Kylie Minogue's second album is both better and worse than her debut. It's better because the SAW songwriting team wrote songs that were better overall (understandably, to keep their hottest commodity hot), but worse because none of these songs have quite the staying power of “I Should Be So Lucky”. However, they do make a few earnest stabs at it.
I do quite enjoy the first four songs on this disc - whilst they're entirely plastic, they're also overwhelmingly euphoric. And I'm hooked on 'em because of that. And Minogue's vocals are as charismatic as ever, which increases their entertainment value two-fold.
The lead single is “Hand on Your Heart,” which is as good a club-dance song as there ever was from the era (although unless you're dancing to it at a club somewhere, it's best to hear it with the music video - the third time I viewed it, I finally noticed that the color of Minogue's dress changes half-a-dozen times). And if you like that song, you'll probably also like “Wouldn't Change a Thing”, because it sounds exactly the same, and although that means the album lose points for diversity, it also means I'd like the song equally as much.
SAW also give Minogue a chance to sing a number of ballads ... “Tell Tale Signs”, “Heaven and Earth”, and “Tears on My Pillow”. The latter is a cover of a doo-wop classic, and Minogue nails the vocal performance, though the synthesized instrumentation is woefully kitschy. I also like the vocal performances in the other ballads, but the songs themselves are more or less forgettable. I'd expect that of course, because SAW had trouble enough as it was composing competent dance tunes, much less would they be able to pull off a ballad with confidence - good ballads require grace and subtlety.
Lastly, “My Secret Heart” is an obvious knock-off of Madonna's “Dear Jesse”, where - my goodness - SAW make Madonna look like a pop genius in comparison.Rated:
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews