Cowboy Style

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"Cowboy Style"
Single by Kylie Minogue
from the album Impossible Princess
B-side "Love Takes Over Me"
Released 18 August 1998
Format
Recorded London, England
Length 4:44
Label Mushroom
Writer(s)
Producer(s) Brothers in Rhythm
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
"Breathe"
(1998)
"Cowboy Style"
(1998)
"GBI: German Bold Italic"
(1998)

"Cowboy Style" is a song by Australian recording artist Kylie Minogue, taken from her sixth studio album Impossible Princess (1997). It was written by Minogue, Steve Anderson and Dave Seaman, and production was handled by Brothers in Rhythm. The song was only released in Australasia in 18 August 1998 by Mushroom Records, as her record deal with Deconstruction Records had expired, where Minogue did not renew it. The song was written and recorded as one of the first songs from the album, whilst recording it with Steve Anderson during the Box sessions. Musically, "Cowboy Style" channels yet another different musical genre for Minogue, having been inspired by country music and folk pop. Lyrically, the song talks about her relationship with director and photographer Stéphane Sednaoui, using mystical and eastern metaphors to establish a creative relationship.

The song received favorable reviews from music critics, who praised her creative lyrical content and found it was another reinvention for Minogue. Due to its limited release, "Cowboy Style" was only released in Australia and New Zealand, only managing to chart in Australia at number thirty-nine, becoming her lowest solo entry and lowest single overall in her native Australia until it was surpassed by her 2011 single "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)" and was eventually surpassed by her Towa Tei collaboration "GBI: German Bold Italic", which was released two months after the song. Minogue performed the song on three of her concert tours.

Background and music[edit]

"Cowboy Style" was the last single chosen from the Impossible Princess album. The song was only released in Australia because Minogue had fully finished her contract deal with her label Deconstruction Records, with "Breathe" being the last single from the label and the song having particular success during the Intimate and Live.[1] The song was written by Minogue, Steve Anderson and Dave Seaman, while produced was handled by the albums core producer Brothers in Rhythm and Minogue.[2] "Cowboy Style" was one of the first songs to be recorded with Anderson at the Box Sessions, with the other three being "Too Far", "Did It Again" and "Limbo".[3]

Musically, "Cowboy Style" channels yet another different musical genre for Minogue, having been inspired by country music and folk pop. Nick Levine examined the musical composition for the song and wrote that "Oh, and in 'Cowboy Style', it has a track that manages to sound a little bit Celtic and a little bit Middle Eastern. Petey W must have wept!"[4] Sal Cinquemani from Slant Magazine examined that "Cowboy Style," features a tribal percussion break and a string quartet that sounds more celtic than country. He likened Minogue's vocal performance by saying "Like Madonna, Minogue acknowledges the limitations of her vocal range by never venturing outside of her comfort zone [...]" He initially compared this due to Madonna's album Ray of Light being released not long after Impossible Princess to which critics had compared it because it "bears a striking resemblance to Ray of Light, that other worldwide pop queen's landmark album."[5]

Lyrically, the song uses multiple metaphors to contast Minogue's relationship with then-boyfriend Stéphane Sednaoui, who had directed the artwork and photoshoot for Impossible Princess. According to Minogue's long-term friend and collaborator William Baker, he wrote; "In her songs she often described him using the metaphors of Eastern mysticism," referencing the lyrics "From the temple, won't you stay a while..."[1] He compared it to the lyrical content of "GBI: German Bold Italic", a song she collaborated with Towa Tei and wrote; "The song 'Sometime Samurai' [...] has never been released but included the lines 'Man of the moment, possibly all time, sing to me a lullaby.' 'Cowboy Style' echoed and expanded her sentiments: 'Shed my skin when you came in, Where do you end and I begin [...]"[1]

Artwork[edit]

The single cover was shot during the Intimate and Live tour that Minogue commenced while in her native Australia, shot by Simon Emmert.[6] The cover shot featured Minogue with a leather bra on with a cowboy hat.[6] Another shot was used as a flyer for her tour that same era. Idolator had listed the artwork as one of "Kylie's Best Single Covers", saying "Leather bra and a cowboy hat. Enough said."[7]

