production process. It’s a practice she definitely wants to continue in the future.

Kylie is adamant her music - pop music - has a valid place in today’s music industry, even if some high-brow journalists think to the contrary. “I sing pop songs aimed at kids, with subjects like the girl with the crush on the guy at the end of the road who doesn’t know she exists. That sort of thing is important when you’re 14,” she says. “I know my music probably means nothing to somebody experiencing a midlife crisis, but people shouldn’t dismiss something just because it is not relevant to their own lives. Kids come up to me and say wow, at last somebody who understands my problems. That for me justifies the sort of songs I sing.”

To Kylie, a song shouldn’t be judged on how profound or high-minded its themes are. She says: “Alright, so my music is not political, it’s not heavy. It's just fun. Is there anything wrong with fun?” Well said Kylie! 

Enjoy Yourself includes the singles Hand On Your Heart, Wouldn’t Change A Thing, Never Too Late and Tears On My Pillow, all rocketing to the top of the charts. Several of the tracks have special meaning for Kylie lyrically, too. “Heaven and Earth runs parallel with my view on the environment and what I, along with everybody else, can do to help conserve and protect it. As I may be a position to influence some people, I feel the song has a valid message.

“I don’t want to preach to anyone, and I don’t think the song does. It conveys the simple but important message that no-one can change the world overnight, but if we all put a little effort towards caring for our environment, we can keep this beautiful place, which we all too often take for granted, for future generations.” Kylie is also fond of Wouldn’t Change A Thing, which had a vibrant fill-clip to promote it. It was the first Kylie video to be shot outside Australia - but the costumes were Australian.

“The song says that even if no-one else in the whole world can understand what you see in someone… who cares? It’s what you believe that really matters… you shouldn’t have to change a thing for anyone. It is good to have confidence in what you’re doing and trust in your own judgement.” Another lyric Kylie particularly likes is Never Too Late. “It follows my philosophy to always try to look at the better side of things. Don’t give up hope if you firmly believe that something can work out. And remember that good things come with time. It’s also saying that it is OK to forgive, after all, we all make mistakes.”

Choosing a name for an album is always difficult but in Enjoy Yourself, Kylie has a title everyone can appreciate! She also chose it as the name of her concert tour. “It is not an unusual message for a song, but sometimes we forget to do the obvious… enjoy ourselves! With so many pressures in our society, we have to remember to look after ourselves, be happy, and make the most of what we have.”

Kylie is now gearing up for the recording of album number three. It is a few months away yet, but already she is thinking about where Kylie Minogue the singer is to go next.

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