Kim at Her Most Mature.
Reviews No More | 08/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of longtime Kim Wilde fans don't like this album as it's such a far cry from her power pop/new wave roots and it's also more mellow than her pop/dance fare. As a US fan who never got the chance to collect all her albums after 1988 until 2 years ago, I can tell you that anyone who is surprised by this album only have themselves to blame. Why? Because the signs were there of her reaching this point from Teases and Dares on up to this project. If "Thought it Was Goodbye" didn't tell you Kim was going in a different direction on that album (particularly since it was the final cut), you weren't paying very apt attention. Every successor to that album became more poppy and soulful, until we got this very slick project that sounds like a Swing Out Sister album more than a few times.
The production is very glossy, the numbers mostly smooth jazz ala SOS and Sade than soul, and Kim sings like an angel on each and every track. There are only three upkey dance numbers, the best of them being the opener "Breaking Away," complete with its gospel rooted vocals. Most of the album is very easy on the ears, and her voice is at its pinnacle in the studio this time. Best songs are definitely "Come On and Love Me" which give Swing Out Sister's "Making the Right Move" an equally sensual but shorter run for the money, "Life and Soul," the hearachingly beautiful title track, and my personal favorite, "You're All I Wanna Do," which should be somebody's wedding song. It's so beautiful that if I get married one day, I think I may consider it!
I've been listening to Kim Wilde since I was 18, and that was in 1982, so I love her in all her phases. You can listen to a lot of the fans who won't let go of the past, or you can let me tell you right now that this is her best album before she gave it all up and became the happy housewife, mother, and gardener. This is a great, romantic soulful album by somebody who has gone on to do better things with her life personally. Close was voted as her best album of all time on a website I frequent, including by myself. While that's true, this is my personal favorite. Kim was never happy as a sex symbol, and if this proves to have been her final studio album despite the rumors of a new album after all, I say it's a gorgeous swan song."
Easily Ms. Wilde's nadir
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Now a wife and mother, and having stated her intention to abandon her recording career to dedicate her time towards her family, this may very likely be the last full-length album from Kim Wilde that her fans ever hear. Sadly, her swan song is truly disappointing, especially considering that it followed her 1992 masterpiece, Love Is. "Breaking Away," the opening track and first single, sounds as if it could fit in on any of Wilde's previous albums. The rest of the album, though, is truly wretched mid-'90s dance music with none of the thoughtfulness that characterized her earlier releases. Despite Wilde's writing credits on most of the tracks, her personality which was so apparent on her other albums does not come across. These are simple, anonymous disco tunes that could have been sung by anybody. Buy anything else by Kim Wilde, and you'll probably be satisfied, but for someone who has not yet familiarized him- or herself with her work, this is not representative of what she is capable of. For completists only."
A New Kim for a New Crowd
giles corey | CA, USA | 02/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kim Wilde tried valiantly to shed her old "New Wave" image in favor of a "white soul" diva touch with "Now & Forever". The result: not wholly unsuccessful. Feeding UK tabloids that focused entirely on her "weight issues", a newly svelte Kim landed a high-profile boyfriend and hit the airwaves. The companion album is polished and chart-ready with a lilting soul approach that showcases her rich alto in an entirely new light. Never before has Ms. Wilde sounded so confident as she does on "You're all I wanna do", or "C'Mon Love Me" - neo-soul numbers that seem carved for the darkest lounge rather than the darkest rock clubs of her youth. Though the resulting collection may seem jarring to long-time fans, nobody can argue Ms. Wilde is alien to the trends of the time - more than ten years after its release, "Now & Forever" sounds strangely current. And the prices demanded over internet sales sites only further justify her foray into adult-soul. Though some earlier albums may better succeed in jump-starting your weekend, none are as mature, booming, or just plain "cool" as "Now & Forever"."