Kylie Minogue Gets Her Country On with ‘Golden’

Did you think Dolly Parton would be the last artist to attempt country disco? Well, think again. Dance-pop diva from down under, Kylie Minogue, returns with her first full-length of all new material since 2014’s R&B leaning Kiss Me Once.

The Aussie chanteuse channels her inner “Cotton-Eyed Joe” on her fourteenth studio album, Golden, but it unfortunately ends up sounding like nothing more than a reductive attempt to create her own version of Lady Gaga’s Joanne. While undeniably endearing and tenacious, Kylie Minogue has always followed trends rather than create them, which has ultimately pigeon-holed the artist as a second-rate Madonna.

On Golden, Minogue dives headfirst into new musical terrain inspired by her recent visit to Nashville. A large part of Golden was recorded during Minogue’s Nashville romp last year and it’s the first time since her endearing 1997 release, Impossible Princess, that the popstress has co-written every one of the album’s tracks. Awkwardly, her stay in Music City seems to have derailed Minogue’s ambitions, resulting in what can only be tactfully described as a major musical misstep. Perhaps Kylie lost focus while imbibing in too much line dancing and honky tonkin’? [Read Full Review Here]

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Lady Antebellum: ‘Golden’

Golden

Lady Antebellum: Golden

After losing steam trying to create a worthy follow up to the seminal hit “Need You Now,” Nashville’s multi-Grammy-winning Lady Antebellum returns with a vengeance on the plucky threesome’s fourth release, Golden. For a brief instant, Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood seemed destined to become victims of mega success and overexposure (particularly after the release of 2011’s uninspired Own the Night), but one listen to Golden immediately declares that Lady A has returned to form and isn’t going anywhere in the imaginable future.

Armed with the summery first hit single “Downtown” and the superb mid-tempo follow up “Goodbye Town,” Lady A sounds refocused and more determined than ever to reclaim the country spotlight. Golden plainly illustrates how each of the members has come into their own as songwriters. All but four (most notably the arresting “It Ain’t Pretty,” written by newcomer Nicolle Galyon and hit maker Eric Paslay) of the album’s 12 tracks were co-penned by the band members themselves.

The true magic of Golden lies in the album’s ability to balance the subtle sadness of “Can’t Stand the Rain” (“I don’t know where the road you’re on is gonna end up/Or what this crazy world will put you through”) with the blatant longing of opening track “Get to Me” (“Don’t hit the brakes just come and crash through my horizon/Bring back the air I need to breathe”), which includes a markedly potent vocal performance from Scott. Imparting honest lyrics with spot-on harmonies swathed in infectious melodies, Golden is ultimately a shining example of what Lady Antebellum does best. With its seamless mingling of poignant ballads and upbeat tunes, It’s a stone cold winner from country music’s top trio.

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