Since Kylie Minogue recently tweeted that there is lots of celebrations in place for her 25 year anniversary since the release of her debut single ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, forums have been busy speculating what might be on the cards. It could be a tour, or an ‘anti-tour’ of small venues as Kylie has mentioned she’d like to do this quite recently, a new Greatest Hits collection, a rarities and B-side collection, an album of her classic hits re-interpreted and updated for 2012, the suggestions are endless. Whatever the plans are, Kylie fans worldwide are clearly excited, as is the superstar herself.

As we approach this monumental point in Kylie’s career, I thought I would take a look back and chart some of my personal favourite moments. I will list my Top Five songs from each album, my Top Five tours, my Top Twenty B-sides and rarities and finally my Top Ten albums and tracks overall. While this may sound exhaustive, I am a Kylie and list-lover and I have time on my hands. Feel free to comment and add your own favourites. Who knows, we could start a revolution right here and maybe even influence the upcoming plans!

Kylie (1988)

1. Turn It Into Love

2. Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi

3. It’s No Secret

4. I Should Be So Lucky

5. Got To Be Certain



Enjoy Yourself (1989)

1. Wouldn’t Change a Thing

2. Never Too Late

3. Enjoy Yourself

4. I’m Over Dreaming (Over You)

5. Hand on Your Heart



Rhythm of Love (1990)

1. Better The Devil You Know

2. Shocked

3. Step Back In Time

4. What Do I Have To Do?

5. The World Still Turns



Let’s Get To It (1991)

1. If You Were With Me Now

2. Finer Feelings

3. Live & Learn

4. Give Me Just a Little More Time

5. Word is Out



Kylie Minogue (1994)

1. Confide In Me

2. Where Is The Feeling?

3. Automatic Love

4. Put Yourself In My Place

5. Dangerous Game



 Impossible Princess (1998)

1. Some Kind of Bliss

2. Limbo

3. Cowboy Style

4. I Don’t Need Anyone

5. Too Far



Light Years (2000)

1. Your Disco Needs You

2. Disco Down

3. Light Years

4. Butterfly

5. On A Night Like This



Fever (2001)

1. Can’t Get You Out of My Head

2. Love At First Sight

3. Love Affair

4. Come Into My World

5. Dancefloor



Body Language (2003)

1. Slow

2. Chocolate

3. Red Blooded Woman

4. Loving Days

5. Secret (Take You Home)



X (2007)

1. The One

2. Wow

3. White Diamond

4. Speakerphone

5. Stars



Aphrodite (2010)

1. All The Lovers

2. Aphrodite

3. Get Outta My Way

4. Cupid Boy

5. Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)



Top Five Kylie Tours

1. Aphrodite: Les Folies Tour

2. Kylie Fever 2002

3. Showgirl Homecoming

4. Intimate & Live

5. KylieX2008


Top Twenty Kylie B-sides & Rarities

1. Boy (Can’t Get You Out of My Head B-side, 2001)

2. Paper Dolls (Spinning Around B-side, 2000)

3. Fall For You (X sessions, 2007)

4. BPM (I Believe In You B-side, 2004)

5. Boombox (Body Language sessions, 2003)

6. Flower (X sessions, 2007)

7. Baby (Love at First Sight B-side, 2002)

8. Cherry Bomb (Wow B-side, 2007)

9. Tightrope (In Your Eyes B-side, 2002)

10. Carried Away (Wow B-side, 2007)

11. Ocean Blue (On a Night Like This B-side, 2000)

12. Made In Heaven (Je Ne Sais Pas Pourquoi B-side, 1988)

13. The Real Thing (Sample People Soundtrack, 1999)

14. Do You Dare (Give Me Just a Little More Time B-side, 1992)

15. Made of Glass (Giving You Up B-side, 2005)

16. Tears (Did It Again B-side, 1997)

17. If You Don’t Love Me (Confide In Me B-side, 1994)

18. Closer (Unreleased, 1991)

19. Take Me With You (Hits+, 2000)

20. Love Love Love (Aphrodite sessions, 2010)


Top Ten Kylie Albums

1. Aphrodite (2010)

2. Fever (2001)

3. Rhythm of Love (1990)

4. Light Years (2000)

5. Impossible Princess (1998)

6. X (2007)

7. Kylie Minogue (1994)

8. Kylie (1988)

9. Enjoy Yourself (1989)

10. Let’s Get To It (1991)


Top Ten Kylie Tracks 

1. All The Lovers

2. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

3. Better The Devil You Know

4. Confide In Me

5. Love at First Sight

6. Turn It Into Love

7. Shocked

8. The One

9. Your Disco Needs You

1o. Where the Wild Roses Grow (with Nick Cave)

Let me know what your favourites are! Watch some of Kylie’s classic videos below.

