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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back.
Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P).
He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!
For those of us of
a certain age and a rock/pop inclination, Kim Wilde was one of the artists in
the early 80s who made an impact when 'Kids In America' was released.
It possibly helped
that Ms Wilde was stunning besides being capable of belting out a rock/pop
anthem that has stood the test of time, oh that and the fact I was a spotty
immature hormonal teenager.
It was probably the
closest thing to a rock song that I remember by a female artist that year.
To be honest as the
80s progressed I lost interest in pop music as rock began to consume my world.
However as the years have progressed I’ve gone soft (or mellowed and broadened
my musical taste as I prefer to call it) so it came as a pleasant surprise when
I was asked to listen to 'Here Comes The Aliens' by “THE Kim Wilde, you know, the
The album cleverly
starts with the sound of a radio being tuned to different channels with that
crackle and hiss that youngsters of today’s digital age won’t understand. The guitar
kicks in and '1969' starts and it’s a decent catchy track with its roots firmly
set in the 80s (and includes the album title in the chorus).
It becomes clear very
early on that over the years Ms Wilde has not suffered from her voice losing
any of its distinctive sound, there are even tracks where she lays it bare and
it delivers in style.
'Pop Don’t Stop'
follows and shock horror, it’s a pure pop song even down to having a keyboard
intro that is so Buggles that the video will most probably kill the radio star.
I suppose there is a clue in the title and Kim (oooh look at me getting all
personal) is ably supported on the vocals by brother Ricky and it’s as pop as
you can get.
The album is like a
nostalgic trip back to the 80s but with a modern twist added, the synth based
tracks such as 'Stereo Shot', 'Yours Til the End' and 'Addicted To You' firmly offer
a nod in the direction of disco/dance with catchy choruses to match. You can
imagine certain tracks making it onto a Miami Vice re-make without being out of
'Birthday' and 'Rock
the Paradiso' are massively upbeat good time songs. They are in the same vein as
Kids in America but competently stand up in their own right. 'Rock the Paradiso'
in particular has a real B-52 Love Shack vibe to it, proper rock guitars and a
bounce along catchy chorus.
For me the stand
out track on the album and the least “poppy” is 'Solstice'. It starts with a mournful
Celtic style lament with Kim’s voice absolutely nailing a haunting verse before
the piano gently enters and the following lines are delivered:
“They didn’t make
it home, now her hand drops the phone;
She stands so
Your washing’s on
the bed, the last words that was said;
screaming, she’s screaming, she’s screaming”;
The song then moves
into a Carpenter-esque chorus never losing the feeling of loss, sadness and
emotion. It’s a track that screams out “give me a decent budget for a video to
accompany this and I’ll give you a massive hit”. It really is that good.
In conclusion, if
you miss (or missed) the 80s and want to reminisce but with newly written songs
with a modern take then you’ll love this. Well unless you’re my wife who stated
after hearing just a couple of tracks “It’s inoffensive”. WTF!! I don’t think
you can be more offensive with a review if you tried. Her view has nothing to
do with the fact that she is also a 50 something blonde, oh no, not at
Whilst 80s pop is
not totally my thing, the album has hidden treasures such as Solstice and a
range of 80s styles all in one album. To put it in context, I think this album
will allow Kim Wilde to tour and not rely on a short set of the original 1980s
hits she plays at the revival concerts.
I hope to see it played
live in Glasgow in April, I really hope it translates to the live environment.
Whilst the album
has synth/disco/rock moments just forget the snap and crackle, this is POP.
I’ll get my coat……..
7 out of 10– 80s
aficionados will strongly disagree. .
Tracklisting 1969 Pop Don't Stop Kandy Krush Stereo Shot Yours Til' The End Solstice Addicted To You Birthday Cyber Nation War A Different Story Rock The paradiso Rosetta