Single Review: Kim Wilde “Water On Glass”

Water On Glass
Album: Kim Wilde
Year: 1981

Horrifying sounds keep Kim Wilde from living her life in “Water On Glass.” According to a Billboard USA article reprinted on Kimwilde.com, “the song is about a medically rare minority of people who continually hear noises in their head and can’t be cured of them.”

The noises are getting louder and feel like they could be coming from across the street or in the house. She’s trapped inside her mind and can’t leave. The noises have taken over her life. (“There’s a sound vaporising into vision/It’s a sound in my head/That I feel and it shuts me in a prison”).

She begs for the sharp, piercing sounds to end but to no avail. (“Say it won’t last/Say it will pass/Always the sound in my brain/Can you hear it…Water on glass running round again/Help me, the sound of running water’s/Coming down”).

She doesn’t only hear water running but other sounds, too. She can’t think anymore. Her thoughts have been taken away from her. (“Dancing away/Like the lights on a moving coloured river/Sounds in my head seem to run/And again I feel a shiver”).

The single moves at a brisk, urgent pace which matches Kim’s panicked vocals. It is, however, the reason to listen to it. Out of the few singles covered of Kim’s, “Water On Glass” is the weakest. Science isn’t necessarily a go-to topic for pop music and Ricky and Marty Wilde try their best. But’s it’s simplified and repetitive. It’s as though they only read the blurb in a medical book and wrote a song based on it. The same idea is repeated over and over without the usual insight found in the Wilde’s songs

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