What do you think Kylie should do to celebrate 25 years in the business?

Written by James Christopher Sheppard

As a music critic and reviewer, I tend to write a review as soon as I have an album in my possession or have some way of listening to it in it’s entirety. Therefore, what I write tends to be based on an intense listen or two to each track. Now that I have reviewed around thirty albums, I now sometimes reconsider my reviews. Of course, the reviews I have written represent my first impression and most of the time, that opinion sticks, but sometimes an album grows and grows on me, and other times I don’t listen to them after reviewing them.

The main album that springs to mind that I would now give a hands down 10/10 rating is Charlie Simpson‘s debut Young Pilgrim. The more I have listened to it, the more I enjoy it. Having given ‘I Need a Friend Tonight’ 7/10, it would now easily get a 10. The album words together so coherently, it really deserves to be heard. If you haven’t yet given it a listen, I would strongly recommend that you do.

An album that I would potentially give a less favourable rating to now is Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way. On first listen, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the album, but I have only revisited it a handful of times since its release back in May. In reflection the album is instantly likeable, but does little to keep you wanting to return for more. I will admit to having a love/hate relationship with this album. I have struggled to appreciate ‘Born This Way’, ‘Judas’, ‘Hair’ and ‘You and I’ at all. To me, they are not a patch on anything on The Fame or The Fame Monster. Gaga’s recent car crash appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards as her alter ego Jo Calderone has not helped to re-instate my desire for more. Poor Britney Spears looked petrified as Gaga presented her with the ‘Michael Jackson Vanguard Award’.

Albums I am listening to at the moment that will be reviewed soon include The Sea by Melanie C, the new self titled Evanescence album and Torches by Foster the People.


Scrolling through the current best selling albums on Itunes, I come across 50 Words for Snow sitting happily on pre-orders alone at number 91 by the iconic Kate Bush. My eyes literally pop out of their sockets and my stomach tightens, especially when I do some research. Yes, just four months since Directors Cut, Bush has announced that her tenth studio album will be released on 21st November this year. With the shortest track coming in at 6:55 and the longest at 13:49, the seven track collection of completely brand new material will run for a total of 65 minutes. The album will apparently be set against a backdrop of falling snow, which is somewhat fitting, given the recent past few snow-filled winters we have had. At least this year we can sit in front of the fire with some brand new Kate serenading us.  I am very excited.

Check out the 2011 version of ‘The Red Shoes’ below to wet your appetite!

Written by James Christopher Sheppard

The original Pop Idol returns, Will Young releases his fifth studio album, Echoes, at the end of August. Young hasn’t made big waves since his second album Friday’s Child when it reached five times platinum status and provided him with the massive single ‘Leave Right Now’ and ‘Your Game’. However, all of his album releases have gone Top Ten in the UK and been certified platinum. The openly gay popstar clearly has a devoted and loyal fan base, but can Echoes propel him back to the success of his early days? The entire album is produced by electronic and synthpop producer Richard X, so the collection should be more attention grabbing than Young’s last rather unmemorable effort, Let It Go.



First single, ‘Jealousy’, has already created some excitement amongst the Young fan-base, perhaps due to the upbeat feel of the song. It’s a simple, breezy, emotional tinged synth pop with an 80s feel. The song does have a certain charm, but is unlikely to have the masses yearning to hear it over and over again.



‘Come On’

The tempo and mood is accelerated on ‘Come On’, combining the synth sound with an almost Florence and the Machine ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)’ drum beat with an element of ‘Maps’ by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. While the song certainly shares some similarities with the aforementioned songs, ‘Game On’ feels modern, radio friendly and certainly more addictive than ‘Jealousy’.




