Monday, 17 February 2014

Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once - Album Review

Kylie’s 12th studio album, Kiss Me Once, isn’t released until March 17, but we’ve been treated to a sneaky upfront listen and here are our first impressions on each of the 11 tracks (review by

Into the Blue
The lead single, as you know, is a totally lovely slice of age-appropriate dance-pop – and if that sounds like a back-handed compliment, it isn’t meant as one. The more we listen to it, the more we notice the sadness in the lyrics. “I don’t care if the world is mine / ‘Cause this is all we know” is a little bit devastasting, in a way, isn’t it?

Million Miles
The album’s most straight up #banger is a close-ish relative to Get Outta My Way from Aphrodite – both tracks were produced by Danish hitmaker Cutfather. This time, Kylie’s trying to attract the attention of a guy who, *sigh*, barely seems to know she exists. “I feel so invisible, invisible…” she sings on the brilliant middle eight. Totally addictive; this should definitely be a single.

I Was Gonna Cancel
It’s immediately obvious this is a Pharrell Williams production, but the Blurred Lines beatmaker has – and here comes a technical term – “Kylied up” his trademark sound a bit. I Was Gonna Cancel is a little more disco than most of his productions (it uses Chic-like bells throughout) and a bit less flinty too. The lyrics are basically Kylie telling herself to stop fannying about and get on with it. “Go! Go! Go! Go girl!” goes one catchy refrain. Fabulous.

Sexy Love
OK, so that isn’t the most promising of track titles, but this tune is a keeper. It’s classic Kylie disco-pop with a hint of Nicki Minaj’s Starships to the intro, a chorus hook that’ll snag you like a barbed wire fence, and a brilliantly simple refrain towards the end: “You look so sexy, so sexy in my head / You look so sexy, sexy in my bed.” Pretty irresistible.

If you’d told Kylie when she left Neighbours in 1989 that 25 years later she’d be singing a song called Sexercize, she’d probably have shoved one of Charlene’s spanners up your… Anyway, this one’s a grindy midtempo track, flecked with dubstep, that features the world “sexercize” a lot. We’re not really feeling it, tbh.

Feels So Good
This cover of Indiana by Tom Aspaul – renamed with a more Kylie title – is pure class. It’s a percolating midtempo electro track with effortlessly romantic lyrics (“People come, people go, but I’d like to get to know you now”) that manages, somehow, to feel understated and euphoric at the same time. And she really nails the vocal.

If Only
This is a slow-building electro track with R&B flourishes – including a heavily-processed “oh-oh-oh-oh” vocal hook that some old-school Kylie fans might think a bit crass. She gets to show off her upper register on the string-swathed climax though, and the song itself is a grower. Very much an album track, but a perfectly respectable one.

Les Sex
Sadly it’s not about lady-on-lady action – for the purposes of this song “les sex” seems to mean “the sex, plural”. We think so, anyway. Kylie performed this song at her surprise gig on Thursday night, which suggests it’s at least in the running to become a single. It’s certainly as catchy as anything they deal with down the STD Clinic, and it doesn’t mess about, launching straight into its electro-funkin’ chorus, which Kylie sings in word-perfect Franglais. It also includes the lyric “If love’s a drug, we’re higher than stilettos”, which we quite like, though we know we probably shouldn’t.

Kiss Me Once
The last Kylie album, Aphrophite, had an amazing anthemic title track – and so does this one. Kiss Me Once was co-written by Sia and you can tell – it’s gorgeously melodic and the lyrics capture the rush of falling in love brilliantly. “Me and you, baby we made it through / Me and you, we’ve got some loving to do,” Kylie sings on the chorus. It’s all just so life-affirming.

Beautiful – duet with Enrique Iglesias
You’ve heard this one now, right? Click here if not. It’s a dreamy love-drunk ballad with loads of reverb on both Kylie and ‘Rique’s vocals, and a hint of ABBA’s Chiquitita to its melody. It’s a pretty tune, but perhaps not the surefire single that Mr Iglesias seems to think it is.

At first, this album closer has a whiff of filler about it, but after a few plays, its swirling electro pulse starts to grow on you… and then you notice that the lyrics seem to be pretty personal and revealing – possibly, anyway; this is post-Impossible Princess Kylie after all. “You’ve got it all but you don’t feel complete / Even the sweetest things are bittersweet,” she sings on the second verse. Intriguing.

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