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Kylie - the Stock Aitken Waterman Years.,
This review is from: Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
As the liner notes state, Kylie Minogue was written off by many critics as a manufactured "flash-in-the-pan" pop star whose fame wouldn't last much longer than 15 minutes. To this day, I remember the 1989 Rolling Stone critics poll which named Kylie the worst female singer of 1988. Even her producers, Stock Aitken Waterman, took blows from naysayers who found their music too formulaic and canned. Yet, in spite of the above, Minogue remains one of the most resilient and successful female perfromers in the last 20 years. Who cares if she's not the world's best singer? If we judged performers based on singing alone, then Celine's last album is a masterpiece. But I digress. "Greatest Hits" is a retrospective that compiles all of Kylie's singles from 1988-92, along with a bonus disc of remixes. Considering the countless other hits compilations that are already out there, should fans still bother with this one? The answer is "yes." The digital remastering gives these songs a welcome sonic upgrade and they sound way superior to the original recordings. "I Should Be So Lucky," "Got to Be Certain," and "Better the Devil You Know" are all frothy but straight-up infectious bits of neo-disco that were huge hits in the UK back in the day. Her covers, on the other hand, are pretty much hit-and-miss. I liked her cover of "Give Me Just a Little More Time," but her versions of "Celebration" and "Tears on My Pillow" still make me cringe. In my mind, nobody can top the original "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang. Also, the disc of remixes are pretty good, with highlights including the extended version of "I Should Be So Lucky," a nifty remix of "Wouldn't Change a Thing" and a 2002 house remix of her No. 1 "Hand on Your Heart." "Greatest Hits" is a smart introduction to listeners who aren't familiar with Kylie's earlier work beyond "The Loco-Motion," and older fans should get it for the remastering and the second disc of remixes.