Kim draws me Close to her with this album
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 06/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Close sees Kim embracing lush pop, ditching the rock-edged sound of 1986's Another Step. The album is more consistent, with better lyrics, and shows Kim's romantic nature more than ever.I don't know why she chose the mid-paced dance number "Hey Mister Heartache" to be the first single. It has a decent enough beat, but as single material?The bubbly and celebratory "You Came" is one of Kim's best songs ever, about the inspiration and transformations a special someone can cause: "Cos in the space of a year/I've watched the old me disappear" and the exchange of temporary things for something permanent. And this failed to hit the Top Forty in the US? Words simply fail me.Love is the "Four Letter Word", and the piano and string arrangement make this mid-paced sad number more lush. When love goes, "the feeling is bad--it's the pits of the world" and the female protagonist wants to die and hide those tears. The bridge lyrics ask a timeless question: "How can something that's so beautiful/just Jekyll and Hyde around/It's too sad..."The slow-paced "Love In The Natural Way" details the double-edged sword of love, but the bridge lyrics sum up the theme: "When love's the culmination/of everything you feel/well it's the only thing that's precious/it's the only thing that's real."Ah yes, "Love's A No". One of the saddest and best Kim Wilde songs I've ever heard follows with this power pop ballad. If you thought "Four Letter Word" was sad, this is tragic. A girl says no to a commitment because she has been burned. The emotion rises to a crescendo after "then I got hurt." However, one small section offers hope and asks for forgiveness and patience: "One day-I don't know when/maybe we can try again/maybe all I need is time/hold me then say goodbye/don't hate me-for all the things I've said."Thematically "Never Trust A Stranger" is a fiercer version of the previous song, starting with a rock guitar and sound left over from Another Step. Add "with your heart" to the song title and you get the topic. See what happened to Kim: "My world is in pieces/You've stolen my pride/And I'm left defeated and crushed by your lies." Also, "Like a tiger you hunted and tracked me down/savaged my soul and took over control."The slow "You'll Be The One Who'll Lose" with a nice guitar has Kim warning a "girl in every town" guy that in the long run, he'll lose."European Soul" has a beat and rhythm like Madonna's "La Isla Bonita" only the lyrics and lush piano makes it a pleasant dive into a cool lake as she celebrates the European mystique: "I touch the paintings with the fingers of my heart." Kim's romantic nature comes out: "The world's realities are not to be denied/But must we keep destroying all our fantasies/It's hard to look beyond when terror fills our eyes/We mustn't give up trying to let our dreams survive."The synth-intense "Stone" as in "carving our fate in stone" and the strong beat left over from the Another Step album is a reminder that despite SALT I of the 70's and the 1987 Reykjavik summit, there still was the spectre of Dr. Strangelove haunting the world: "they've signed on some paper/to end all the fear/but this propaganda is perfectly clear/they're still building and testing/but what can we do/condemning the seas/and the land and the trees to a tomb" and "You can't close your eyes to the lies perpetrated by dnagerous fools." It's still timely in today's political atmosphere: "They're carving up our fate/why don't they leave us alone?"The piano and strings of her cover "Lucky Guy" about someone superhuman makes a more fitting ending rather than a 12" remix of "Hey Mister Heartache": "Some people don't seem real at all/unafraid of any mountain/sure that the gods won't let him fall/should he fall, he will always get up again." As Kim sings, "I wish I were that lucky guy."Unwisely, MCA America dropped Kim Wilde, while she continued to make such great albums such as Love Moves and Love Is in the UK, where she was better appreciated. The only improvement would've been to ditch "Hey Mister Heartache" altogether, but otherwise, one of my all-time favourite albums."
Lost 80s masterpiece
Tom | Toronto | 05/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By 1988, Kim Wilde had fully made the transition from New Wave artist to pop star, and 'Close' is a pop masterpiece which sadly remains out of print to this date. It features a number of perfect pop singles 'You Came', 'Hey Mr. Heartache', 'Four Letter Word', and 'Never Trust a Stranger'. The production is top-notch and Wilde's mix of pop and HI-NRG dance was certainly edgier than anything out of the Stock-Aitken-Waterman factory.
This was Wilde's peak as a pop star since she only released material sporadically in the years following. If you can find this album, buy it because it's a real find."
A Little Piece Of Heaven
Levi Coltrane | Manhattan, NY | 04/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You could say I bought this album because "the chick looked hot on the cover", but the truth is that when I listened to it, she blew me away! This is an incredible album. My favorite is 'You Came', but really every song is excellent."