Review – Kim Wilde

It’s tempting to see Kim and Ricky Wilde as teenage Carpenters or even worse, English versions of the Osmond Family, with Ma and Pa all a part of the act/business. But as Chrissie Hynde was heard to assert the other day, ‘The proof of the pudding is in the grooves’. Now Chrissie might be guilty of mixing the odd metaphor there, but she has a point.

However, ‘pudding’ ‘Kim Wilde’ definitely ain’t. More a light, tasty quiche. ‘Kim Wilde’, the album, not the person, is basically a lot of lovely fuss about nothing. Pure pop, not purist pop, but music that is nothing, and serves nothing, beyond itself. The type Abba, Chic, Nolans, and occasionally Sheena Easton, have achieved in recent times: and a whole lot of mediocre also rans, from Bucks Fizz to Boney M, have failed miserably at.

Kim Wilde, the person not the album, has been called an empty vessel into which has been poured the melodies of her brother and the words of her Dad. But what words! What melodies! What flawless gems of hollow beauty! What a perfectly pompous production! And what a voice! What a face! What a vessel!

Knowing, but innocent: young, fresh, pure (no hubby in the cupboard like naughty Sheena). A fairly normal, seemingly well adjusted, middle class, young woman of 20. A recent letter to the N.M.E. makes the accusation that Paul Morley, who reviewed the album for that paper, ‘obviously fancies Kim Wilde’. Can he be blamed?

Apart from the three singles (masterpieces all), the best track is ‘Young heroes’: ‘We only wanna stay young / We only wanna be free.’ It’s the best ‘teenage rebellion song I’ve heard in ages, because it’s so frivolous: once you start getting serious about rebellion it can’t be called teenage any more.

A fun album. Fun to make and fun to listen to when you’re having fun. Nowt wrong with fun, lad, in its proper place. what is overplayed and grates on the ear blaring out of car radios and trannies when you’re working or otherwise not having fun can sound just dandy sitting in the kitchen with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. Might even inspire a solo turn across the lino. And that’s the paradox of pop, Pop.