Reception[edit]

Chris True from Allmusic, had said that the review threw the album that it is "stronger in a natural way". He had highlighted the song for her 1998 album Impossible Princess.[8] Slant Magazine's Sal Cinquemani described the track as having "a tribal percussion break and a string quartet that sounds more Celtic than Country (but is effective nonetheless)."[9] Michael R. Smith from Daily Vault was heavily positive, comparing the song that was re-released on the parent album in 2002 to American singer Madonna's song "Don't Tell Me", writing; "“Cowboy Style” is everything a country-tinged song like Madonna’s “Don’t Tell Me” should have been. It’s the one track that left me wanting more of the same - extended remixes, at the very least."[10] John Mangan from The Age was generally positive in his review, saying that the song is a "funky hoe-down sound."[11] A reviewer from the publication TheBacklot listed the song at number 11 on their "Kylie Minogue's Best Songs, In Honor of Her Birthday" and said "This stylistic mishmash (featuring a deep Celtic sound that, maybe, Alison Krauss could fiddle along with) is a hard-driving, adrenalized, sexualized quest for freedom. How do you deal with the fact that Kylie sings, “I am frightened / I’m aroused / I’m enlightened to the now” and totally sells it?"[12]

Commercially, the song was very limited. The song entered at number thirty-nine for only a sole week on the week end date 18 October 1998, making it the lowest entering single that week.[13] The song became both Minogue's lowest solo charting single and lowest single overall in her native Australia until it was surpassed by her 2011 single "Put Your Hands Up (If You Feel Love)" and was eventually surpassed by her Towa Tei collaboration "GBI: German Bold Italic", which was released two months after the song.[14]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Cowboy Style" was taped during a sound check at one of the "Intimate and Live" shows. While the original performance on the tour was performed live, the music video was dubbed to include the studio version audio instead of the live vocals. The video wasn't released worldwide, and was only shown in Australia and New Zealand.

Formats and track listings[edit]

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Cowboy Style".

  • Australian CD single
  1. "Cowboy Style" (Radio Edit) – 3:51
  2. "Love Takes Over Me" (Single version) – 4:09
  3. "Cowboy Style" music video
  • Australian CD promo
  1. "Cowboy Style" (Radio Edit) – 3:51
  2. "Love Takes Over Me" (Single version) – 4:09

Official versions[edit]

  • Album version (4:44)
  • Radio edit (3:51)
  • KylieFever2002 (studio version) (6:22)

Live performances[edit]

Minogue performed the song on the following concert tours:

Charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position[15]
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[16] 39

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kylie: La La La Liner Notes. Pg. 107-108.
  2. ^ Impossible Princess: Liner notes.
  3. ^ Kylie by Sean Smith. Pg. 135.
  4. ^ Digital Spy review.
  5. ^ http://www.slantmagazine.com/music/review/kylie-minogue-impossible-princess/371
  6. ^ a b Kylie 1999. Published in 1999.
  7. ^ http://www.idolator.com/photos/kylie-minogue-style-evolution/kylie-minogue-did-it-again?page=1&t=
  8. ^ ""Cowboy Style"". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Kylie Minogue: Impossible Princess | Music Review". Slant Magazine. 2003-11-19. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  10. ^ Daily Vault review.
  11. ^ John Mangan. "Review of Impossible Princess". The Age. 1998.
  12. ^ http://www.thebacklot.com/kylie-minogues-50-best-songs-in-honor-of-her-birthday/05/2013/3/
  13. ^ Cowboy Style | 18 October 1998.
  14. ^ http://www.slokylie.com/disc/albums/06-ip.html
  15. ^ "World Chart Positions". SloKylie.com: The Slovenian Kylie Page. Retrieved 11 July 2006.
  16. ^ Steffen Hung. "Kylie Minogue - Cowboy Style". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 

External links[edit]