Songwriting/production cast: Brothers In Rhythm (six tracks), Dave Ball & Ingo Vauk (three tracks), Dave Eringa & James Dean Bradfield (two tracks), Nick Dougan (one track)
Chart performance: 'Some Kind Of Bliss' became Minogue's least successful lead single ever, stalling outside the UK top 20, but follow-ups 'Did It Again' and 'Breathe' performed rather better, both peaking at number 14. When Impossible Princess finally came out – six months later than originally planned – it reached a creditable number ten on the UK albums chart, but went on the become Minogue's worst-selling album in the UK. However, it did earn a platinum award in her native Oz and make No.1 in... wait for it... Israel.
The sound: All over the dance-pop shop! Impossible Princess features everything from elegant electronica ('Breathe', 'Say Hey') to Motowny indie ('Some Kind Of Bliss, 'I Don't Need Anyone') to sitary guitar-pop ('Did It Again') to navel-gazing trip-hop ('Jump') to the toughest club cuts of Kylie's career ('Too Far', 'Drunk', 'Limbo'). 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!
Standout track: Truth be told, this album lacks an absolute classic to match 'Confide In Me', but 'Breathe' – subtle but sneakily catchy with it – could be one of Min's most underrated singles.
Hidden gem: Tucked right at the end, 'Dreams' is a gorgeous, string-swathed ballad with thought-provoking lyrics about an "impossible princess" who's striving to have it all. (For the record, she wasn't singing about Fergie.)
Lyrical nugget: Kylie wrote every single word on Impossible Princess, and she didn't squander the opportunity to bare a bit of soul, so we're entirely spoilt for choice this week. 'Too Far', 'Jump', 'Did It Again' and 'Dreams' all feature insight aplenty, but it's the all-consuming love affair of 'Drunk' that most sticks in our mind: "I'm not happy drunk til I'm drunken," Kylie sings on the chorus, "'Till you take all of me..."
Fascinating fact: In the UK and Ireland, the album's title was switched to Kylie Minogue - yes, just like the last one – following the death of Princess Diana in August '97. "I don't want to be constantly explaining or upsetting people, so we've taken the name off for now," the prudent popstrel explained at the time. "But I'd like to keep the option for putting it back in the future. That's what the album is called - it just won't be on the cover."
Our verdict: Hmm... at times Impossible Princess hangs together as well as a pair of mismatched curtains, and you couldn't accuse it of being stuffed with slap-you-round-the-chops pop stompers, but its myriad charms do begin to materialise after a few spins. Brave, revealing and rarely less than surprising, it's a key piece in the trickier-than-you-think jigsaw puzzle that is Kylie Minogue's recording career.
Next week: Kylie throws away her old clothes and gets herself a better wardrobe – well, a nice pair of tight gold hot-pants anyway – for 2000's Light Years, an album as camp as cupcakes and Cosmos at Claridges with Joan Collins. And Christopher Biggins too.
Selections and commentary by Robert Copsey, Nick Levine and Mayer Nissim