Kim Wilde

Another Step

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Kim Wilde's fifth album was her eventual American breakthrough, finally giving the British singer a Top Ten hit with a Hi-NRG cover of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Competent but not groundbreaking, it was a perfectly fine, albeit not particularly memorable, single, which pretty much sums up the rest of Another Step as well. All of Wilde's previous records were produced by her brother Ricky Wilde, but although he's in charge of not quite half of this album, the rest is essayed by the Michael Jackson-related hitmaking team of Bruce Swedien and Rod Temperton, synth pop expert Richard James Burgess, and, on two tracks, Wilde herself. Naturally, the tag-team approach gives Another Step a frustratingly all-over-the-place feel, but Wilde's voice, considerably improved from chirpy early records like "Kids in America," mostly holds the album together. The album's other singles, the Temperton/Swedien effort "Say You Really Want Me" (which, to no one's surprise, sounds like a Michael Jackson reject) and the soul-pop duet with British R&B singer Junior, "Another Step (Closer to You)," sound like label-mandated product. Other tracks, like the perky "I Got So Much Love" and the downright giddy "Schoolgirl," are more listenable, but the now-dated state-of-1986 production makes even the decent tunes a bit trying at times. Another Step is an improvement over 1984's dismal Teases and Dares, but that's not saying much.