Kim Wilde's number one cover of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" gave her a number one hit back in 1987, but she gained chart life five years earlier with the glitzy bounce of "Kids in America," allied with the new decade's keyboard-laden pop sound and peaking at number 25 on Billboard's Top 40. The Singles Collection 1981-1993 is easily the most opportune avenue available to investigate the rest of Wilde's material. While video may have been her best friend throughout her career, sporting her attractive looks and modest Brit attitude, Wilde's music does contain some pleasing dance hooks and catchy melodies. "Another Step (Closer to You)" and "Love Is Holy" are bright and lively with typical yet congenial pop melodies, while "You Came" mixes a clean, keyboard-aided backdrop to Wilde's sheer vocal style. "Chequered Love" and "Water on Glass" aren't genius, but their arrant pop melodies and simplistic beats are anything but standstill.
The Collection is a compilation album for the new wave/dance diva best known for her 1982 hit 'Kids in America'. This collection basically sums up the second half of Kim Wilde's career. Includes 18 tracks: 'You Came', 'Never Trust a Stranger' and more.
There's no doubt many heard Kim Wilde searching for the beat on "Kids in America," but know now that she finds it – thus, the rest of this sterling debut comes dangerously close in quality to that killer kickoff. The second cut, "Water on Glass," follows the sound from the wild streets to Wilde's brain, maintaining a high level of exuberant class. Weird staccato runs down the streets of "Our Town," while "Everything We Know" chills into an icy groove. Wilde only wants to be free in "Young Heroes," and by side two's single, "Chequered Love," she gives permission to touch her and do anything (surprising, considering her pro-pop dad and brother wrote the whole LP). Hard guitars and xylophones get physical, until horns and ska skip into "2-6-5-8-0"; by this point in the record, Wilde can pull off anything she wants, and ends up sounding like a No Doubt B-side. "You'll Never Be So Wrong" mellows the turgid tempo but not the precise passion, and she just plain gets upset in "Falling Out." From the womb to the end of "Tuning in Turning On," Kim Wilde is one excellent inaugural, one excellent chapter in the evolution of hi-NRG, and one excellent slab everyone should own.
Kim Wilde's second album didn't score any hits on the level of the debut's "Kids in America," although the dramatic "Cambodia" was a sort of cult favorite in some circles. That said, it's a far better album than the patchy debut; the songs, again by brother Rikki Wilde with occasional collaborations by father Marty Wilde, don't have the bubblegum tinge that colored much of 1981's Kim Wilde. The arrangements are more synth-oriented, at times approaching the dark atmospherics of Japan or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. The occasionally melodramatic lyrics cover topics like police brutality and paranoia – unsurprisingly, new insights aren't much in evidence – and even the love songs, like the delicate "View from a Bridge," aren't exactly happy. The overall vibe of this album is so chilly that the one basically upbeat song, "Can You Come Over," sounds really out of place, but overall, it works. Wilde sings with a clinical detachment here that suits her voice quite well; whenever Wilde tries to emote musically, the results sound forced and melodramatic, but her icy edge on this album is surprisingly appealing.