Sister track to ‘Jealousy’, ‘Runaway’ is breezy with mellow 80s synths circulating around Young sticking to his higher register. This is pretty catchy, with a hypnotic melody.



‘Lie Next to Me’

It’s ballad time and ‘Lie Next to Me’ will make Will Young fans happy enough. It’s quite dream-like, with Young relying on his voice to carry the song. The production is almost like a boy band Christmas single from the late 90s or early 00s. The emotion comes across in Young’s vocal, but the lyrics are almost too simple to really evoke an emotional reaction. Some people will absolutely love it, some may not. I’m somewhere in the middle.



‘Safe From Harm’

Almost Scissor Sister sounding, ‘Safe From Harm’ has a slightly darker element to it than the first four tracks. The synths are complimented by a simple piano played melody and Young uses his voice more variably, which is a breath of fresh air at this point.



‘Good Things’

Will seems to have jumped eras and gone from the 80s into the mid 90s. ‘Good Things’ sounds inspired by George Michael’s classic hit ‘Fastlove’, which knowing his audience is possibly a stroke of genius. A pretty decent example of adult pop, I can already imagine my Mum listening to this on repeat.



‘Happy Now’

The first song to not rely on synth-pop is ‘Happy Now’. Usually I listen to a song while I write about it… I have to say I listened to the whole of this track and had only written one sentence. What can I say about ‘Happy Now’? It’s a pretty slow to mid-tempo song about Will singing about being happy now. The instrumentation is quite refreshing at this point and Will sounds more comfortable here than on some other points on the album, but it is a little dull.



‘Hearts on Fire’

Another tempo change, ‘Hearts on Fire’ is an understated dance number that I can imagine being played in Soho’s coolest bars. The melody is darker than most of the album and the whole song has a certain dangerous and intriguing sexuality about it.



‘Personal Thunder’

Another dark, brooding number, ‘Personal Thunder’ cements Young’s position as the current answer to being what George Michael was during his Older period. The emotion behind ‘Thunder’ is enchanting.



‘Losing Myself’

This is possibly the most 80s sounding track on the album to this point. It could almost be a hit factory produced mid-tempo ballad. It’s not bad.



‘Silent Valentine’

Featuring the most unique and original production on the collection, ‘Silent Valentine’ is transformed from just another synth-heavy electronic slow number, to a gradual captivating track that is one of the most memorable featured here.



‘I Just Want a Lover’

Considering this is almost entirely an electronic album, there are very few cub-worthy moments, but this is definitely one of them. Appealing to a more mature ear, and perhaps a crowd at a swanky cocktail bar rather than your local Oceana club, ‘I Just Want a Lover’ picks up where ‘Good Things’ left off. ‘I just want a lover, nothing that is complicated. I don’t have to know you, we don’t have to talk about it’ Young sings as the song closes. Could this be Will’s sexiest moment yet?


Read the full review at Eyewear


Written by James Christopher Sheppard

Florence and the Machine have just unveiled their first brand new single since ‘Heavy in Your Arms’ was featured on the last Twilight soundtrack. The band’s debut album, Lungs, was a massive success, making #1 on the UK album chart and being certified four times platinum. Expectations are understandably high for the new material, and ‘What the Water Gave Me’ does not disappoint. With references to a Frida Khalo painting and the author Virginia Woolf, the new track is every bit as full of drama as you’d expect. The best thing about ‘What the Water Gave Me’ is that is not what would generally be expected as the first single from their new album. It isn’t necessarily commercial orientated, but epic- in every sense of the word. Welch’s unmistakable vocal is complimented by a choir of backing vocalists and an intense string arrangement. The song is jam-packed with emotion and drama and builds over it’s 5 minutes and 33 seconds to anthemic status. The album will follow in November and if it’s anything like this, it will be absolutely brilliant. 10/10

Watch the video for ‘What the Water Gave Me’ by Florence and the Machine here:

