It is now more than 8 years since Kim's first hit 'Kids In America'... 1988 was her most successful year for some time with the big Top 10 hit 'You Came' and 'Never Trust A Stranger'... 'Four Letter Word' made No. 6 in January 1989.Some might argue that 1987, when she had a Number One single in the US (something she has, of course, never managed here) was bigger than 1988, but it was certainly a good year for her in her homeland, the successful single and album combined with a tour as support act to Michael Jackson at the peak of his popularity. It was a pivotal era for her as well, the last time she was recording mainly material co-written by her father Marty and brother Ricki, although Ricki continues to contribute.
'Four-Letter Word' is sometimes described as her first straight ballad single, although this seems debatable to me. It's certainly a good showcase for her breathy vocals and the slightly halting quality of her singing is a nice way to undercut the somewhat over-the-top lyric. Strangely, even though it sounds very of its time, it's still doesn't come over as dated, where some of her hits now do. It's that understated quality again that stands out. Just as well really, because that title would be a big temptation to a hostile reviewer.
Also appearing on: Now 4, 8, 13, 25
Available on: Close (Expanded Edition)