Matured Kim Wilde is still a marionette

Date
Published in
Haagsche Courant (Netherlands)
Written by
Peter Koops

Kim Wilde, coming from a musical family, is part of a family corporation that has made a mission of writing songs for the top of the charts. Within that corporation the roles are fixed. Father Marty writes the lyrics, son Ricky composes the music. Together they pull on the strings that are tied on Kim, just turned 21 but not independent enough to be putty in their hands.

A year after her debut on the Dutch stage the teen idol returned to the sold out Muziekcentrum Vredenburg. Since then nothing much has changed. Kim Wilde remains a rather one dimension personality, who has nothing more to offer than a voice and a nice figure. If the boys in the audience aren't hanging on her lips because of her singing, it's certainly because of the latter.
Honestly it should be said that there have been a few changed in Kim Wilde's presentation. You could say that she has matured a little, although it is very limited. At the time of her previous concert she had little live experience. Since then she has won some confidence. Her singing, which used to be unstable, also improved. The band, of which only the guitarist and bassplayer were the same, was more capable than before.

Aside from the more professional take on things in the circus around Wilde, a lot have been tried to bring more diversity on the third album 'Catch as catch can'. This to try and break out of the hasty synthpop formula. The experiments don't point towards a deepening, but rather a broadening of the musical concept. Nonetheless it's not very adventurous to go the same way as Michael Jackson with the new single 'Dancing in the dark' and try to ride the synthfunk wave.
Just like other hits, where a show like Wilde's has to revolve around, this one got a machine-like treatment, which was performed better than before. Among these were 'Chequered love', 'Water on glass', 'View from a bridge', 'Cambodia' and 'Kids in America', Kim's single debut that closed Kim's concert. Also a couple of songs from the new album and a symbolic contribution from Wilde on synth in 'You'll never be so wrong', as well as a song like 'Love blonde' in which brother Ricki, last year a normal band member, now performed a special guest role.
Kim Wilde remains a 'Puppet on a string' who faithfully fills the products from father and brother with her voice and physical presence. The chances of there being more seems considerably small.