Charlie Simpson’s Young Pilgrim

Reviewed by James Christopher Sheppard

Charlie Simpson is a name many will know. Some from his days as a third of teen bopping band Busted and some will know him as front man of alternative rock band Fightstar. Either way, Simpson has been known since 2002 and has been a part of five studio albums. At the age of 26, Charlie is releasing his first full-length solo release and it sounds pretty distanced from anything the singer/songwriter has been involved in before.
‘Down Down Down’
First single from the album is a good indication of what is to come. The song is entirely acoustic driven, with thick as treacle vocals, laden with emotional depth. The folk-rock ballad is stacked with multi-layered harmonies and builds to a gentle climax.
‘Parachutes’, also the second single, picks up the pace and builds on what ‘Down, Down’ has already established. This is possibly the most radio-friendly and mature that Simpson has ever sounded. Brilliant.
‘All at Once’
‘All at Once’ at first entices with it’s toe tapping beats, but the sound soon turns to a sorrow filled as the song of heartbreak progresses. Simpson’s vocals sound confident and crystal clear, with the song completely utilising his unique tones.
Gentle, with a subtlety that draws you right in to the melodic dreamy higher tones of vocal harmony going on in the background, ‘Thorns’ is a careful ballad. The softer verses against the more exuberant choruses work wonders here.
The fifth track shifts the memento into a new direction. ‘Cemetery’ is a combination of pop-rock-folk, which makes for a charming reminiscent song and one of absolute authenticity. Simpson’s voice is pushed to the limit, experimenting with his higher range and occasionally showing moments of strain, which surprisingly, adds to the song.
‘Hold On’
The most mellow moment of the album so far, ‘Hold On’, is lead by multiple layers of Simpson’s harmonies against a backdrop of strings, arranged by the renowned string arranger, Audrey Riley. A well crafted smooth ballad.
‘I Need a Friend Tonight’
The second string lead track, with assistance from Riley, is simple and melodic. ‘Friend’ is mid-tempo, soft and changes the mood of the album somewhat, as Simpson and the song both remain quite delicate and fragile. It’s hard to decipher whether ‘Friend’ is Simpson claiming he has found or is looking for religion, or if he is claiming he is lost and still can’t find his way home. I’ll let you decide, but it’s a pleasant song all the same.
The tempo picks up a little with ‘Suburbs’, but the song in all it’s simplicity does little to further what is already great about Young Pilgrim. ‘I need you now, I need you now’ Simpson repeats. It’s possibly the least remarkable song on the album, but it still is not bad.
The temp change was only temporary as we are back down to the balladry of ‘Hold On’. ‘My heart is yearning for you dear’- this strikingly scarce track is one of the most powerful on Young Pilgrim in terms of pure passion.
Read the rest of the review at Eyewear

Written by James Christopher Sheppard 

It’s exactly 15 years since the Spice Girls burst onto the British music scene with ‘Wannabe’ and stormed to number one. In July 1996 an unknown all-girl pop group were suddenly all over television and radio promoting a song more pop than pop itself, about really really wanting a zig-a-zig-ah and friendship never ending. The sentiment was fresh and girl power was born. The group were hard to miss, with each girl having their own individual style, which at the time was practically unheard of in the pop world. Prior to Ginger, Baby, Sporty, Scary and Posh, the commercial music industry, particularly in the UK, was dominated by indie pop bands like Oasis, Blur and Radiohead, the super divas Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, and boybands that dressed the same like Take That and Boyzone. Despite their beginnings as a manufactured group, Geri, Melanie C, Emma, Melanie B and Victoria broke away, wrote their own songs, got themselves signed and did it their way. The Spice Girls represented freedom, fun, girl power and individuality and the world loved it. In celebration of this 15 year anniversary, I’m going to look at some of the highlights that have come from this phenomenally successful group of girls over the years.

Spice was the must-have album of 1996 if you were at school. With only ten tracks, half of the songs were #1 singles. While people remember ‘Wannabe’, ‘Say You’ll Be There’, ‘2 Become 1’, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and ‘Mama’, the album also boasts some pretty extraordinary album tracks, like ‘If U Can’t Dance’ and ‘Naked’. Spice was released on 4th November 1996 and went on to sell over 23 million copies worldwide. In just a few months since the girls released ‘Wannabe’, Spicemania was hitting fever pitch. There were Spice Girls chupa chucks, Spice Girls duvet sets, Spice Girls wall-paper, Spice Girls Pepsi cans, Spice Girls chocolate bars, Spice Girls dolls- Spice Girls everything!

