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I Was Gonna Cancel
I Was Gonna Cancel
Single by Kylie Minogue
From the album Kiss Me Once
Released 22 April 2014
Format
  • CD single
  • digital download
  • vinyl
Genre
  • Disco
  • funk
Length 3:34
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Pharrell Williams
Producer(s) Pharrell Williams
Kylie Minogue singles chronology
Beautiful
(2014)
I Was Gonna Cancel
(2014)
Crystallize
(2014)
Kiss Me Once track listing
"Million Miles"
(2)
"I Was Gonna Cancel"
(3)
"Sexy Love"
(4)
Music Video
Kylie Minogue - I Was Gonna Cancel03:41

Kylie Minogue - I Was Gonna Cancel

"I Was Gonna Cancel" is a song by Kylie Minogue, released as the second and final single from her twelfth studio album Kiss Me Once (2014). The track was written and produced by American recording artist, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams who she met while in Los Angeles, California. It was released in the United Kingdom on 11 May and a day later in the United States.

Musically, the song is influenced by disco and funk, which noted similarities from William's previous work and Daft Punk. Lyrically, the song was based on Kylie's conception of having a bad day. "I Was Gonna Cancel" received positive reviews from music critics, many recognizing it as the more "interesting" song on the record and praised William's production.

Background Edit

Following the release of The Abbey Road Sessions (2012), Kylie split ways with her long-term manager, Terry Blamey and signed a new management deal with rapper Jay-Z's imprint Roc Nation. Following this new deal, Kylie continued work on her twelfth studio album throughout 2013, with reports emerging in February 2013 that Kylie had been working with singer-songwriter Sia Furler. In an interview with Billboard, Kylie expressed that she had an epiphany during her "K25" campaign in 2012, stating, "I felt like I needed a new landscape, and once you've got your feet on the ground you're raring to go. [...] So far the support has been great, and it's just another part of this amalgamation of 'new' that I had wished for and was struck by."

Conception Edit

American singer and producerPharrell Williams wrote and produced the song

During the recording process of Kiss Me Once, Roc Nation contacted Pharrell Williams to co-produce with Kylie. Eventually, Kylie had met Williams in Los Angeles, California to produce music with her. According to Kylie, she revealed that she had two days to produce only two songs with Williams, these being "I Was Gonna Cancel" and "The Winners" and stated that the first day she met him she started crying due to an overwhelming day. In an interview with Standard.co.uk, she said;

In an aftermath interview, she said about her collaboration: "I had two days in the studio with Pharrell, which was a dream come true. On the second day, I was having a bad day and was thinking of cancelling [...] He turned my bad day into something amazing by writing the song... but I was patchy and didn't sing very well. It was honest and embarrassing."

Composition Edit

Musically, "I Was Gonna Cancel" is a funk and disco inspired song. Tim Sendra said that the song is "a heartwarming affirmation of how awesome she is that sounds like a continuation of his work with Daft Punk on "Get Lucky". Ryan Lathan said "squelchy Stevie-Wonderesque electric keyboard flourishes, and overly-processed, pseudo-operatic background vocals, there's little here in this R&B-electro brew, worth throwing back or bothering to revisit. It should have been relegated to a single B-side and replaced with last year's superior 'Skirt'." Ben Cardew from NME had also compared the song to Daft Punk's single "Get Lucky", calling it "disco-ish." Andy Gill declared "I Was Gonna Cancel" as a "typically light, frothy pop syllabub in Pharrell's signature style[;] It sprinkles chimes over staccato synth burbles that hark back to The Commodores."

Critical reception Edit

"I Was Gonna Cancel" received favorable reviews from most music critics. Tim Sendra from Allmusic highlighted the song as an album standout, labeling it as "amazingly catchy." Brittany Spanos from Spin said the song was familiar but "refreshed disco territory with 'I Was Gonna Cancel', a Pharrell track that carries some serious "Get Lucky" vibes thanks to a Chic-inspired bass line underpinning a pulsating house beat." Kitty Empire from The Observer felt the song was a "perfect fit" for Kylie and called Williams' a "pro", saying that "I Was Gonna Cancel" brings the best out of Pharrell Williams' aerated funk-pop and slots in Kylie's effortless disco vocal."

