Review – Kim Wilde

EMI America ST-17065
This is a classic case of like father, like daughter. Back in the mid-fifties, a young Engli sh rocker named Marty Wilde made quite a reputation for himself by redefining the U.S. rock-and-roll style of Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis for British audiences. Although he became one of England’s best known early rockers, his fame never managed to cross the Atlantic.

Now, daughter Kim is going much the same route. In her case, the prime American influence is Blondie, and this North American debut (a tad dated in that it’s a compilation of English releases over the past two years) is a slick, well-crafted collection of songs Debbie Harry might have sung.

Only two of the 10 songs suggest some originality. Both, however, are extremely promising: 2-6-5-8-0 grafts a punchy horn section to a crafty hook chorus, producing something that sounds like an updated Dusty Springfield number. You’ll Never Be So Wrong is a moody and captivating ballad that stands head and shoulders above all the Blondie and Pat Benatar simulations.

At this point, Wilde may be too busy building a career to worry about comparisons. But once she’s well enough established to  create music with a less obvious commercial bent, she should be a musician worth watching for more than just her sultry good looks.