Just twelve months after Spice, came it’s second coming, SpiceWorld. If ever there was a part one and part two of an album, it was Spice and SpiceWorld. ‘Spice Up Your Life’, ‘Too Much’ and ‘Viva Forever’ all hit #1 in the UK, whilst ‘Stop’ stalled at #2. SpiceWorld was not only the band’s second album, but also the soundtrack to their movie of the same name. While the movie may have been panned by critics, it still managed to top the UK box office over Christmas 1997 and hit #2 in the USA, stopping behind ‘Titanic’. SpiceWorld seemed to pretty much mirror the success of Spice, selling over 20 million copies and sitting comfortably inside the Best Selling Albums of All-Time list.

In May 1998, during the ‘Spice World Tour’, Geri Halliwell split from the group, which certainly affected the future of the group. As chief songwriter and the master mind behind Girl Power, what seemed to be the passionate creator of the group, had jumped ship. Melanie B was the first of all of the girls to release a solo single, which was the urban ‘I Want You Back’ with Missy Elliot, which struck #1 on the same day as one of the group’s Wembley Stadium shows. Later that year, after almost a year of touring, the four remaining girls recorded and released ‘Goodbye’, scoring their eighth #1 and third consecutive Christmas #1.

1999 was a quiet year for the group, but was the first time we saw Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie C step out as soloists. Geri Halliwell released her first solo album, Schizophonic, which closely followed the Spice Girl album ingredients- ten brilliantly catchy pop songs. ‘Look at Me’ hit #2, while ‘Mi Chico Latino’, ‘Lift Me Up’ and ‘Bag It Up’ all made it to #1. Emma’s first release outside of the Spice Girls was a cover of ‘What I am’, recorded with Tin Tin Out, which hit #2, behind Halliwell’s ‘Lift Me Up’. Melanie C initially experienced the least successful start to her solo career. While her duet with Bryan Adams, ‘When You’re Gone’ had a been a huge hit the previous year, Melanie’s first few solo singles, ‘Goin’ Down’ and ‘Northern Star’ were only moderately successful and her album Northern Star charted at #10 and swiftly fell out of the chart. Despite the luke-warm reception to Melanie C’s solo work, when ‘Never Be The Same Again’ was released in early 2000, the song soared to #1 and remained there for two weeks. Northern Star subsequently re-charted and climbed to #4, eventually shifting over 4 million copies worldwide. Northern Star remains the most successful release from any solo Spice Girl.

Three years after Spiceworld, came Forever. The album was heavily R&B influenced, apposed to the previous pure pop sound the group had stuck to. The double A-side ‘Holler’ and ‘Let Love Lead The Way’ hit #1 and the album made #2 but quickly disappeared from the chart and memory. The album was largely seen a failure, both commercially and critically and spelled out the end of the Spice Girls.

Also at the end of 2000, came Melanie B’s debut solo effort, the underperforming Hot. While the album produced a couple of top ten hits, ‘Tell Me’ and ‘Feels So Good’, Melanie B’s solo career never really gained any momentum. Just when it was looking like the golden five-year wonder of the Spice Girls was coming to an end, Geri Halliwell released her biggest success to date, her cover of the Weather Girls’ ‘It’s Raining Men’, which stayed at #1 for two weeks and served as the theme to the massive movie ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’. Around the same time Emma Bunton released her debut solo album, A Girl Like Me, with lead single ‘What Took You So Long’ which, like Halliwell’s ‘Men’, hit #1 and stayed there for two weeks.

Victoria Beckham was the last Spice Girl to release a solo album. Her self titled album received very poor critical and commercial success and she has yet to make another. Where her singing career has waned, Victoria has become the best known of all of the girls. She is now a very successful fashion designer, television personality and is, of course, married to David Beckham and is mother to their four children. Victoria’s most successful single remains ‘Out of Your Mind’ with Truesteppers, although it is ‘Let Your Head Go’ which seems to be the favourite with fans.

Read the rest of this article at Eyewear