Wednesday, November 13, 2013

W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Post 14: Kylie Minogue

This is a series dedicated to women who despite success in the U.S. Music Industry, have est. a very complicated image for themselves.

Round 14 of this series goes to Aussie turned Briton dance-pop sensation and new coach of The Voice UK, Kylie Minogue. "I thought you said successful in the U.S." Yes, I did and believe it or not Kylie did find some success in the 80s and in some early 2000s and 2010 onward...ish success. Yet that sentence and where she resides now plays a part in why she's one of many W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. Though with Kylie, there's a lot of ground to cover. Out of the women of this series, she has the most albums to date with Minogue slated to release her 12th (!) album c. her milking her time being a coach for The Voice UK.

Minogue's debut effort was the 1988 released Kylie. Her first real international debut single was "I Should Be So Lucky". Despite some flack critics gave it for being hackneyed (Considering it's bubblegum level pop music, critics should remember that it's the goal of the singer to not fucking cry halfway through it) the song did garner favor for being a strong Kylie song. It went to #1 in her native Australia and #10 on the US Hot Dance Club/Play charts [and a rather decent finish at #28 on the U.S. Hot 100].
However, the second real single from the album was a cover of the 1962 Little Eva classic song, "The Loco-Motion". This would be the biggest Hot 100 success Minogue would attain for quite some time as it peaked at #3 on the Hot 100. However, mixed reviews and no other real singles being released for U.S. audiences came with a price as it peaked at #53 on the Billboard 200 charts.

Cut past 6 albums that weren't released to U.S. audiences (And people wonder why U.S. frame-if-reference around Kylie is rather limited -_-) to her 2001/2002 U.S. resurgence Fever.
Fever would spawn 4 singles, the lead "Can't Get You Out of My Head" being her most recognizable. The song would begin a much needed resurgence in U.S. markets as critics found a lot to love with the song.

"Can't Get You Out of My Head" was released in the U.S. in February of 2002. Even though the song in the long run has seen more "love to hate" type of fanfare, the song saw brief hope that Minogue had a cat's chance in hell of being U.S. market friendly again. The song peaked at #7 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Pop Songs and #1 on the Hot Dance Club Songs charts.
The second song from the album, "In Your Eyes" while just as catchy as the lead single was never released in the U.S....meaning easy come, easy go [though technically, it was released in international markets, mainly because the lead single had just been released in the U.S.]

The third single, "Love at First Sight" did see U.S. success on the niche charts [#1 on the Hot Dance Club Songs and #10 on the Pop Songs charts] but sort of sputtered on the Hot 100 by peaking at #25. It should be noted that the music videos for Minogue's singles have been met with fairer reviews than most of her actual singles.
The final single released from the album was "Come into My World". While the video was met with critical fanfare, the radio gods were not appeased...the single sputtered on the niche charts [#20 on the Hot Dance Club Songs and #28 on the Pop Songs charts] and belly-flopped on the Hot 100 by peaking at...#91.

Yet due to the inescapable lead single, Fever ended up peaking at #3 on the Hot 200.

Cut past her next albums, the 2003 released Body Language [which went to #42 on the Hot 100...a year after release and it wasn't released for U.S. consumption. O_O] and the 2007 released X [which went to #139 on the Hot 200...and again this was never fully released for the U.S. O_O]. Apart from the singles "In My Arms" and "Speakerphone" being an awesome song and being used on America's Best Dance Crew respectively, this era was marred for Minogue's career in the U.S. However, she was able to battle and defeat breast cancer, so not being "cool" in the States was the last thing on her mind.

Her latest album was the 2010 released Aphrodite. All the singles released, "All The Lovers", the VH1 music video circuit friendly "Get Outta My Way", "Better Than Today" and "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel the Love")" went to #1...on the Hot Dance Club Song chart. Meaning that despite the radio gods banishing her from the Hot 100, Minogue did achieve a comeback when the album peaked at #19 on the Hot 200; her second highest charting album in the States since Fever.

Currently in positive terms, she's one of many gay icons because of her fervent support of the LGBT community and dance music friendliness. The vaguest way of putting this? She's the Aussie answer brand to Madonna. A woman in the industry that not known first for her singing, still has enough crazy to work within her confines to produce music (Though thankfully, she hasn't been stupid enough to work with Nicki Minaj). She is now a British citizen and is slated to coach/mentor people on The Voice UK whilst pimping her yet to be released 12th album.

So what makes Kylie one of many W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I.? Well for starters, U.S. based critics analyzing her career [me in the loosest sense] are at a very obvious disadvantage. Why? I had to skip over 8 of her albums to get her U.S. frame of reference in order. Labels she's been under had prevented those 8 releases from touching U.S. markets. And even with the albums that could be analyzed, her reputation in the States goes no further than "Can't Get You Out of My Head"; "Locomotion" if you're dealing with an 80s diehard.
In summation, despite 11 going on 12 albums to her name, Kylie's career and image are complicated because whatever evolution she's had musically has been seen in really haphazard order; if it was lucky enough for U.S. markets to see.

This may or may not be the last W.W.C.I.I.T.M.I. post...that I am deciding on my own.

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