Released: October 22, 1997
When you think of Kylie Minogue, the first thing you think of is her sex appeal. The second of course is those golden hot pants, eventually moving onto other various costumes and re-inventions to her career, and then her music for some. Kylie’s music has generally circulated on catchy hooks, polished yet depthless matter, and gorgeously over-the-top visuals to go with it. Whilst her 1994 album Kylie Minogue sure managed to undergo a serious re-invention to prove that she was more than a teeny bopper or a “Stock, Aitken and Waterman act”, some of the content lacked a real push into diverse sounds, experimentation and emotions (it is her first album to show a move into another direction, so I give her that; look at my review on the review page) and allowing herself to channel the jack of all trades without resulting into being the master of nothing.
To be exact, Kylie doesn’t really need that in her career though, considering that she’s belted some magnificently catchy tunes throughout her career that match next to her gorgeous sex appeal, like gum does to a desk. But never in a million light years (no pun intended) did the audience think that Kylie would push the envelope to extreme artistic lengths than she did on Impossible Princess, her 1997 album. It was released in the same year as the critically and commercially acclaimed album Ray of Light by Madonna, which bears a striking resemblance in personal and creative fields. Unlike Madonna’s album, the critics and public really drowned Impossible Princess, which is a complete misunderstanding because, ironically, Impossible Princess is probably Kylie’s best record to date.
She co-writes every track on the album, which is why songs like the schizophrenic drum and bass “Too Far”, the indie track “Did it Again”, the subtle electro “Breathe”, or the extremely dance aggressive “Limbo” conveying an unusual element that has never graced on Kylie’s records before; a sneak peek of personality and maturity as an artist, and as a person. Majority of the record is about her relationships, but in saying this, she doesn’t dab into her typical gooey-love-dovey ness like she did on previous albums, but instead becomes a bit more experimental in her word play (check out the metaphorically tamed “Cowboy Style” as an example). Kylie even gets a bit grubby and dirty with the indie-guitar driven hits “Some Kind of Bliss”, “Did It Again” and the breezy “I Don’t Need Anyone”, alongside the deliriously synth-driven “Drunk”.
But the album’s best traits is Kylie at her most fragile and confessional. The icy “Say Hey” is a simple yet slinky tune that showcases a steamy appeal to it, whilst the jazzy “Through the Years” offers a fun yet serious Minogue talking about a previous boyfriend. Kylie gets more emotional with the utterly sublime and sensitively spoken “Jump” and the interestingly triumphant “Dreams”, two tracks that yield a completely new Kylie that the world would have never anticipated to see (who now should regret that never got to experience).
Overall, Impossible Princess is a collection of tracks that should bring forth a warning to pop lovers in the midst of their idol’s transitioning or re-invention; never underestimate a growing artist and their work. This record exposes some of Kylie’s most crafty offerings, heartfelt lyrics and varied sounds that may prove to be a perfect template for artists of contemporary culture to challenge and re-inform in their own careers. For Kylie’s career, it was a perfect leap forward and is still a cemented idea that proved that she was more than just a disco diva.
Track list (Bold means best tracks)
- Too Far
- Cowboy Style
- Some Kind of Bliss
- Did it Again
- Say Hey ~Liam’s favorite~
- I Don’t Need Anyone
- Through the Years