Christmas came 11 months early yesterday in the form of two new Kylie video clips. "In My Arms" premiered in the morning, followed by the unveiling of "Wow" on Perez Hilton less than 24 hours later. The verdict? Kylie has lifted her game, producing two of the best videos of her entire career. If you haven't seen the clips yet, try youtube. Unfortunately, EMI appear to be taking down the videos as soon as they appear but you can always check them out on the fabulous Kylies Welt. Here are my thoughts on both clips.
In My Arms
The thing I love most about the "In My Arms" video is that it is quintessentially Kylie. Colourful and quirky without trying too hard, "In My Arms" expertly walks the line between camp and cool. It's also a perfect example of a clever idea executed on a relatively small budget. I'm not implying "In My Arms" was filmed on Dannii's mobile phone but the big bucks were obviously put aside for the considerably more glossy "Wow" video clip. If anything, the video benefits from the smaller scale - forcing the entire project to be sleeker and more inventive. The opening scene in the blue recording studio is positively iconic (the hair, that dress, those shades!) but my favourite part is the adorable fan sequence. It's good to know that Kylie still has her sense of humour! The only part of the video I don't like is the use of boxes, which is becoming a boring trend. People have cited the comparisons with Robyn's hideous UK "Handle Me" video but that shamelessly ripped off Dannii's "So Under Pressure". I'm sure Dannii won't mind Kylie stealing the idea back for the Minogue clan.
After the unexpected magnificence of "In My Arms", it was always going to be hard for the "Wow" clip to live up to expectations. If there is an unfortunate aspect of getting two amazing new videos in the one day, it's the apparent desire to pit them against each other. While the majority clearly favour boxed up Kylie, I slightly prefer "Wow". I love the Little Lord Fauntleroy bob, the bizarre spacesuit and the neon lights. Most of all, I love seeing what Kylie can come up with when her record company throws money at a project. The result is a glossy visual treat. The use of silhouettes and lighting effects is inspired and it's a joy to finally see Kylie dancing again. Then, there's the hilarious set-up. "Wow" being played in a club full of heterosexuals? Get out of here! As usual, the Madonna trolls are crying foul, claiming "Wow" rips off "Sorry". That clip shamelessly stole from Kylie's own "In Your Eyes", so I guess they're even. Personally, I think Kylie was more inspired by Menly C's "I Want Candy"!
In other exciting news, "Wow" has now officially been named as the first US single instead of the previously reported "2 Hearts". I guess that explains why "Wow" got the lion's share of the video budget and the Perez Hilton premiere. I have my doubts how the song will fare on US radio but if Cascada can chart in the US, anything is possible!
I can't believe how brilliant the "Wow" and "In My Arms" B-sides sound. I guess I should be used to Kylie's annoying habit of saving her best material for the scrap heap but this is ridiculous. "Do It Again" and "Carried Away" sound like they could be two of the best songs from the entire "X" era. "Cherry Bomb", on the other hand, strikes me as Bloodshy & Avant by the numbers but I'll wait to hear the song in full before making judgement. You can listen to clips of all three B-sides here. I can't wait for the 18th of February so I can get my hands on this fabulous shit! In the meantime, enjoy this amazing live performance of "In My Arms" from France's NRJ Music Awards.