Date: 15 September 2006
Originally published in: Cineastentreff.de website (Germany)
Written by: Jochen Overbeck
“Looking out a dirty old window…”, with that phrase it all started. “Kids in America”, Kim Wilde. We all thought this girl was sexy in the early eighties as halfway adult teenage boys. Maybe not outright beautiful, but sexy. Kim Wilde became a pop icon practically overnight with this song. Then she retired from the public eye – became, we heard, a horticultural expert and only made music in studios – for instance together with Nena. Her producer Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen was the one who gave the impulse for Kim Wilde 2.0. Ladies and Gentlemen: the icon comes back with a bang with “Never say never”.
The formula: you take the old hits and fit them to the current time. That’s all good, because one likes to hear “Kids in America” again. And in 2006 is sounds different, because when Charlotte Hatherley is her singing partner she attracts a whole new generation. Yes, she also does British pop, as part of the band Ash. For “You keep me hangin’ on” Nena is recruited – that is not very surprising but it is alright. “Cambodia” is reworked by sound engineer and über-DJ Paul Oakenfold, who translates the 80’s pop into a dance music style that sounds fresh and modern in 2006.
And then there are the new songs, that are at least partly eyecatching: because where it is clear that the remakes were based on hits, added here because of economic necessity, the new material show real character. Thus “I Fly” comes with a guitar broadside quite surprising for Mrs. Wilde, the three tracks written by Fahrenkrog-Petersen offer solid pop. Of course, it’s not possible to find complete relevance, but “Never Say Never” entertains throughout.