Kylie Minogue is Kylie Minogue's self-titled fifth studio album which was released on September 19, 1994 by Deconstruction, Mushroom & Arista Records.
Following a successful tenure under the helm of Stock Aitken Waterman at PWL, which had seen Kylie Minogue evolve from soap star turned pop star, to an internationally recognised recording artist and style icon. The year 1992 saw the release of "Greatest Hits" and a dissolution of her ties to the label.
In the autobiographical book, "Kylie: La La La", the book recounts Minogue's dissatisfaction with her output during the latter years of the partnership as Stock Aitken Waterman reverted to "formulaic tunes of old." By the time "Let's Get to It" was released, "the magic [had] gone and the record sank quickly."
According to the book: "At the beginning, even if they'd ever said, 'Kylie, what do you think?', I wouldn't have had a clue. Only toward the end did I have a clue, and by then I wanted to break free of the chains binding me. I was tired of being the SAW popstrel."
Minogue subsequently signed to indie label, Deconstruction in early 1993, who promised creative freedom. She said: "I liked [their] attitude, I quite liked their arrogance, and I liked the vision they had. [...] There wouldn't be much point in leaving PWL and going somewhere exactly the same, so it was a big change."
Deconstruction was known for being an innovative figure in the dance scene–concurrently, it was "unheard of" for a mainstream pop artist to forgo a major label. Minogue said: "I was aware that it was being perceived as a bit of a radical move, which I loved."
As work began on her new music, an early meeting with Deconstruction took place concerning which direction Minogue intended to pursue: "We had two choices–to record pop songs that would sell, or to experiment, let me loose in a field and see what happens.
A producer on the album said that Kylie was "a bit of a blank canvas in many ways as post-PWL, the world was her oyster." The label was keen to take up different avenues with A&R Pete Hadfield's intent to push the boundaries, aware of the perception that Deconstruction would simply usher Kylie towards a more conventional approach to dance music.
Recording & Development
In an attempt to extend herself as an artist, Minogue took an active role in planning the album and sought out a diverse group of collaborators to work with. They would be inline with what Hadfield referred to as "the re-engineering of Kylie Minogue".
Quentin Harrison of PopMatters conveys that Kylie was to be "[rebranded] as a pop savant" with popular music at the time "rife with overlapping mainstream and underground talent."
In an interview with NME, Keith Cameron wrote that Kylie "talks in the amazed tones of a blind child who has just rediscovered the gift of sight" in regards to the making of her album.
"It was just definitely time for more personal fulfilment. Having a chance to express myself and to have something I could call mine. I'm redoing a vocal next week–I never had opportunities like that before. I never heard the song before I recorded it! I'm actually going through what is normal for an artist. You write or if you're not writing the song, you contribute, involved at every step of the process."
Early recording sessions for the album took place in 1993 with Saint Etienne and the Rapino Brothers, which were ultimately fruitless as the material trod familiar ground and lead Minogue in the wrong direction.
Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne later remarked that her camp "had no idea what they wanted, apart from being different from the SAW stuff," though he expressed his amazement at her "powerful" voice that was masked by SAW's double tracking.
With the Rapino Brothers, Kylie had written eight songs and all but one ("Automatic Love") were scrapped. The song was then passed to Brothers in Rhythm to rework in their style, giving Kylie her only writing credit on the album.
Brothers in Rhythm, (a duo consisting of Steve Anderson and Dave Seaman) were previously involved with Minogue through a remix of "Finer Feelings" from" Let's Get to It." When word came that Kylie had parted ways with PWL, the duo phoned Deconstruction co-founder Keith Blackhurst–despite no prior experience writing for others.
Lunch was arranged and Minogue met the pair at DMC Studios in Slough, Seaman recounts: "We were just very much on the same page. I think at that point of her career her persona was bigger than the music and everybody was kind of willing her to make a more credible record. She had outgrown the pop music she had been making until then."
Brothers in Rhythm were enlisted as the album's chief producers; her stylist William Baker expressed that the duo were aware of a crossover dynamic between pop and dance music and found Kylie to be the "perfect vehicle" for their hybrids: "Her vocal range and willingness to experiment musically meant that Steve and Dave could push the envelope further."
Kylie would travel down from her residence of Chelsea over the course of the album's production; the first engagement resulted in "Confide in Me."
Jimmy Harry contributed the songs "Put Yourself in My Place" (written especially for Kylie) and "If I Was Your Lover" to the album; these would be the only entries to be recorded outside the United Kingdom.
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe (better known as Pet Shop Boys) were approached by Minogue's camp after the pair finished work on their 1993 album "Very." Speaking to Attitude, Tennant states: "Well, we always had to work with Kylie, of course, because she’s such a trademark: Kylie!"
They initially declined, being creatively spent before writing a song that sounded like "Stock Aitken Waterman Kylie", Tennant came to realise it was the exact opposite of her motivations behind the record.
The demo to "Falling" was sent to Deconstruction nonetheless, where it was well-received by Minogue and given to Pete Heller and Terry Farley to rework: "It doesn't really have the same tune in it, for instance, and they haven't put the chorus in, but I suppose that's very modern."
- Confide In Me 5:51
- Surrender 4:25
- If I Was Your Lover 4:45
- Where Is The Feeling? 6:58
- Put Yourself In My Place 4:54
- Dangerous Game 5:30
- Automatic Love 4:45
- Where Has The Love Gone? 7:46
- Falling 6:43
- Time Will Pass You By 5:26
"Kylie Minogue" debuted at number three in her native Australia and in the United Kingdom at number four; resulting in the album being certified Gold.
The album debuted at number thirty-nine on the Swedish Albums Chart.
"Kylie Minogue" had received generally positive reviews from music critics, many praising the slow dance music.
Chris True from AllMusic gave it a positive review, saying: "Kylie Minogue's fifth album no longer featured the Stock-Aitken-Waterman production gloss and found the diminutive singer working with hip dance producers like David Seaman. From the first notes of the opener "Confide in Me", you know this is not the teen pop queen of old. Kylie Minogue (also note the use of her last name on the cover) wanted to sound grown up, and she pulls it off with ease. While it is still dance-pop, there's atmosphere and style in the songs that wasn't there on Let's Get to It. Definitely the start of the second phase of her career." He had highlighted the tracks "Confide in Me", "If I Was Your Lover" and "Automatic Love" as the album picks.
Nick Levine from Digital Spy awarded the album four stars out of five. He wrote in his retrospective review, writing: "Cohesive, classy and – much like KM herself – remarkably unmarked by the passing years, this album seduced us like the high-end escort who knocked on our bedroom door bearing champagne, strawberries and an impressive selection of novelty condoms. On a more serious note, we can't end this Revisited without mentioning the quality of Kylie's vocals here – her early critics will have spat out their cappuccinos when they heard the way she grandstands on 'Automatic Love'."