Kylie Minogue launched her comeback with an intimate gig at Café De Paris in London last night, as her new label BMG readies itself for “a defining moment” on her new album, Golden.
Minogue has had a few defining moments herself, of course, over a 30-year career that has seen her take on multiple sounds and images. Last night was no exception, as she made her entrance down a spiral staircase clad in double denim and touting a new country-tinged sound.
Minogue travelled to Nashville to record new album Golden and worked with country songwriters including Nathan Chapman and Amy Wadge on the project. But, as with previous incarnations such as IndieKylie and DanceKylie, CountryKylie retains her knack for an irresistible pop melody.
So, new songs such as the album title track, One Last Kiss and Raining Glitter may speak with a southern accent, but their first language is still disco. Although Minogue also took her new direction to the logical conclusion, using the intimate setting to reinvent fan favourites such as Put Yourself In My Place and Hand On My Heart as lovelorn country anthems.
Elsewhere, Minogue thanked her new label BMG as CEO Hartwig Masuch and new UK president, repertoire and marketing, Alistair Norbury looked on. She namechecked EVP, new recordings, Korda Marshall and director of A&R Jamie Nelson, while her former label boss, Parlophone’s Miles Leonard, was also there to hear her thank team members past and present for being “patient and understanding” as “life takes you on long journeys”.
Wadge was also in attendance while, on stage, another BMG artist, Jack Savoretti, joined her to duet on Music’s Too Sad Without You, an emotive ballad with ‘Christmas hit’ written all over it. Meanwhile, a bearded gentleman known only as Big Luke, stepped up from her backing band to duet on country classic Islands In The Stream.
She finished with barnstorming, barn-dancing versions of current singles Stop Me From Falling and Dancing (with the Wadge-co-written Sincerely Yours in between), suggesting CountryKylie could deliver BMG’s biggest recorded music hit yet when it releases Golden on April 6. Norbury will certainly be hoping so, having told Music Week that signing the pop icon “was a big signal from us”.
“It’s going to be a defining moment for this label,” said Norbury, speaking in the new issue of Music Week. “We have taken our time and I feel proud that we’ve given her the space to make the record she wanted to make. We were going to put this record out last year but Jamie [Nelson, director of A&R] and Kylie decided that the record could be better. Jamie and Kylie worked incredibly hard to deliver a greater record than the one we would have released.
“All eyes are on us,” he added. “We believe this is going to be the biggest ship of a BMG record in the UK that we’ve ever had. We anticipate that it will be the biggest-selling week one record we’ve ever had on BMG UK.”
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch also used the Music Week cover story to stress the importance of the release to the company, which has made giant strides in its recordings business as well as music publishing in recent times.
“We have very high hopes for that album, but it’s not the only one,” Masuch told Music Week. “We have A Perfect Circle, which is not a UK signing but the UK plays a massive role in that release. Then there’s Rick Astley’s follow-up to his first for BMG. There’s a lot coming that really matters for BMG.”
You can watch Kylie Minogue's video for comeback single Dancing below