Friday, November 14, 2014

Kim Wilde - Teases & Dares

This week (November 12th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Teases & Dares, the fourth studio album from Kim Wilde. It charted at number 66 in the UK, number 35 in Sweden, number 24 in Finland, number 22 in Germany and number 10 in Switzerland. Here in the US, it spent ten weeks total on the Billboard Album chart with a peak spot of number 84.

Side one begins with “The Touch”. As the second single, it charted at number 56 in the UK, number 34 in the Netherlands, number 29 in Germany, number 20 in Belgium, and number 15 in Denmark. The song, which describes the chemistry between two young lovers, has a heavy synth element, something that would prove dominant across the whole album.

The next track “Is It Over” was featured in the 1985 film Fletch, which starred Chevy Chase.

The bouncy “Suburbs in Moscow” tries to bring some heat to cold war isolationism.

“Fit In” strips things back a bit musically, trying to deliver a more heart-felt number. For me, though, Wilde just does not completely connect to the depth of the lyrics. I don’t buy her pain.

“Rage to Love”, the last single, went to number 94 in Australia, number 45 in Germany and number 19 in the UK. With a plunking bass line, the rockabilly song has a Stray Cats vibe to it.

Side two starts with “The Second Time” (or “Go For It” as it was known in the US). As the first single, it hit number 65 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 31 on the US Billboard Dance chart, number 29 in the UK, number 23 in the Netherlands, number 14 in Belgium, number 10 in France, number 9 in Denmark and Germany, number 7 in Switzerland, number 5 in Sweden, and number 3 in Austria. Given all my time at dance clubs in the mid-80’s, if any of the tracks on this album would have rung bells with me it would have been this one. However, after listening to it, I can honestly say I do not remember it at all. It has a good beat though.

“Bladerunner” goes to a sci-fi place at the start. One has to wonder if it was inspired by the 1982 film of the same name.

The mid-tempo “Janine” tells the tale of a young girl caught up in a situation for which she might not yet be ready.

“Shangri-La”, the B-side to the second single, has a very early 80’s synth sway of a rhythm.

The closing track is “Thought It Was Goodbye”.

I thought Teases & Dares was an okay record. Unfortunately, there was not many standout tracks from my first listen to it. I suspect subsequent passes might yield a bit more in that area. I might revisit it again someday.

For more on Kim Wilde, click here.

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