REVIEW: Kylie Minogue - Kiss Me Once
She’s back! Feel the fever (again)
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Confession time. No, not a lazy journalist comparison to Kylie having produced a ‘comeback’ album akin to Madonna’s 2005 ‘tour de force’. Although… No, I have to confess that despite being editor of Gay Times, my last proper Kylie obsession was 2001’s Fever. PUT DOWN YOUR TWITTER PITCHFORKS. I love Kylie. LOVE her. Completely Kylie crazy as a teenager, have a ridiculous collection of Kylie merchandise, can still re-enact the What Do I Have To Do video at the drop of an open-top hat.
A new Kylie album remains something to get excited about, despite something happening with Body Language that I think I never really got over. But there’s always the expectation that what Kylie does next is going to be brilliant. Like that moment when you heard Can’t Get You Out Of My Head for the first time.
Dare I get excited when reliably informed that I’d ‘love’ Kiss Me Once, her first ‘proper’ album since 2010’s Aphrodite? Let’s not debate The Abbey Road Sessions here.
Could this be - gasp - the album that will soundtrack the summer of 2014?
Into The Blue
You’ve heard it, you’ve read everyone’s opinions. Those aside it does sound like every song you hear after an X Factor success story. “You’ve got four yeses!”, it’s that familiar, it’s that ‘now’ sound.
Continuing with the dance theme that’s the solid basis for Kiss Me Once, Million Miles is standard modern Kylie, and easily strong enough to be a single. The second song in and already the album sounds like it’s going to be the best thing she’s done since Fever.
I Was Gonna Cancel
Pharrell Williams proves that he can seemingly do no wrong, apart from headwear. This is a bit 80s, in a good way. Anyone worrying that Kylie working with Roc Nation meant that Kiss Me Once was going to be rubbish needn’t have worried. Solid, good quality R’n’B pop, not the annoying Rihanna stuff.
It’s what Body Language wanted to be, but didn’t quite manage to pull off.
First of the ‘sex’ songs, Sexy Love will put you in mind of Love At First Sight. There’s a smattering of early Miley Cyrus, a dash of Alphabeat, and a hint of Nile Rodgers. Continuing a funky theme, it’s very summery so if you’re not hearing this everywhere in a few months then someone is doing something wrong.
Cheesy title, cheesy song. Anything that references Damian’s Timewarp should probably ring an alarm bell. Flirting with dubstep makes this the worst on the album, not to mention slightly embarrassing. NEXT!
Feels So Good
Simple but brilliant. This ‘does exactly what it says on the tin’. Nuff said.
Big and melancholy. In fact, If Only is the only really melancholy song on the album, but still with heavy beats and an interesting electronic production.
No idea what it’s about, but it’s great. The kids that still love Gaga will be all over it. Again the production is brilliantly 80s - SO 80s - while the lyrics are reminiscent of Fever. “Take two of these and meet me in the shadows,” indeed.
Kiss Me Once
More 80s. With bells. No, I mean actual bells. Possibly borrowed from Hurts.
The duet with Enrique Iglesias. Not sure why they’ve gone for a vocoder chorus, perhaps to make it more interesting. It *kind* of escapes being a ‘proper’ ballad, with an uptempo chorus. You’d probably skip it, to be honest.
Return of the vocoder. Ending the standard edition of the album, almost a quintessential modern-era Kylie track.
Kiss Me Once is two years in the making, and it’s time well spent. It’s big, it feels good and more importantly it SOUNDS good. It’s almost like you can tell she enjoyed making it. This album feels less like Kylie trying to assert herself as something she’s not and more like a joyful pop celebration that makes you want to throw your hands up.
Ever career-minded, it nods to the American market but this time she’s managed to create something that works, something that will appeal to both a desired new fanbase, and the existing, largely gay, devotees.
Kiss Me Once is easily Kylie’s best release for quite some time - I confess to being somewhat obsessed once more.
Kiss Me Once is released 17 March. Pre-order it here.
Words: Darren Scott @darren_scott