Joe Muggs from Fact magazine was less impressed, saying "the fidgety 'I was Gonna Cancel', with its scampering clavinet funk, Gloria Estefan-tinged song and whizzy trance chords and it's clear that this stuff hasn't just been picked off the peg." Ryan Lathan was less impressed as well, saying "Pharrell was recruited to liven up the proceedings, but his work on Madonna's Hard Candy was more inspired six years ago." He also criticized the lyrical content by saying "The song isn't particularly cutting edge and lyrical gems such as "everything is clearer, than a mirror is to woman, just as safe as a dog is to man", only serve as fodder for critical mocking." A reviewer from the publication musicOMHsaid "the similarly ubiquitous Pharrell Williams fares better with I Was Gonna Cancel, the kind of effortlessly catchy dance floor filler he specialises in, though the bizarre borrowing of the hook from Beyoncé's 'Green Light' only serves to remind that there are artists who are currently doing this much better." Pop Reviewer was less favorable, giving the single a 2 star rating stating "There is no essence of classic Kylie to be found here, just an abundance of emotionless singing" 

Music video Edit

The accompanying music video was shot by Dimitri Basil and choreographed by Rafael Bonachela in Melbourne, Australia while Kylie was attending the Logie Awards of 2014. The video was released on 17 May on her YouTube channel. Originally, the plans were to include many people into the video so they can dance and play along to the song, but were not to be paid for this. This courted controversy through media industries, criticizing the choice to not pay the dancers. Some reports said that dome dancers were then offered for their work after the producers received complaints about the lack of pay. Bonachela eventually told publications that he was pleased that they were going to be paid, stating "I understand things have been resolved now so it's great to know that people can have a voice, people can speak and mistakes can be resolved. That's a very positive thing," 

According to Kylie, the synopsis is about pedestrian life and how it was similar to the day she recorded the song; "It's an abstract look at pedestrian life and how we're all just trying to get through and rise above everyday challenges. Although the song talks about a real life event that happened the day I recorded the song with Pharrell, the video has a more conceptual approach and I love how surreal it looks."

Reception Edit

Critical reaction towards the video has been mixed. Michael Wass from website Idolator wrote: "Kylie Minogue has delivered some of the most memorable and innovative videos in the history of popular music but "I Was Gonna Cancel" is not one of them."  Mandi Salerno from PopCrush called the video concept "simple" and that even though the song was no "Sexercize", it was very interesting and thoughtful, referring to the concept as "funky." However, Daniel Welsh from The Huffington Post was less positive, believing that although the song was appealing, he felt Kylie didn't stand out from the crowd "literally."

Live performances Edit

In April 2014, Kylie performed "I Was Gonna Cancel" at the Logie Awards of 2014. In May 2014, she performed the song on The Voice of Italy and Alan Carr: Chatty Man.

Formats and track listings Edit

UK Promo CD

  1. "I Was Gonna Cancel" − 3:32
  2. "I Was Gonna Cancel" (instrumental) − 3:32

UK Limited Edition CD

  1. "I Was Gonna Cancel" − 3:32
  2. "I Was Gonna Cancel" (The Presets Remix) − 5:43

UK Limited Edition 7 Picture Disc

  1. a. "I Was Gonna Cancel" − 3:32

Australian Limited Edition 7 Picture Disc

  1. a. "I Was Gonna Cancel" − 3:32

Australian Limited Edition 7 Black vinyl

  1. a. "I Was Gonna Cancel" − 3:32
  2. b. "Into the Blue" (Patrick Hagenaar Colour Code Radio Edit) − 3:32

Australian Limited Edition 7 Purple vinyl

  1. a. "I Was Gonna Cancel" − 3:32
  2. b. "Into the Blue" (Patrick Hagenaar Colour Code Radio Edit) − 3:32

Australian iTunes download

  1. "I Was Gonna Cancel" − 3:32

Digital Remixes EP

  1. "I Was Gonna Cancel" (The Presets Remix) − 5:43
  2. "I Was Gonna Cancel" (Maze & Masters Remix) − 6:01
  3. "I Was Gonna Cancel" (Moto Blanco Radio Remix) − 3:22
  4. "I Was Gonna Cancel" (KDA Remix) − 7:05

Charts Edit

Chart (2014) Peak position
Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia) 25
Croatia 24
UK Singles 59
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard) 5

Release history Edit

Region Date Format
Worldwide 11 May 2014 Digital download
United Kingdom 12 May 2014
Australia 16 May 2014 Blunde Remix
Europe 18 May 2014
Kiss Me Once
Singles | Tour | Photoshoots

"Into the Blue"
"Million Miles"
"I Was Gonna Cancel"
"Sexy Love"

"Sexercize"
"Feels So Good"
"If Only"
"Les Sex"

"Kiss Me Once"
"Beautiful"
(feat. Enrique Iglesias)
"Fine"

Bonus tracks:
"Mr. President"
"Sleeping With the Enemy"
"Sparks"

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